Seafood is one of the most nutritious and delicious sources of energy on the planet. For thousands of years, coastal populations have reaped the benefits of consuming aquatic organisms. Today, improvements in technology, preservation and access to the global market have provided even the most landlocked of consumers with a vast array of seafood choices.
In Florida, we take our fish seriously. Commercial seafood production is an important aspect of our economy. Working waterfronts are a visible testament to the bounty that the sea provides. The aquaculture industry is expanding and rising to meet the demand of a growing population and desire for additional sources of animal protein. Seafood alternatives and cell-based proteins are emerging as consumer options. Consumers are inundated with terms like wild harvest, aquaculture, farm-raised, imported, domestic, local, and alternative seafood protein…just to name a few.
In July 2020, Florida Sea Grant and UF/IFAS Extension joined forces to offer an online, in-service training aimed at answering some of Florida’s biggest seafood questions. “How do You See Seafood?” was designed as a resource for Extension professionals, but is useful to any industry partners, retailers and consumers who have questions about seafood.
A Tidal Wave of Info
This virtual classroom encouraged participants to ask questions and provide feedback on pertinent seafood issues throughout the state of Florida. Course recordings can be viewed online:
Seafood IST Day 1: Seafood Supply and Demand; Seafood Benefits; Seafood Safety
Seafood IST Day 2: Seafood Product Integrity; Seafood Regulations and Certifications
A Sea of Expertise
The course featured UF’s very own Dr. Steve Otwell, Seafood Specialist and Emeritus Professor, and Dr. Razieh Farzad, Florida Sea Grant Extension Specialist and Assistant Professor with the UF Food Science and Human Nutrition Department. The program content was developed and delivered by a planning team of Florida Sea Grant agents and specialists representing a sea of seafood expertise:
Steve Otwell, Emeritus Professor & Seafood Specialist, Florida Sea Grant
Razieh Farzad, Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Florida Sea Grant
Angela Collins, UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant
Erik Lovestrand, UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant
Rick O’Connor, UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant
Leslie Sturmer, UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant
Laura Tiu, UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant
Chris Verlinde, UF/IFAS Extension and Florida Sea Grant
Don’t Flounder Around Online!
There are a lot of seafood resources out there! To keep you from floundering around on the internet, here are a few of our favorites:
- US Food and Drug Administration
- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
- Seafood Health Facts
- Seafood Nutrition Partnership
- NOAA FishWatch
- National Aquauculture Association
- Food and Agriculture Organization
- Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Click here for a comprehensive list of seafood online resources referenced in the course.