Monday, February 11, 2008

Dinner dissection and a “safe seafood” recipe

Our noon position: Latitude 35 32.555 North, Longitude 145 10.846 West

Another travel day, slated to arrive tomorrow morning at our next sampling site.....

So how do we entertain ourselves on these long days of travel? Sometimes we dissect and preserve fish organs for plastic content. At the dining table. Here’s Herb, ship's physician, examining the intestine of the rudderfish we would later consume as fish and chips. He found a fragment that resembled plastic, but may just have been a piece of cartilage or an otolith. We’ll bring this, along with a preserved albacore belly, back to the lab for further analysis.

The point has been made by several readers that establishing a human health connection to this plastic debris issue is key in order to really elicit a public reaction. We agree, and addressed this a bit several posts ago. We are planning further research on the impacts for marine creatures from consuming pollutants that bioaccumulate in animal tissue.

Meantime, what are fish lovers to do? Since smaller fish, being lower on the food chain, are generally safer to eat, we came up with the recipe below for "Minnow"-strone and dumplings. Sure to impress - and a time saver for last minute dinner parties.

"Minnow"-strone and dumplings a la Gyre

100 small fish

2 eggs

I cup breadcrumbs

Can of Campbell’s Minestrone

1) Blend small fish to a thick paste

2) Add eggs and breadcrumbs to fish paste, mix thoroughly

3) Roll into little balls and fry

4) Add dumplings to Campbell’s Minestrone

5) Serve hot, and enjoy!

We’ve also had a few queries about what we do with all this debris we’re pulling up – no, we don’t toss it back. We take it all back to our lab, for analysis and display at presentations. But for this bountiful harvest, we have something special planned first – you’ll just have to wait to find out....

Aloha, gracias, and bon apetit from the Captain and Crew of ORV Alguita!


Sr. Chief said...

I can't wait to read about your findings after full analysis has been completed on shore. Jeff's Mom and I are getting excited about your arrival on 2/22 and have already arranged for the day off. Tell Jeff I arranged an additional 5 days (until 2/28) to take care of his banking business. It is hard to start my day without my coffee, my paper and the latest blog posting from ORV Alguita. What a trip you all have had.

Daren said...

I am a student at UC San Diego, studying ecology. I enrolled in a science writing class and we get to write anything we want to write about. After reading the Best Life article Plastic Ocean, your continuing research has inspired me to write a paper about ocean plastics. I tell my friends and classmates about my paper and they're struck at what's happening in our oceans.

Keep it up!

Kaisa said...

I just finished reading the blogs for Sunday-today, and I have some questions about Sunday's blog...Are you installing a tracking device on the ghost nets to track them? Can you elaborate on how this whole system works? Does a larger ship go back and pick them up?

West Lafayette High School
Grade 9

Yashas said...

i am in West Lafayette school, 9 Grade, i wanted to know have you guys gone to these trips before, and if yes name some of the important ones, it is just that, i cant even imagine being away from land for more than 2 days at the most.