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