Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blue-Egg Mapuche Chickens


The old stories speak of a pact between the hens and the people of the land [the Mapuche].  The hens would give the people blue eggs and the people of the land would care for them and honor them in ceremonies of thanks and prayer. The bodies of the colloncas and ketros [chicken varieties] remember the pact and pass on the message of the blue eggs when the pact is respected.  Agélica Celis Salamero[1] 


Blue-egg chickens, gallinas Mapuches, or “Araucanas” to poultry enthusiasts, first came to outside attention in 1921 when Spanish poultry specialist Professor Salvador Castelló, announced their existence at the first international poultry conference in The Hague. 

Castelló explained that on 6 August 1914, he had landed at the Chilean port of Punta Arenas on the Strait of Magellan and had immediately noticed several hampers of blue-shelled eggs.  His first thought was that they were ducks’ eggs. But the local people assured him that they were, indeed, hens’ eggs and that many hens in southern Chile laid eggs of the same color.  This utterly astonished him, because as he said ‘neither in Europe not in North America had he seen eggs of this colour.’  Later in the company of Chilean poultry breeders, Castelló toured a region of Chile where blue-egg chickens were especially common. This was the rugged lake district of the south-central part of the country, the homeland of the warlike Araucanian or Mapuche Indians.[2]

What was their origin?  The chickens’ wild ancestor, the Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus gallus), was found from northeasterner India east to Indonesia, and seems to have been domesticated by 4,000 years ago.  In the ensuing centuries it spread west to Europe and Africa and east to the Oceania.  By 1492 domesticated chickens (G. g. domesticus) had been introduced from Iceland, the westernmost outpost of European society, to Easter Island, the eastern most landfall of the Polynesians.[3] 

And perhaps they were in South America too. In1532, when Spanish conquistador Pizarro reached Peru, “he found that chickens were already an integral part of Incan economy and culture, suggesting at least some history of chickens in the region.”[4]  In 1590 Jesuit Fr. José de Acosta, in The Natural & Moral History of the Indies, wrote:
….let us now speake of tame fowle; I wondered that hennes, seeing there were some in the Indes before the Spanish came there, the which is well approved for they have a proper name of the country, and they call a henne a Hualpa, and the egge Ronto[5].
Others disagreed.  “El Inca,” Garcilaso de la Vega, son of a Spanish conquistador and an Inca noblewoman, whose accounts of Inca history, culture and society are widely accepted, contradicted de Acosta’s arguments and concluded “I have clearly proved that there were no Cocks or Hens in Peru before the conquest…”[6]  And when authoritative German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt agreed in 1811that there were no pre-Colombian chickens in the Americas, that put an end to the debate for a hundred years or so.[7]

But not forever.  In 1888, a newly graduated English engineer, 19 year old Richard (Ricardo) Latcham arrived in Chile to build roads in the recently pacified Mapuche homeland near today’s city of Temuco.  He lived there among the Mapuche for the next five years, making many friends, learning the language and developing a fascination and respect for Mapuche culture.  Moving to Santiago, he began to read anthropology, develop his anthropological library and to publish technical articles on the Mapuche and on Chilean archaeology—while still working as an engineer and teacher of English.[8]

In 1921, while finishing his Domesticated Animals of Pre-Columbian America he learned of Castelló’s report, which coincided with his view that there were chickens in South America before the conquest:
It is thought that in [pre-Colombian] America there were no true chickens, but this is only partially true.  It may be that in North America there were none, but in South America there were several species, distinct from those of the old world.  Not all these species have been classified, but in Chile, Bolivia and Peru [there are] no fewer than three indigenous varieties or species, domesticated by the native people…

 Photo: Juan Osvaldo



In Chile these are called the trintri, with “curly feathers as thought they were put on in reverse,”
















…the collonca, which are small and tailless;














…and the francolina [or ketro], which Lacham thought to be a variety of the collonanas, “that carry a tuft of feathers on their heads that fall on all sides to the level of their eyes.  The country people call them ‘hens with ear rings.’ Like those above they lay blue eggs.”[9]











So if chickens were in Chile before the Spanish, where might they have come from? 

