Roger Berkowitz Responds, Sort of

I posted the body of a press release on Legal Sea Foods' and The Culinary Guild of New England's "Blacklisted Fish" dinner.

My earlier post is getting some distribution and getting noticed. On December 23rd, this came from Ida Farber, Director of Marketing for Legal Sea Foods including in the body of her email this response from the CEO Roger Berkowitz:

‘Sustainability’ within the seafood industry is highly complex and involves many stakeholders. The intention of our upcoming dinner with the Culinary Guild of New England is to bring awareness to some of this inherent complexity and to establish an open dialogue on the topic that hopefully broadens our collective understanding. Legal Sea Foods is passionate about sustainability, the fishing industry and food safety and we look forward to an evening of lively discussion, delicious cuisine and fine wine. It seems that you’re not aware of our longstanding work and dedication in this area, so I hope you will please come to the dinner as my guest. And if there are particular questions before then where I might be able to provide insight, I’d be happy to do so.


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When I followed up via Ida to get those questions answered, I was told to bring my questions to the dinner. I cannot quote directly here from the second email because it, unlike the first, contained a disclaimer. I am quite truthfully, on the fence about attending a dinner of seafood I don't feel is sustainable, in a setting that feels like more of an ambush than a discussion.

As I've noted, I have tried to have a discussion before and been met with absolute dis-interest. Although I receive several emails per week from the PR firm handling the dinner invites, I did not receive this invite directly. My email signature contains a reference to my 4 year old sustainable seafood event.

I am known to folks in at least two of the three Community Supported Fisheries in this area and. A Google search of "Boston blogger sustainable seafood" or "Boston sustainable seafood" both turn up several links to me, my site, my comments on others' sites. I presented a panel at the International Boston Seafood Show and have presented on the topic for Slow Food and Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition, Science and Policy. I personally introduced myself to Rich Vellante their Executive Chef and offered/requested to talk about sustainable seafood which was met with zero interest.

My only point is that I'm not hard to find if you really wanted to talk about sustainable seafood. And I have tried, with this very organization, to have this conversation.


A well-reasoned approach from a scientist.

I found this excellent piece written by Miriam at Deep-Sea News. She had better luck getting through to Legal's Chef and actually sheds some light on their thinking. She also shares the data, in a beautiful and straightforward way. This is the "outdated science" that Legal Sea Foods' discredits?


  • What do you think?
  • Who are you more persuaded by?