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Sustainable Seafood Series: Masala Butterfish

August 9, 2022

By Olivia Horwedel, WSG Science Communications Fellow

This week, we are cooking a masala butterfish recipe from Seattle-based chef, Kausar Ahmed.  Ahmed is the author of the award-winning cookbook, The Karachi Kitchen. This recipe not only showcases brilliant flavors from Pakistan that pair perfectly with butterfish, but this meal also works well with any fleshy white meat fish, such as the locally-caught sablefish or black cod, an underutilized and sustainable fish species of the Northwest. 

Butterfish are known for their luscious and buttery texture. Butterfish species have nearly ⅓ more fat than Chinook salmon. This is also true of sablefish (aka black cod) which is of the family Anoplopomatidae, from the icy, deep waters of the Pacific Northwest. Sablefish in particular are an incredibly sustainable species to consume! Not only are they managed very sustainably within the United States and Canada, but the populations of this species are quite abundant. Due to this species spending most of their time in deep waters, the main method used to catch sablefish is longlining. This fishing method reduces bycatch, reducing its impact on the surrounding organisms in that ecosystem. 

The recipe traditionally calls for cooking the whole fish, but if you have access only to a filet, that will also work fine. So, if you are looking for a new weeknight recipe, make sure to try this delicious and sustainable recipe featuring a Pacific Northwest favorite!

Masala Butterfish Photo Courtesy of Chef Kausar Ahmed


  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 5 whole pieces of pomfret (butterfish)
  • 4 tablespoons ginger paste
  • 4 tablespoons garlic paste
  • ½ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and coarsely ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  • ¼ cup mustard oil ( substitute with vegetable or canola)


  1. Using a sharp knife, make 2-3 diagonal slashes to the fish, scoring at about 1.5 inches apart
  2. Rub salt on the fish, and rinse off (takes away fishy smell). Pat dry and keep aside
  3. In a small bowl, mix ginger, garlic, chili, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chaat masala, lemon juice, and ½ cup cilantro
  4. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Add 1-2 pieces of fish at a time, frying each side for 3-4 minutes or until it turns golden brown and slightly crispy. Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with remaining cilantro and serve hot with rice or naan.
Sustainable Seafood Recipes: Marinated Tuna Rice Bowls

August 4th, 2022

By Olivia Horwedel, WSG Science Communications Fellow

This summer, Washington Sea Grant is hosting a sustainable seafood recipe series. This series will emphasize sustainable seafood recipes that celebrate a diverse range of cultures from around the globe. Additionally, this series will highlight underutilized and lesser known seafood. 

For this week’s sustainable seafood recipe, we are making marinated tuna rice bowls inspired by Japanese flavors. This recipe was created by Bart van Olphen for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). This recipe calls for yellowfin tuna, which can be sustainably harvested if it is caught with the appropriate equipment. To ensure the tuna you purchase was sustainably caught, look for the “blue fish” MSC label. Seafood with this label is MSC-certified, meaning it comes from fisheries that meet rigorous standards set forth by the council. 


Photo: David Lofton, Marine Stewardship Council


  • 150 g sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp (salty) soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 2 tbsp sake (or 1 tbsp mitsukan and 1 tbsp water)
  • 150 g MSC certified yellowfin tuna fillet, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring onion, in rings
  • ½ sheet nori, torn into large pieces
  • Wasabi
  • Salt


  1. Rinse the rice four times using cold running water. Drain the rice, then set aside for 20 minutes.Meanwhile fry the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat until golden. Remove the seeds from the pan and set aside.
  2. Put the rice in a cooking pot. Add an equal amount of water (to the rice) and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, cover and allow the rice to simmer gently for 15 minutes. Now turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand with the lid on for 15 minutes. Allow the rice to cool slightly.
  3. Mix the soya sauce with the mirin and the sake. Marinate the tuna in this mixture for 2-3 minutes. Remove the tuna from the marinade.
  4. Serve the rice in a bowl and top with the spring onion and nori. Add a layer of marinated tuna and garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Serve with wasabi.

Recipe courtesy of: Marine Stewardship Council

“Oceanography” special issue spotlights Sea Grant

May 8, 2024

Sea Grant-funded research and work with coastal and Great Lakes communities across the nation are the focus of a special issue of “Oceanography,” the official journal of The Oceanography Society.

This special issue, published in April 2024, features 36 articles contributed by Sea Grant authors across 29 programs and the National Sea Grant Office.

The articles cover a diverse range of topics including projects that advance aquaculture, marine debris research, green infrastructure, science communication and community partnerships, highlighting the wide scope of contributions Sea Grant makes to the environmental and marine sciences.

“Sea Grant’s success and impact will continue to rely on the power of collaboration,” said Jonathan Pennock, director of the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program. “This special issue showcases and celebrates the breadth of Sea Grant’s work. The articles in this special issue highlight projects from across the Sea Grant network and include contributions from 175 authors and over 50 external partners.”

