We’re surrounded by water, and yet Long Islanders eat very little local seafood. That’s a situation that the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program is trying to change with a new initiative called F.I.S.H. (Fresh Indigenous Sustainable Healthy).
The organization is partnering with local fish stores to promote the bounty of Long Island’s fishery. On Friday (June 9), the Little Fish Shop in Riverhead will be giving out free samples of tacos made with porgy (aka scup, maiden, fair maid, ironsides), a flaky, mild, white fish that is abundant year-round from Massachusetts to North Carolina.
F.I.S.H. has published a wealth of material to help Long Islanders identify, purchase and cook local fish. An overview of the program can be found here ; a list of local species here ; a map showing markets that sell local fish, here ; recipes, here .
Overseas seafood imports — including most salmon, branzino, tilapia and shrimp — comprise more than 90 percent of U.S. seafood consumption. On Long Island, there is porgy, striped bass, squid, tilefish, sea and bay scallops, fluke, flounder, lobsters, monkfish, bluefish, black sea bass, blackfish, clams, oysters and more.
The F.I.S.H. event is on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Little Fish Shop is at 833 Middle Rd., Riverhead, 631-236-8770.