Europe?


Maybe. The earliest recorded introduction of Chickens to the Americas was in 1500, when Pedro Álvares Cabral gave a single hen to a Brazilian Indian.  But whether her offspring could have been carried to Argentina, where they were reported by 1515[10] or to Peru by 1532, when Pizarro arrived and they were already supposed “an integral part of Incan economy and culture,” seems unlikely.

Polynesia?


If chickens were in western South America before the Spanish, a Pacific origin seems more likely than a European one.  Prehistoric Polynesians spread chickens throughout the Pacific to Easter Island, the eastern most Polynesian outpost, by the 1300s.  Since sweet potatoes – a South American plant domesticated in Peru by around 2,000 BC – were in the central Polynesia by 1000 to 1100 AD it is very likely that there was prehistoric contact between South Americans and Polynesians.[11] And if sweet potatoes went west, chickens could have come east.

The Evidence


Archeological evidence shows domesticated chickens to have been in China before 5000 BC, in India by 2000 BC, and in Polynesia as early as 1000 BC. But of all the thousand’s of archaeological excavations that have taken place in Peru, not one has reported finding a pre-Columbian chicken bone. 

But they found 83 in Chile…. maybe. 


In 2007 archaeologist Alice A. Storey and her colleagues published an article on El Arenal-1, an archaeological site near the central Chilean coast, about 530 Km south of Santiago and 100 Km south of Concepcíon.  There they had found chicken bones radiocarbon dated to between 1321 and 1407 AD, well before Columbus and more than 100 years before chickens came to Chile with Pedro de Valdivia in 1540.  Genetic analysis of the bones “produced an identical [mtDNA] sequence to chicken bones from two prehistoric archaeological sites in the Pacific.”[12]




But of course their conclusions were not universally accepted.  Jaime Gongora and his colleagues responded, arguing that the mtDNA sequence of the Chilean finds also matched chickens from Europe and “all over the world,” contradicting the view that they were of specifically pacific origins. They also questioned the dating, arguing that the site’s location near the coast suggested that the chickens’ diet might have included shells or fish scraps which would have introduced carbon from marine sources into their bones, yielding inaccurately old radiocarbon dates.[13]



Storey and her colleagues replied, arguing that “Ultimately, the question rests on the antiquity of the El Arenal chickens,” and that chemical analysis of the bones demonstrated that the chickens “did not derive protein from marine sources and thus did not require a marine offset correction to their radiocarbon ages.” Further, they argued that the bone dates were consistent with dates on other material from the site, and that no post Colombian artifacts were found on the site. 





So, what to conclude?  Storey and her colleagues make a good case for pre-Colombian dates on the El Arenal-1 chickens, but if there were chickens in South America before the Spanish, and especially if they were “an integral part of Incan economy and culture,” it is difficult to explain why chicken bones have not been found at any other Peruvian or Chilean sites. 

But perhaps some were.  Storey and her colleagues suggest that archaeologists working along the Pacific coast of South America re-examine the faunal collections from their sites. “Remains such as bones of chickens or pigs which may have been classified as intrusive previously may provide evidence of other points of contact between Polynesia and the Americas.”

And what of the Blue-egg Mapuche Chickens?


As part of their examination of the origins of chickens in South America Storey and her colleagues considered the possibility that the blue-egg chickens are descendants of the El Aremal-1 birds.  They found a complicated story.  Castelló originally described the chickens as being tailless, having ear tufts and laying blue eggs, and these became the defining characteristics of the poultry fanciers’ Araucanas.  He later discovered that the birds he described had been bred recently from a cross between a blue-egg tailess hen and a rooster with ear tufts. Both the tailess trait and the trait for ear tufts are also found in European chickens, and that may be their origin. 

Of the blue egg trait, which seems to be indigenously Chilean[14], they found no mention prior to about 1880. Darwin, who was in Chile in 1834-35 and who wrote extensively about chicken varieties in The Origin made no mention of blue eggs.  As Storey says, “it seems unlikely that if blue eggs had been available in markets as they were in the early 1900s, that Darwin would have missed them.” [15]

So Mapuche blue-egg chickens appear to be a relatively recent development, the result of a mutation sometime back in chicken prehistory before 1880.  But that makes them no less Mapuche chickens, nor does it exclude the possibility that their ancestors included pre-Colombian Chilean chickens--if they existed. 

