DEM announces website feature providing access to R.I. seafood landings

DEM announces website feature providing access to R.I. seafood landings

PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative, chaired by Department of Environmental Management Director Janet Coit, announces the availability of a new feature on the website that provides weekly updates of all seafood landings in Rhode Island. This is the first time this information is being provided to consumers in a readily accessible, online format.

“We’re excited to offer this new tool on the website so that Rhode Islanders can more easily find what’s fresh and available, and where they can find it,” said Coit. “There is a strong demand for local seafood and we’re fortunate that our commercial harvesters are able to meet that demand by harvesting and landing wide varieties and large quantities of fresh seafood every day at our ports. Rhode Islanders can take pride in knowing that when they purchase fresh local fish, shellfish, lobsters and crabs, they are not only getting delicious seafood, but also helping to keep a vital part of our economy – our commercial fishing and seafood industry – up and running.”

The website was established several years ago by the Rhode Island Seafood Marketing Collaborative. The website provides consumers with information on Rhode Island seafood including what’s available, where it can be purchased, how it’s harvested, and how to cook and enjoy it. Until recently, information on the availability of R.I. seafood was provided via an annual harvest calendar, which projected the likely availability of top local species on a seasonal basis over the course of a given year. It provided general guidance, but was not linked to real-time landings data.

Now, under the “For Consumers” tab on the website, DEM is providing cumulative weekly landings data for each species landed in Rhode Island. The information is accessible via the “About RI Seafood” sub-tab. The feature enables consumers to see the wide variety and amounts of fresh seafood currently being landed in Rhode Island. With this insight, consumers can then click on the companion tab, “Buy RI Seafood,” to access listings of local seafood retailers including markets and restaurants, as well as harvesters selling directly off their boats. Consumers can then contact local retailers to see if their favorite local seafood, just landed in the state by Rhode Island fishermen, or just harvested from Rhode Island waters by local shellfish farmers, is available to purchase. Not all Rhode Island seafood retailers sell all Rhode Island seafood products, but as local consumer awareness and demand increase, so too is local availability.

For example, the “About RI Seafood” tab on the website reveals that over this past week, Rhode Island fishermen landed a total of 25 species, including:
• Over 100,000 quahogs
• Over 100,000 pounds of squid and skates
• Over 50,000 pounds each of scup and silver hake
• Over 25,000 pounds of lobster and butterfish
• Over 10,000 pounds each of monkfish, black sea bass, summer flounder (fluke), Jonah crab and whelk (conch)
• Over 5,000 pounds of red/white hake and bluefin tuna
• Up to 5,000 pounds each of bluefish, bonito, cod, rock crab, winter flounder, conger eel, kingfish, weakfish, tautog, cunner and John dory

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