Archive for January, 2012

The price of fresh fish

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

We all got some shocking scary news on Sunday that our friend and fisherman, Steve Arnold, Captain of the Elizabeth Helen, and his crew had a tragic accident out on the water off Block Island.  From what Steve and Captain Chris Brown, Steve’s partner at Wild Rhody,  and Captain Richard Cook have told me, the boats cargo shifted, the wind and the current hit the boat at exactly the same time, and the boat got taken under.  All of the crew made it off the boat, and Steve was pulled 30 feet under with the boat, but somehow escaped to the surface and his life, thanks to the United States Coast Guard.

This event has sent chills through the Point Judith fishing community, and made us all realize just how dangerous the open waters can be, and what great risk and effort it takes to bring the daily catch in.  This could happen to any fisherman at any time, even in the best of weather.

We say it all the time, but times like this really drive it home, we give thanks to the many men and women who risk there lives every single day to bring us fresh seafood.

So please go to your local fish markets and farmers markets and support them. Go to shops and restaurants that support locally caught seafood that emphasizes sustainable and environmentally friendly efforts.  It is important.

A group of Rhode Island and Boston chefs will be banding together soon to help raise awareness, appreciation and hopefully some funds for them, so please stay posted for those details…

Here’s another great short piece written by Rob Booz from Chefs Collaborative on the event:

Our thoughts go out to Steve Arnold on the sinking of his ship, the Elizabeth Helen

January 9th, 2012, 1:12 pm

Yesterday, we received word from Boston Local Leader, chef Rich Garcia that Steve Arnold’s fishing vessel the Elizabeth Helen sank in the winter waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Steve and his partner Chris have consistently been leaders in sustainable fishing practices around southern New England. Forgetting for a moment the high quality of the fish they bring in, their use of Trace and Trust technology through their Wild Rhody brand constantly provides a jumpstart for the all too important conversation about the state of our oceans. Whether it be among chefs, when Wild Rhody came to speak at our inaugural meeting of the Boston Local this past fall, or through larger venues, such as when Rhode Island Local Leader, chef Derek Wagner spoke of Steve and Chris’ work in The New York Times.

I could go on with examples but the point is this: fishermen have no easy lives. Their work has always been dangerous, and in recent years they’ve seen new and necessary fishery management make earning a decent living increasingly difficult. Steve Arnold, like so many fishermen, is invaluable to the food sustainability community. Both in the superb quality of product he provides to our chefs, but also in the way his and Wild Rhody’s practices foster and support discussion of the hard facts around seafood.

Saturday was an absolutely stunning day here in New England. The skies were clear and the thermostat hung lazily in the mid to high 50’s. But as we were in our cars, our homes, our kitchens, or our backyards, Steve and his crew were out to sea facing harrowing prospects. Thanks to the efforts of the United States Coast Guard, all made it back to land safe if not sound. We here at Chefs Collaborative hope for the best for all involved and urge you all out there reading this to remember where your food comes from.

Posted by: Rob Booz