Mapuche Blue-Egg Chickens today


Beginning in the first years of the 21st century, the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture and other agencies, governmental and non-governmental, began programs to encourage rural Chileans, Mapuche and mestizo, to raise blue-egg chickens under artisanal and sustainable conditions and to promote their sale in local and perhaps national markets.  In the 20th century blue-eggs had become increasingly rare as breeding among many chicken varieties had resulted in a highly heterogeneous population of chickens in rural south central Chile, so the project was also designed to restore and improve the genetic characteristics of the earlier blue-egg lineages. 

While the program’s success has not been completely evaluated there seems to have been progress with the sale of 15.6 million blue eggs in the first year of the project. Today you can often find vendors selling blue eggs along with garden produce on the streets of Pucón and Villarica and the market in Temuco.[16]

But if that’s not convenient, here are some Contacts in the Valle del Itata, and Contacts in Villarrica.  Or you can Google “huevos azules en Santiago” if you live in the capitol.

Photo: CETSUR














Photo: Ministerio de Agricultura

 
















Mapuche egg recipes



Once you have your blue eggs, you’ll want to prepare them traditionally (unless you plan to incubate them), so here are a few recipes:

“Flour and egg soup for breakfast: This was used long ago to give the men energy before they went to work.  Fry a little onion, garlic and vegtables add potatoes cut into pieces and boil.  Add toasted flour and allow to boil again.  At the end season and add one egg per person.  The eggs should be opened at one end with a fork and then beaten through the opening, then added to the soup in a thin stream.”  Marina Recabarren 
“Here in Tucapel a Chicken cazuela with home made noodles is very typical.  Take one egg per person and add sifted flour and water to make a soft dough and about 10 minutes before serving, drop the dough into the boiling cazuela by pushing through the tines of a fork.  They come out like little noodles, short and very pretty.” Francisca Paredes. 
“They are used a lot in deserts to sweeten the day, like Leche Asada [aka flan]. Boil a liter of milk with cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla.  Beat 6 eggs with a cup of sugar, add the milk, beat again and strain through a colander. Bake until done, about 30 minutes in a wood fired oven. Marina Recabarren.[17]





