Conservation

Transcript for R is for Rock Shrimp and Rising Oceans

r is for rock shrimp and rising oceans

Hey guys! Happy National Seafood Month.

I hope you’re enjoying all the awesome events seafoodie going on around the country. And you’re cooking some amazing recipes at home.

Need a seafood recipe? Head to my Food Blog.

I have a couple of events lined up this month to celebrate all things seafood and my cookbook, Salmon From Market To Plate.

  • On Oct 13, I’m speaking to Madisonville Kiwanis Club from 12:30-1 pm at the FUMC on Center Street in Madisonville, Kentucky. This free event is open to the public. My speech is titled The Writing Life from Brainstorming to Book.
  • On Saturday, Oct 21, you can find me at the MadCity Fall Festival on Sugg Street in Madisonville, Kentucky, from 5-10 pm. I’ll have salmon samples and my cookbook for sale. There will be live music, food vendors, fall crafts and more.

If you popped over here by mistake and want to listen to R is for Rock Shrimp and Rising Oceans, head to GreenFishBlueOceans podcast website, iTunes or Google Play.


R is for Rock Shrimp

Rock shrimp are found in the Gulf of Mexico and the East Coast in deep warm waters. They live and spawn in between 120 and 240 feet deep. There is no indication that the fishery is in trouble. Although the fishing method is an otter trawl which is a method that has a tendency to catch sea turtles. But in the US, federal law requires TED’s turtle excluder devices so it’s not perfect. But ours is far from a perfect world these days. So feel good about buying and eating them for now.

Now you should know these little buggers are called rock shrimp for a reason. Rock shrimp wear a hard stone-like exterior shell and need a machine to split them. However, if you do buy whole head on rock lobster, remove the head, let them thaw and split them down the belly with a pair of sharp kitchen shears. Then open the back, cracking open the shell to reveal beautiful white glistening flesh. Discard the vein and rinse the shrimp to remove any grit.

Buy Rock Shrimp

You can buy rock shrimp fresh or frozen in the shell or just the meat. Rock shrimp are generally smallish in size and the yield is about 50 percent, meaning if you by two pounds of shell on shrimp you’ll wind up with about one pound of meat.

Of all tips I could give you about buying rock shrimp? Either buy rock shrimp meat or rock shrimp already split in the shell.

Rock Shrimp are in season now.

The harvest season runs typically from September through December.

Rock shrimp is tender and sweet and leans toward a lobster-like flavor. You can sauté, broil, or fry the meat. And since rock shrimp are so small, cook time is super-fast. You don’t need to fuss over spices either, less is better, a dab of butter and a tiny pinch of salt to complement that sweet delicate ocean forward flavor.

Rock Shrimp: The little shrimp with the big bite.

Check the Show Notes for links to the history of Rock Shrimp in Florida, videos on how to split them, recipe ideas, regulations and more.


R is for Rising Oceans

So if you know me or have been listening to this podcast, you know that in an earlier episode, J is for Jellies and Jewfish, I read the first page of my dystopian novel, The Fish Thieves.

After that recording, I let the story rest.

A month or so ago, I opened the document again to review and revise. This time, I added depth and tension. Then I took a chance and submitted my first page of The Fish Thieves for review to The Kill Zone Blog’s First-page Critiques. They accepted it. What follows here is my updated revision.

What follows is my updated revision.

Because the future of our beautiful blue planet is all about the rising oceans.


The Fish Thieves

It had always been about the water.

Trina and her twin brother Seth traveled through the woods to the water’s edge in the pre-dawn darkness. Trina knew the solution for feeding the growing global population was in the water just as she knew life after the tsunami would never be the same.

Seth hung back a few hundred yards, doubling as her lookout. Their monthly trips had produced nothing edible yet. Her future, their future, relied on finding a solution.

