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A farewell to sardines

  1. Apr 14, 2010 #1

    Evo

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    The last sardine cannery in the US will shut down this week. I love sardines, I make an open face sandwich of sardines, topped with cheese and run under the broiler until the cheese is all melted and bubbly. I know a lot of people don't like sardines, but it's the end of an era here and rather sad.

    It's as much a statement of what over fishing our coastal waters has done as what foreign competition is doing.

    It seems that overfishing and competition from China and Taiwan have killed the market here in the US.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100414/ap_on_bi_ge/us_so_long_sardines [Broken]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
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  3. Apr 14, 2010 #2

    turbo

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    There used to be sardine canneries all up and down the Maine coast, and they have all closed. Herring stocks have been depleted, so catch limits are down, but why? It isn't over-fishing for the dying sardine-packing industry that is responsible - alone, the canneries (now single cannery, and that one is closed) couldn't have consumed enough herring to destroy the herring population, and Maine's fishermen can't land enough herring to hurt the stock. I've got to think that foreign trawlers that don't follow our fishing regulations and catch-limits are playing a big role in the decline.
     
  4. Apr 14, 2010 #3

    Evo

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    I believe you're right, I remember past reports of poaching in our waters.
     
  5. Apr 14, 2010 #4

    lisab

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    Wait a minute...they put herring into sardine cans :confused:?
     
  6. Apr 14, 2010 #5

    turbo

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    Sardines aren't a species of fish. They are small packed fish of many varieties. Here in Maine, they were typically small herring.

    Sardines were cheap when I was a kid, and frequently went on sale so my father would stock up on them. I'd open a can of them, stack them on a piece of bread spread with mustard, top that with sharp cheddar, then another slice of bread with either butter or mustard. Mmmm.
     
  7. Apr 14, 2010 #6
    I saw a show dealing with sardines/herring/seals on the west coast, and one part of it was about the fishermen and the season/allotment for sardines/ herrings. Those fishermen are so efficient at finding them that the season last only about an hour if I remember right.
     
  8. Apr 14, 2010 #7
    From time to time, my wife cooks a fish whose Japanese name is iwashi. In the dictionary, they are defined as sardines, but I don't know what they really are. They are much larger than the canned sardines I was used to as a child. My mother would put some mayo on a piece of bread and lay about 3 of those tuna wannabees on it for me to scarf down. Also, the ones my wife cooks are fresh, not packed in oil.
     
  9. Apr 14, 2010 #8

    mgb_phys

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    Could be good news long term - if it's effectively a fishing ban.
    The cod stocks in the North sea need a ban for 20years if they are ever going to recover (like the Grand Banks), but because of politics the quota is set at a compromise which means the species is still declining and the industry is screwed.

    Unless of course the cannery closing mean the fishermen can all just sell their quotas to a single factory ship operator. Presumably sardines would be pretty easy to process at sea?
     
  10. Apr 14, 2010 #9

    Mk

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    It might have the same effect as a ban, but calling a reaction to market conditions by business a "ban" is messed up.
     
  11. Apr 14, 2010 #10

    turbo

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    If the factory ship is in international waters, then off-loading catches to them would not be under the oversight of marine-resource people, and over-fishing can continue unabated. NO quotas to be observed, that way.

    Herring are popular bait-fish, and can be ground up into nutritious fish-meal to feed penned salmon, so there is still a potential for over-fishing, especially since herring is still very popular in Europe and foreign trawlers can easily over-harvest them during the warmer months when the herring are farther out from shore.
     
  12. Apr 14, 2010 #11

    mgb_phys

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    I assumed the fish were caught in-shore in regulated waters so the catch would have a quota.
    But if the existing fishermen can just sell their quota then you could have a single ship wipe out the stocks even more efficently.
     
  13. Apr 14, 2010 #12
    The only thing I like about Sardines was opening the can with the nifty little key. I could never eat them.
     
  14. Apr 14, 2010 #13

    turbo

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    There aren't enough Marine Patrol vessels to monitor all the fishing boats out there, so the task of determining who has met their quota falls to officials on shore when the boats unload. If small trawlers head out into international waters to off-load to a factory ship, there is no oversight regarding catch-limits. Add this to large foreign trawlers supplying Japan and Europe, and you have a recipe for collapse of herring stocks.
     
  15. Apr 14, 2010 #14

    turbo

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    The Maine fishing industry has a LOT of challenges. In Maine, we have a tight slot limit in carapace length in which trapped lobsters can be kept, landed, and sold. Just a few miles to the south of the southern lobster grounds is New Hampshire, with NO such limits. Huge breeders can be sold on the docks of Portsmouth, and resold in NH's fish stores. Want a 25# lobster, want cut-rate booze, want easy access to fireworks? NH has it all, strategically located off a little stretch of I95 that you have to pay hefty tolls to drive on. They have such a short little piece of coast-line that there is no motivation for them to protect fisheries in Maine or Massachusetts. It's probably time for a federal initiative.
     
  16. Apr 14, 2010 #15

    Matterwave

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    At least the decapodians haven't come and eaten all the anchovies...
     
  17. Apr 15, 2010 #16

    Ouabache

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    I've bought sardine (and anchovies) in the grocery in the last few years, but none of them have the little key. Typically the elliptical can used to be wrapped in paper and upon unwrapping the small package, there was the little key waiting on top. It took a special skill to roll up the lid properly. I miss the http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_EgWG8AEk_YM/SpKAowSr5SI/AAAAAAAAE78/25Z9GFu2dvQ/s400/sardine-can.jpg". :cry:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  18. Apr 15, 2010 #17

    turbo

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    I haven't seen a key for many years. The canneries use aluminum pop-top-like tabs with rip-off tops.

    Years ago, there was a cannery here that packed herring that was a bit larger than the tiny sardine-sized fish, and their products would frequently go on special in the Associated Grocers markets throughout Maine. You could get the fish packed in oil, packed in a sweet mustard sauce, or packed in what they called a New Orleans sauce (spicy, tomato-based sauce). All were great. I forget the brand now (it has been almost 40 years), but I was sad to see them go.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  19. Apr 15, 2010 #18

    Borek

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    I remember two types of keys. One was folding and made of two pieces of steel, I think I still have one in the drawer in the kitchen. That's for opening normal cans. The other was a thin rod cut in the middle, that was used to roll the lid (that's the type Ouabache mentioned). These were used for soldered cans, I don't remember seeing such a can in ages.
     
  20. Apr 15, 2010 #19

    Evo

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    I remember when spam cans were opened with a key. It tore a thin strip off around the circumference of the can, just below the top.
     
  21. Apr 15, 2010 #20

    turbo

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    Yep! Some canned hams opened the same way.
     
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