Women Working for Oceans (Donna Hazard, chairwoman, pictured left with Legal’s tour guide, Marnie) organized a great tour of Legal Sea Foods in Boston followed by lunch with Legal’s President and CEO Roger Berkowitz, Executive Chef Rich Vellante (pictured below), Seafood Buyer Tom Matthews and Director of Marketing Ida Faber.
The tour at the Legal Sea Foods’ Quality Control Center included a look at the processing plant and the food safety laboratory, giving us a taste of how fish are processed and handled for retail sale at Legal Sea Foods’ 33 restaurants around the US as well as an online fish market and retail product line. Tour guides shared an overview of quality testing in the lab, cleaning, cutting, packaging and shipping. The plant is incredibly clean and streamlined to make sure that the fish doesn’t visit long before being delivered to the restaurants.
Yesterday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a report (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/mediacenter/2012/05/15statusofstocks.htm) saying that “a record six fish populations were declared rebuilt to healthy levels in 2011” including summer flounder and Gulf of Maine haddock. This is good news for the hard work of fishermen and conservationists but New England still has the highest number of species that are considered overfished.
There is still lots of work to be done and W2O encouraged Mr. Berkowitz to continue to search for the best information regarding fish stocks and sustainable aquaculture and to consider increasing his efforts to educate the public about the sustainability of the species on his menu.