Washington Sea Grant (WSG) staff Ian Miller served as one of the guest editors for this special issue. Other WSG authors include Miller, Samantha Larson, Kayj Morrill-McClure and Meg Chadsey.

Read the full special issue here.


Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, helps people and marine life thrive through research, technical expertise and education supporting the responsible use and conservation of coastal ecosystems. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

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“What We Love To Do”: NOAA Science Camp Creatively Immerses Kids in Marine Science

From the Autumn 2022 Sea Star 

In the third consecutive summer of pandemic-related closures, NOAA Science Camp brought new programming to the beach during an extreme low tide

By Ashli Blow, WSG Science Communications Specialist

When Puget Sound receded during an extreme low tide in June, Maile Sullivan, Washington Sea Grant education specialist, and a team from NOAA Science Camp and the Seattle Aquarium put on their boots and headed for the shores of Golden Gardens Park in Seattle.

The low tide had uncovered an array of wildlife that we don’t get to see every day: sea stars, nudibranchs, baby sculpins, anemones. This potential for tide pooling brought many marine enthusiasts to beaches across the state — and this increased foot traffic brought on potential harm for the soft-bodied organisms that were exposed to the air. This prompted NOAA Science Camp to partner with beach naturalists from the Seattle Aquarium to teach people how to responsibly explore creatures in the eelgrass and rocky intertidal area during low tide.

Sullivan has coordinated NOAA Science Camp for nearly 15 years. The camp historically offered two week-long sessions for middle and high schoolers with hands-on learning experiences. Due to the pandemic, WSG couldn’t hold an in-person camp for the third year of a row. This summer, Sullivan seized the opportunity to work with partners like the Seattle Aquarium, whose naturalists regularly teach beach etiquette during low-tide events.

That day at Golden Gardens, as beach naturalists gave tours of the tidepools, Sullivan and NOAA scientists took water samples and set up a table with a microscope to show organisms like phytoplankton to people of all ages.

“Since we couldn’t host camp again this summer, WSG was looking for community partners to get out with and share with people why science is cool. We worked together to educate people on what was in the tidepools and show them what they can’t see with the naked eye,” said Sullivan.

“By being here, we’re hoping to encourage kids to sign up for camp in the future. In the meantime, we’re getting out into the field, which is what we love to do during the summer.”


The pandemic changed NOAA Science Camp as WSG knew it for two decades and like many things, in 2020 it went virtual. In addition to hosting a variety of online webinars in partnership with NOAA Live!, Science Camp also worked with scientists to record videos of themselves introducing various at-home hands-on activities, so that the students could then work on science experiments at their own pace. Then, at the end of each week, students had an opportunity to discuss their experiments with the scientists in a live video chat.

In 2021, her team set out to do the same thing, but as the year progressed they became more aware of Zoom burnout. Instead of a live camp held on Zoom, Sullivan’s team developed an asynchronous curriculum with curated NOAA activities that explored climate change in a warming oceans, food habitats in marine mammals, and more. Additionally, Sullivan collaborated with the University of Washington’s Disabilities, Opportunities, Interworking, and Technology (DO-IT) Program on a seven-day workshop featuring virtual field trips that took kids on a digital journey of shorelines, tours of NOAA Labs, and a fish collection.

This summer presented unique challenges in programming. Over the winter 2021–2022, the omicron variant surged, and video fatigue was worse than ever. Without a clear indication of COVID trends, Sullivan was unable to plan an in-person Science Camp for another year. Sullivan and her team adapted again, this time turning to community partners.

“Before COVID, NOAA Science Camp was a well-oiled machine. But the past couple of years have really given us an opportunity to think about how to reach new audiences, work with new partners, and make our programs more accessible,” Sullivan said.

By working with partners like the Seattle Aquarium, NOAA Science Camp could meet people where they already were going – like Golden Gardens during the low tide. Not only do such outreach events bring visibility to NOAA Science Camp, but both parents and kids get to experience a day of marine magic together.

“We are all very hopeful that our traditional NOAA Science Camp will be back in action next summer,” Sullivan said. “But in the meantime, we are having fun getting our feet wet and exploring our incredible coastline with the community.”


For a visual version of this story, watch a video featuring underwater footage and hear from Sullivan. Watch it on our YouTube page or below.

Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, helps people and marine life thrive through research, technical expertise and education supporting the responsible use and conservation of coastal ecosystems. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

Join the conversation: @WASeaGrant and


1850 – 1859
Legislative Actions


Harvest and relocation of wild Olympia oysters in Willapa Bay (Blake & Zu Ermgassan 2015).



An Act for the Preservation of Clams and Oysters, Oregon Territory (included what was to become Washington Territory in 1854). Unlawful to take during May, June, Jul, and August from territorial waters; also illegal to take if resident for less than three months.



An Act for the Preservation of Clams, Oysters, and Other Shellfish, Washington Territory. Unlawful to take if resident for less than one month.

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