October is National Seafood Month

Michigan fish producers offer a wide variety of products for consumers.

By Ron Kinnunen

Locally produced Michigan Great Lakes smoked fish is a delicious option to try to celebrate National Seafood Month. Photo: Ron Kinnunen | Michigan Sea Grant

October is National Seafood Month which is a great time to spotlight sustainable fisheries and the fishery products they provide to the consumer.

In the U.S. there are a variety of locally produced fishery products available to the consumer that are either wild caught or farm raised. The U.S. wild-caught fishery provides the most diverse products to choose from. The leading farm-raised products produced in the U.S. include catfish, crawfish, trout, salmon, oysters, and clams.

Many Michigan options

In Michigan, both locally produced farm-raised fish, as well as wild-caught Great Lakes fish, are available for consumers. Michigan aquaculture producers supply a number of food fish species for purchase at the farm gate and/or local markets and retail outlets. Most of this farm-raised fish in Michigan is rainbow trout.

Lake whitefish is the most-caught commercial fish in the Michigan waters of the Great Lakes. Today, the Great Lakes commercial fishery for lake whitefish is managed for sustainability, with most of these fish caught from lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan. Great Lakes whitefish from Michigan’s highly managed fisheries is caught by small, family based operations and processed locally, making it an important economic component to local coastal communities. To learn more about this Michigan Great Lakes commercial fishery you can visit Great Lakes Whitefish.

Read the label

Ninety percent of seafood sold in Michigan is imported. By reading labels customers can determine where the fish they buy was produced. All large retail grocery stores are required by the Country of Origin Labeling law to label the seafood that they sell as either wild caught or farm raised and what country it originated from. Country of Origin Labeling was a provision of the 2002 U.S. Farm Bill and is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. If customers choose to eat Great Lakes fish, reading labels is key.

And whether you prefer your seafood grilled, boiled, baked or smoked, Michigan Sea Grant has some great resources for recipes. Our cookbook “Wild Caught and Close to Home: Selecting and Preparing Great Lakes Whitefish” has whitefish recipes, and offers cooking techniques and insights from chefs. Our “Freshwater Feasts” blog also offers recipes and more.

Two AmeriCorps positions open for Michigan Sea Grant programs

Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University Extension are looking for two Huron Pines AmeriCorps members to help coordinate our education programs! 

One person will work in southeast Michigan on programs like the Great Lakes Education Program (GLEP), Summer Discovery Cruises, and the Water Conservation program. Learn more about the position from recent AmeriCorps member Katelyn Burns

The other person will join the Northern Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative to help foster place-based stewardship education in lovely Alpena, Michigan. Learn more about the position from recent AmeriCorps member Olivia Rose. Also check out the flyer she created to sum up her AmeriCorps experience.

Applications are due by September 29, 2017. Find more details and application guidelines on the Huron Pines website

Extension educator position open in Saginaw Bay

Serve the communities of Michigan’s Thumb as Michigan Sea Grant’s newest Extension educator!

Michigan Sea Grant Extension educators live and work around the state, where they advance goals of outreach, education, and restoration related to Great Lakes ecosystems and communities. The person in this position will collaborate with colleagues and partners to provide leadership for Michigan Sea Grant’s Saginaw Bay region (encompassing Arenac, Bay, Tuscola, Huron, and Sanilac counties). 

Does this sound like the right position for you? Find more details about the position and application guidelines here. Initial application review begins October 13, 2017.

Saginaw Bay State Recreation Area