Sunday, May 26, 2002

SWORDFISH. A friend said swordfish is an endangered species and we’re not supposed to eat them anymore. A report from 1998 described the declining population of Atlantic swordfish and recommended we not eat any in 1998. In 2000, swordfish (Xiphias gladius is the scientific name) was on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources’ RED LIST of threatened species in the category EN A1bd. EN means endangered - facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future. A1 means a population reduction of at least 80% over the last 10 years. The bd indicates how they observed this reduction. It appears these RED LISTs are only published every 4 years. The most interesting information I found comes from an interview with the President and CEO of one of my favorite Boston restaurants, Legal Sea Foods (their motto: ”If it isn’t fresh, It isn’t Legal!”). The interview is from the website of a group called Habitat Media. The Legal CEO, Roger Berkowitz , talks about how harpooned fish is the best tasting fish you can get, and that it’s the small swordfish that are endangered. Now we just need to figure out how to determine whether or not our swordfish has been harpooned before we throw it on the barbeque.

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