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Sample Seafood While Helping Science

To qualify for the unique tasting event on San Diego Bay, you must love seafood, be interested in supporting local “slow-food” and be willing to take a 20-minute survey sharing your culinary preferences.

Herwig Vergult/AFP/Getty Images
Herwig Vergult/AFP/Getty Images

Written by Christina S. Johnson/NOAA’s California Sea Grant at Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Do you love seafood? Are you curious about San Diego’s local catch? Would you like to be able to buy fresh seafood directly from local fishermen?

If the mere questions whet your appetite for a succulent fresh fish fillet or piece of “uni,” you may be interested in a unique seafood tasting event on Saturday, Sept. 7 at Ruocco Park along the San Diego Bay waterfront.

Hosted by California Sea Grant, University of San Diego and our partners, some of the city’s acclaimed chefs will be preparing locally caught and grown seafood for a select group of seafood lovers.

Some of the species that fishermen say are likely to be available in September include: California halibut, Kellet’s whelk, Pacific sardine, white sea bass, sablefish (black cod), red sea urchin and Pacific rock crab. Farmed species include: Pacific oysters, Mediterranean mussels and red “ogo” seaweed.

“The event is a chance to introduce people to our local species through simple but delicious dishes and hopefully get them hooked,” said California Sea Grant Coastal Specialist Theresa Sinicrope Talley, who is hosting the event with colleagues. “Buying local helps our economy and our environment and gives San Diego just a little more ‘local flavor.’”

To qualify for the unique tasting event, you must, yum, love seafood, be interested in supporting local “slow-food,” and be willing to take a 20-minute survey sharing your culinary preferences. You must also be a local resident and at least 18 years old.

Survey responses will help California Sea Grant and University of San Diego researchers gauge consumers’ interest in local products and dockside shopping, and fishermen’s ability to supply products people want. They will also inform the business models for two dockside markets under development on San Diego Bay, one near Tuna Harbor and the other at Driscoll’s Wharf.

“Besides getting people familiar with local seafood, the project will provide data that will inform several areas related to the seafood industry, including planning of local seafood markets, the careful growth of our fisheries and community health and wellness efforts,” Talley said.

In addition to sampling dishes made with local fare, participants will be able to meet scientists and nutritionists familiar with seafood. Fishermen will be on hand to share stories about their craft and the species they catch.

California Sea Grant and University of San Diego are hosting the event in partnership with the Port of San Diego, Slow Food Urban San Diego, San Diego fishermen, Carlsbad Aquafarm, Alchemy Cultural Fare and Cocktails, United Women of East Africa, NOAA, Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, and several other restaurants and independent chefs, as part of a direct-marketing feasibility study, supported by CFR West, which is funded through the California Ocean Protection Council.

To attend the event, you must sign up and space is limited. To RSVP, please email Theresa Sinicrope Talley at TSTALLEY@UCSD.EDU and, if you have questions, call her at 858-200-6975.

  • What: Dockside seafood tasting event and study
  • When: 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 7
  • Where:  Ruocco Park, 585 Harbor Lane, San Diego, CA

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