[1] Huevos Azules de Gallinas Mapuche, on line at http://huevosazules.wordpress.com/  All translations mine unless otherwise noted.
[2] Langdon, Robert. 1989. When the Blue-Egg Chickens Come Home to Roost: New thoughts on the Prehistory of the Domestic Fowl in Asia, America and the Pacific Islands
The Journal of Pacific History Vol. 24, No. 2, pp. 164-192.
[3] Chicken, Wikipedia; Icelandic Chicken, Wikipedia.
[4]  Storey A. A., et al., "Radiocarbon and DNA evidence for a pre-Columbian introduction of Polynesian chickens to Chile", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
[5] Acosta, José de. 1880. The Natural & Moral History of the Indies. Reprinted from the English Translation of Edward Grimston, 1604. Vol 1.  London: Haklupt Society. p. 276.
[6] Garcilaso De La Vega, El Inca, 1688. The Royal Commentaries of Peru in Two Parts London: Miles Flesher. p. 386.
[7] Langon, op cit.
[8] From 1928 to his death in 1943 Latcham was Director of the Chilean National Museum of Natural History.
[9] Latcham, Ricardo E. 1922 Los animales domésticos de la América precolombiana. Santiago. p. 177.
[10] Ibid, p. 9.
[11] Montenegro, A.,C. Avis and A.J. Weaver, Modeling the pre-historic arrival of the sweet potato in Polynesia, Journal of Archaeological Science,35, 355-367 on line at http://www.climate.uvic.ca/people/alvaro/SPotato.pdf
[12]  A. A. Storey et al., op. cit.
[13] Gongora J, et al. Indo-European and Asian origins for Chilean and Pacific chickens revealed by mtDNA. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008;105:10308–10313.  On line at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2492461/
[14] There is also a Chinese blue-egg chicken, the Dongxiang blueshelled, which has the same gene for shell color as the Araucana. I found no evidence concerning its relation to the Araucana, if any.  See Zhao, R, et al. 2006. A Study on Eggshell Pigmentation: Biliverdin in Blue-Shelled Chickens. Poultry Science 85:546–549. On line at http://ps.fass.org/content/85/3/546.full.pdf
[15] Storey, A.A., et al  2008. Pre-Columbian chickens, dates, isotopes and mtDNA. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105(48): E99., and Storey, A.A, et al  2011. Pre-Columbian chickens of the Americas: a critical review of the hypotheses and evidence for their origins.  Rapa Nui Journal Vol. 25 (2) on line at http://une-au.academia.edu/AliceStorey/Papers
[16] Fundación para la Innovación Agraria, Ministerio de Agricultura. 2009. Resultados y Lecciones en Selección y Manejo de la Gallina Mapuche Productora de  Huevos Azules. Serie Experiencias De Innovación Para El Emprendimiento Agrario. On line at http://bibliotecadigital.innovacionagraria.cl/gsdl/collect/publicac/index/assoc/HASH8d8c.dir/68_Libro_Gallinamapuche.pdf?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&q=prettyphoto&iframe=true&width=90%&height=90%, and  Moya Azcárate, Rita. 2004 Gallina De Huevos Azules: contribuciones a la elaboración de un protocolo.  Línea Transversal Biodiversidad no cultivada y semidomesticada. América Latina Red CBDC.  On line at  http://www.cetsur.org/wp-content/uploads/gallina-de-huevos-azules-contribuciones-a-la-elaboracion-de-un-protocolo.pdf
[17] Moya A., op cit, p. 20.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Do they eat Chilean Seabass (Dissostichus eleginoides) in Chile?

The short answer is “almost never,” but there’s more to it than that.

Fish names are funny things.  Wherever they went, European colonists called the local fish by the names of fish back home in Europe.  So the European perch (genus Perca) gave its name not only to the North American yellow perch, but to over a dozen other fish including the Nile perch and the Chilean percha de boca chica (smallmouth perch).  Similarly “bass,” from Middle English bars (also meaning "perch") became the white bass, the black bass, and lots of kinds of “sea bass” including, of course, the “Chilean Seabass.”  In this case however, it was not homesick colonials, but seafood marketing gurus (the same folks who turned “Slimeheads” into Orange Roughy) that came up with the name.  They evidently thought that neither “Patagonian toothfish,” the species’ official English name, nor any of its Chilean names merluza negra, bacalao austral or bacalao de profundidad (“black hake,” “southern cod,” or “deep sea cod”) would be a plus on US restaurant menus or in supermarket fish cases.



Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides)



Back in Chile restaurant owners were having a similar problem with their fish names.  Many up-scale (and some decidedly mediocre) restaurants provide English translations of their menus, giving sometimes useful and sometimes bizarre names to their dishes.  The most notorious is probably locos con mayo, Chilean abalone with mayonnaise, sometimes translated as “crazies with May.”  One of Chile’s most popular and common fish,  the corvina[1], is called the “corvina drum,” or  “Chilean croaker” in English, but neither “drum” nor “croaker“ is likely to attract English speaking tourists.  So what to call it?
  
 Corvina  (Cilus gilberti)

 Why not “Chilean sea bass?”

Of course the reason “why not” is that many English speaking tourists know that “Chilean sea bass,” AKA Patagonian toothfish, is one of those fish on the AVOID list for the ecologically conscious.  The resulting confusion prompts lots of questions.  And some happy, if mistaken,  consumers.  One visitor wrote “I was able to buy Chilean Sea Bass [at Santiago’s Mercado Central] which retails at $20 a pound in the U.S for under $5 a pound.  Very good stuff.”

