On Wednesday, April 24, 2019 UNH Dining hosted the annual Sustainable Seafood Dinner at Stillings Hall featuring local dishes prepared in collaboration with Gulf of Maine Research Institute, UNH Cooperative Extension, NH Sea Grant, North Coast Seafood and Best Aquaculture practices. NH Sea Grant provided local sea kelp and green crabs. The green crabs were cooked in a mouthwatering crab bisque and the sea kelp was utilized in avocado seaweed salad.
Green crabs are an invasive species in our region and tend to wreak havoc across the New England Coast. NH Sea Grant has been investigating the feasibility of a removal fishery strategy to help mitigate their numbers as well as developing culinary markets to increase consumption. UNH Dining acquired these green crabs in order to help with reducing the population.
The green crabs used for the event were harvested by Everett Leach, a fisherman from Ogunquit, ME. The UNH Cooperative Extension program also promotes a Green Crab project, where they aim to find a fishing market for these crabs, specifically when they are considered “soft-shell”. This market will be similar to those who enjoy soft-shell blue crabs.
The sea kelp can be found off the integrated multi-trophic aquaculture platform in New Castle, NH and is currently one of the most farmed species of edible seaweeds in the New England area. This specific type of kelp is fast growing and a great source of nutrients such as vitamin C and iodine.
In partnering with NH Sea Grant, our chefs have been able to work with local foods to create appetizing dishes that include menu items that will benefit the environment. Guests enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner while being conscience of the impact of sustainability.