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Seaworthy: Stripped of Stripers


IF A BIRD IN THE HAND IS worth two in the bush, what’s a striped bass worth? Though the Hudson’s most popular fish isn’t officially endangered (or even threatened), its population seems to be on the decline. According to a 2013 report by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), the number of female striped bass being commercially caught is way down, and the ASMFC has called for a 25 percent reduction in the commercial catch. The commission doesn’t regulate recreational fishing, but some estimates place that catch at double the commercial haul.

New York chef and avid fisherman Kerry Heffernan (from the television series Top Chef Masters) is rallying his peers around the cause, calling for chefs to pledge “not to serve wild Atlantic striped bass until the stocks make a significant recovery.”

Striped bass is mildly flavored and versatile, and appealing for chefs who emphasize local products. Diners can do their part by avoiding it until stocks are replenished. For more information, visit facebook.com/saveourstripers.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!