I’ve never seen or heard of Patagonian toothfish being served or sold in Santiago or anywhere else in Chile outside of the far south, although there are lots of dishes called “Chilean seabass.”  So, if you are concerned (or thrilled) about eating dishes translated as “Chilean sea bass” in Chile, don’t be.  Unless you happen to be in Chile’s southern-most city, Punta Arenas, you are probably getting corvina.  And if you are in Punta Arenas where several restaurants serve it, it will be called “merluza negra” on the Spanish menu. (But if you do find some in Santiago, let me know.) See comments.

-------------
  
Meanwhile the story of Chilean seabass/Patagonian toothfish is interesting in its own right. They occur throughout the southern oceans in cool temperate and sub Antarctic waters, from the east and west coasts of Patagonia eastwards through all of the sub Antarctic islands, submarine plateaus and seamounts to south of New Zealand, and probably in the far south Pacific between there and Chile as well.  But since their habitat is in waters from 300 m to over 2000 m (1000 to 6500 feet) deep, they were unknown to science until F. A. Shmitt described and named them in 1898.  And it was not until the 1980s that Chilean fishermen, who had been catching them while fishing for merluza australis/Australis hake, which were becoming scarce, began offering them on the commercial market.[2]


  
 Patagonial toothfish range in blue, Antarctic toothfish range in black
Source:  “Chilean Seabass”[3]

Toothfish had also been appearing as “bycatch” in the nets of trawlers fishing the waters around the South Georgian Islands (SE of the Falkland Islands)  in the 1970s and by the 1990s a fishery for toothfish had developed there as well, followed by Australian and South African fisheries in the southern Indian ocean, and by New Zealand in the Ross sea off Antarctica.

Why? 
The Patagonian toothfishery is a 'gold mine' fishery; it is a premium product, especially on the U.S. and Japanese market where it is sold for up to $30 U.S. per kilo, it is not a cheap product. When you can realize a lot of money from what may only be a few weeks of fishing, then the fishery becomes extremely attractive.[4]

And what makes it so valuable? “Chef’s Resources,” a web site whose “purpose is to provide culinary resources for chefs, foodies, and culinarians” says:

Chilean Sea Bass is “a wonderfully flavored fish with a high oil content which keeps it moist during cooking” and “which gives it a rich, moist, tender flavor profile which melts in your mouth.  It has white flesh with large, tender flakes.”


  


Nutritionally it is similar to salmon in calories, but with about 2/3 the protein and 1.4 times the fat.  (And it's high in mercury; it's recommend that you eat it no more than 3 times a month.)

.   



 Chilean Sea Bass Fillet     Photo: Le Maitre d’ & Sommelier
The add accompanying the photo says: 
 It is a versatile fish which can be cooked with white chocolate or champagne.  Ten, 10 oz. filets sell for $175

So what’s the problem?

There are several:  Only two of its fisheries have been certified as sustainable, toothfish sold as being from those fisherise may or may not be, much of the toothfish sold in the past was harvested illegally and some continue to be illegally caught today, the fishery has been responsible for the deaths of large numbers of sea birds; and it is very dangerous, having resulted in the deaths and injuries to fishermen and the loss of boats.

Sustainability [5]:  The Patagonian toothfish is a large predatory fish that grows up to 2 meters in length, may weigh over 100 kg. and lives up to 50 years.  They live from mid depths to near the bottom in cold southern waters.  They take 6 to 9 years to grow to 70 to 95 cm in length and to become sexually mature.  The Antarctic toothfish (D. mawsoni) which is sometimes caught with and sold as Patagonial toothfish, is slightly smaller and lives further south, but has similar characteristics.

Fisheries scientists have argued that heavy exploitation of slow-growing, low-fecundity deep-sea species is inherently unsustainable. The history of large-scale deep-sea fisheries has been a “boom-and-bust” pattern of rapid development, resource depletion, and very slow recovery. As such species, the two toothfishes would appear to be poor candidates for sustainable large-scale exploitation. Both species of toothfish grow slowly, reach sexual maturity after they reach market size, and live in a fragile ecosystem. All of these factors make them inherently vulnerable to overfishing. It is questionable whether large-scale exploitation of such a species could ever be considered sustainable.[6]

In fact however, two fisheries have now been certified as sustainable; the South Georgia Patagonian toothfish longline fishery and the Ross Sea Toothfish longline fishery are certified as sustainable to the standard of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)[7], although the sustainability of the Ross Sea fishery has been challenged. [8]

Identity:  Toothfish from certified sustainable fisheries have the label at right, but all may not be well.

