The history of Striped Bass in our waters is a tale of ecological tragedy barely averted. Initial abundance was followed by over-fishing and virtual extinction. But thanks to technology and entrepreneurship, this woeful drama has a happy ending.
Where the Story Begins The story begins in 1623 aboard the Mayflower on its voyage from Delfshaven, Holland to John Smith’s Virginia Colony. With dwindling food supplies for the 102 souls on board, first mate William Wood launched a skiff towards the Maryland shore of the Chesapeake Bay. Wood observed in his log, “Giant Bass leapt in the air 40 at a time. Vast squirming masses of fish, their backs out of the water, swam over a gravel bar against the changing tide.” One set of their nets provided enough fish for “three months space.”
More About the “Striper” Despite intense fishing, the “Striper” (sometimes called Rockfish) proliferated for many years as both a commercial and sport fish. Capitol regulars from Secretary of State Daniel Webster to President Theodore Roosevelt would venture to the Chain Bridge on the Potomac and drop a line in search of the spunky Striped Bass. When her Majesty Queen Elizabeth hosted a diner at the Waldorf-Astoria, nearly five thousand pounds of Striped Bass were served for the royal feast. No less a gourmand than James Beard, in 1973 declared the Striped Bass, “The most important commercial fish on the East Coast.”
Why These Fish Disappeared Yet ten years later the fish had all but disappeared. The lethal combination of unregulated commercial fishing and pollution rendered those fish still caught by sportsmen unfit for human consumption. Fortunately, some brilliant aquaculture scientists and risk-taking businessmen came to the rescue. By combining a strain of the wild “Striper” with a hardy freshwater cousin called the white bass, a new species and a new industry were born. Kent SeaTech now produces close to 4 million pounds of farm-raised Striped Bass per year at their high-tech facility in Mecca, California.
How The Striped Bass is Harvested and Shipped Today Twelve months per year, five days a week, Kent SeaTech harvests nearly 15,000 pounds of fish from their ingenious round tanks. These “Hybrid Stripers” have a mild delicate flavor, and firm texture that can be grilled, baked, poached, steamed, sautéed or broiled. FARM 2 MARKET proudly ships these Stripers overnight to any kitchen in America. Quick-chilled, and processed for shipment within hours of harvest, they have a moistness and shine, instantly recognizable by seafood lovers as freshness beyond compare. The pure delicious flavor of Kent SeaTech’s California Farmed Striped Bass™ is a salute to our bountiful past and a testament to our hopeful future.
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