Trina hacked through saw palms, ducked under spider webs, and climbed over fallen oaks. She passed an overturned, rusted out SUV, its guts and doors removed, used for another purpose now. A mountain of trash, a baby stroller shredded and mangled, kitchen utensils, and plastic bottles, brought on by the tsunami, blocked her way. She picked her way around the mess—remnants from a previous life, a previous time not so distant in her past. The stench of decay tickled the hairs in her nose and she gagged, stifling a sneeze.

She paused in the semi-darkness, alert to the dangers of walking through the woods, but only long enough to listen to her surroundings. A slight movement in front of her stopped her short. A shadow of a person, maybe a child, was digging through a mound of garbage. Trina’s heartrate fluttered in her throat like a trapped bird in a cage. She didn’t have the time or luxury to stop and help anybody. And besides, a child could be a decoy. It wouldn’t be the first time.

Trina stepped up the pace circumventing the trash digger who showed no interest in her. Trina’s senses were heightened to the emerging predawn light, the guards, and the Exiles—the unfortunate people who, once the tsunami hit the Gulf coast and changed the land they once knew, were neither afforded a place in academia or could find work to sustain them. Those underprivileged, uneducated people who had it bad before The Big Rise, are now worse off. If that’s possible. Recent rumors at the University indicated Exiles are uniting and gathering strength.

The weight of the automatic on her hip offered security, but Trina struggled with the thought and the implications of what carrying meant if she were caught alone by a crowd of angry, hungry people. Of which there were plenty.

The lack of natural sounds, birds chirping, frogs grunting, still offended. But she tightened her core, brushed sweat from her forehead with the back of her hand and swallowed hard. Then she stepped over a No Trespassing sign, the tattered faded sign had been X’d out, another stark reminder that she wasn’t in Louisiana anymore. Or rather, the Louisiana she once knew. That discarded sign was another reminder that the laws that once governed the United States of America no longer applied. But she wasn’t deterred.

She smelled the briny water of the Gulf of Mexico. A blueish-green glow from the iridescent marine activity on the surface of the water lit up the area in front of her. She reached the edge of the cove. Water slapped at her boots. A massive swarm of tiny moon jellies flowed and ebbed on the surface. She prayed there was shrimp fry in the water too.

Long deep shadows like black swords cut across the water from the bank on her right. An alligator lay several hundred feet away, its beady yellow eyes glowed. Sweet pungent cannabis clung to the humid air. Trina knew all the guards and their habits. Most were stoners, but that made them reckless and dangerous, too. She had an hour before the guards changed shifts. This was their time to retrieve water samples, get back to the lab, and secure the canisters before the staff began their day at The University.

Trina removed the first of five small canisters from her shoulder bag. She activated the oxygen cartridge on the first canister and the timer began its countdown. She scooped up shimmering gelatinous jellies and the water, aware of the soft splashing she was creating and the gator on her right. She also knew if there was one gator, there would be many. Her night vision goggles told her one guard stood about 500 yards to her left. Seth, her twin brother was out there too. And she knew Exiles were close, but she couldn’t detect them. They covered themselves in the thick mud, as much as protection against the hybrid and lethal ticks and mosquitos as it was an act of evasion.

She capped the first canister and removed the lid on the second, repeating the process. The hair on her arms prickled. Someone or something was moving through the woods, approaching from behind.

Copyright Maureen C. Berry 2017. All rights reserved.


Okay, friends, that’s it for R is for Rock Shrimp and Rising Oceans. Up next on the program, S is for Salmon and Shark Fins.

Let me know your thoughts about my work in progress, The Fish Thieves. Email me at maureen c berry @ gmail. Com or find me online at @maureencberry. I’d love to chat with you.

Also, if you know someone who would like this podcast, please share.

Thanks for reading.


 

Show Notes

History

Buying Rock Shrimp

Recipes

[title size="3" content_align="left" style_type="default"]About the Author: [/title]

Maureen C. Berry is the author of Salmon: From Market to Plate. She is a cook, sustainable seafood advocate, emerging photographer and nap-taker. When she’s not, she tries to play better guitar.