A [2011] study conducted by molecular geneticist Peter Marko of Clemson University in South Carolina and several colleagues found several irregularities. Posing as consumers, they bought single fillets of MSC-certified toothfish from supermarkets in 10 states across the United States. Then they looked at short genetic markers to identify the species. Three of the 36 fish samples turned out to be tuna, greenling, and mackerel, the researchers report online today [22 August 2011] in Current Biology. When they examined DNA markers of the 33 actual toothfish, five of these fish had markers that differed from those of fish caught near South Georgia Island. All told, 22% of the samples appeared to be something other than MSC-certified toothfish. "I was stunned," Marko says. The trouble with selling consumers something other than what they want is that it can erode trust in the MSC brand, says Gulbrandsen, which is intended to generate profits that lessen the environmental impact of fisheries. [9] [emphasis in original]

Illegal, unregulated and unreported (“IUU”) fishing:  Toothfish is very valuable, they are found in remote seas and historically there was little policing of the fishery, thus it is unsurprising that a great deal of illegal fishing went on in the past, and some continues today. From 1996-7 to 1999-2000 an estimated 49% of toothfish came from IUU fishing.

Australia’s legal catch quota is 2,900 mt/year, but, in 2003, Australian enforcement agencies estimated that 2,000 mt per month were fished illegally from Australian waters. TRAFFIC reports that the illegal fishery is dominated by Spanish owned fishing interests which employ vessels registered through “flag-of-convenience” states, such as Panama,Vanuatu and Belize. The Chilean fishing industry is alleged to be heavily involved in the illegal trade in toothfish. A good deal of illegal fishing is reported from the Indian Ocean sector of the subantarctic, including areas around Heard and MacDonald Islands. Ports known to support offloading of illegally-caught toothfish include Walvis Bay, Namibia ; Port Louis, Mauritius; Montevideo Port, Uruguay; and many ports in southern Chile. [10]

In the last decade policing has improved greatly.  For example:

In February 2002, the Australian navy captured two Russian vessels fishing toothfish illegally off Heard Island. Some of the difficulties of toothfish enforcement are revealed in details of the story. To make the captures, armed Australian troops and fisheries officials were lowered from helicopters onto the Russian vessels in hazardous conditions of extreme cold and rough seas. The Australian enforcement personnel met resistance from the Russian crews.[11]


 Photos:  Uncharted Waters [12]

Thanks to this policing and public awairness, in recent years the IUU catch of toothfish has been dramatically reduced to around 4% of the total catch, according to COLTO (Coalitition of Legal Toothfish Operators). [13] 






  
Bycatch:  Although some toothfish are caught by trawling, the most common method is called “longlining.”












Source: Greenpeace



Photo:  Toothfish fishing 

In this system an 8-12 kilometer main line is anchored to the ocean floor at both ends with marked radio beacons for later recovery. Thousands of baited hooks attached to the main line hang and float at the appropriate depths for toothfish, 800-2,500 metres below the surface.  As these baited hooks are cast from the vessel, albatrosses and other seabirds dive for the bait and swallow it, hook and all and are pulled under the water and drowned.  In addition, losses to killer and sperm whales that eat the catch and frequently become tangled in the lines have averaged 5% of the total catch and up to 100% on some occasions. IUU fishermen have reportedly attacked whales with dynamite.

Fortunately a new longline system has been developed and implemented in Chile that is reported to have virtually eliminated deaths of birds and substantially reduced the loss to whales by 2006.  The extent to which it has been adopted in other fisheries is unknown. [14]

Danger to fishermen and rescue expenses:  Although the toothfishery is not inherently more dangerous than other fisheries, recent incidents in the Ross Sea by unprepared boats or careless crews have cost many lives and great expense.  In December 2010 a South Korean fishing boat capsized in the Ross Sea killing half its 42 man crew, and in December 2011 Sparta, a Russian-flagged vessel that was not ice-strengthened, hit ice that ripped a hole in the ship’s hull and requiring the Royal New Zealand Air Force to drop repair supplies to the crew by plane.  Rescue efforts were hampered by heavy sea ice, with help only coming seven days later by the South Korean icebreaker Araon. Fortunately, the entire crew survived the ordeal.  Another incident occurred on January 11, 2012, when the Korean fishing vessel Jeong Woo 2 experienced a fire on board.  Three crew members died, and several others were injured. [15]

-----------

I’ve never eaten Patagonian toothfish, and although I might try it if I go to where it’s caught by artisanal fishermen (Punta Arenas or Ushuaia in Argentinean Tierra del Fuego),I’m not going to be looking for it in LA or Chicago.  First it’s too damn expensive; and second, I’m not interesting in eating fish from fisheries that may or may not be sustainable. There are plenty of other fish in the sea.  





[1]Corvina Drum is a popular fish in South America, but little information exists on its biology, abundance or fishery. They are found from Peru to Chile and around the Galapagos Islands, and are caught by hook and line, longline and gillnets. The abundance of Corvina Drum is not known but their landings have decreased over the past decade. Management is poor overall for Corvina Drum, and essentially the fishery is unregulated. Hook and line fisheries generally cause little habitat damage.”  Blue Ocean Institute, Corvina Drum.  On line at http://www.blueocean.org/seafood/seafood-view?spc_id=267 
[2] Toothfish Fact sheet FAO 78—Chilean EEZ below 47°S. Coalition of Legal Toothfish Operators inc. On line at http://www.colto.org/fisheries/chilean-eez/  and Patgonian Toothfish, Center for Quantatitive Fishery Ecology, Norfolk, Virginia, USA on line at http://www.odu.edu/sci/cqfe/Research/Southern%20Ocean/Patagonian%20toothfish/Patagonian%20toothfish.htm 
[3]Cascorbi, Alice.  2006 (amended 2011) Chilean Seabass, Seafood Watch Seafood Report, Monterey Bay Aquarium.  On line at
[4] Johnson, Genevieve.   Voyage of the Odyssey, Log Transcript.  On line at http://www.pbs.org/odyssey/odyssey/20020326_log_transcript.html
[5] Merriam-Webster defines sustainable as “being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.” 
[6] Cascorbi 2006. Op. cit.
[7] The MSC is an independent non-profit organization that has developed an environmental standard for sustainable and well managed fisheries.
[8] Seafoos source staff. 2010. Ross Sea certification criticized.  SeaffodNews Environment & Sustainability. On line at http://www.seafoodsource.com/newsarticledetail.aspx?id=8456
[9] Stokstad, Erik.  2011.  'Eco-Friendly' Chilean Sea Bass May Not Be So Green. Science Now.  On line at http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2011/08/eco-friendly-chilean-sea-bass-ma.html
[10] Cascorbi 2006. Op. cit.
[11] Ibid.
[12] Willock, Anna. 2002  Uncharted Waters:  Implementation Issues And Potential Benefits of Listing Toothfish in Appendix II Of Cites.  Traffic International.  On line at www.traffic.org/species-reports/traffic_species_fish20.pdf
[13] Toothfish fact sheet: The IUU fishery.  COLTO. On line at http://www.colto.org/images/Draft-COLTO-IUU-Fact-Sheet.pdf
[14] Moreno, C.A., R. Castro, L.J. Mújica and P. Reyes. 2008. Significant conservation benefits obtained from the use of a new fishing gear in the chilean patagonian tothfish fishery. CCAMLR Science, Vol. 15: 79–91; Longline fishing, Grenpeace. On line at http://archive.greenpeace.org/oceans/southernoceans/expedition2000/expedition/longline.html; and Patagonian Toothfish.  Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 
[15] Christian, Clair.  2012.  Dying for some fish. National Geographic Daily News. Tuesday, January 24, 2012 on line at http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/01/17/dying-for-some-fish/, and Mussen, Deidre. 2012. Danger and death in the south's cruel seas. The Press. Jan. 12,2012. On line at http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/6255575/Danger-and-death-in-the-souths-cruel-seas