Live and Fresh Seafood: Into the
pan, not into the wild
Download a copy of our new pamphlet Live and
Fresh Seafood: Into the pan, not into the wild!
ENGLISH [pdf, 216K]
CHINESE [pdf, 468K]
KHMER [pdf, 397K]
KOREAN [pdf, 479K]
SPANISH [pdf, 316KB]
Note: You will need Adobe
Reader to open these documents.
The MIT Sea Grant College Program has developed an educational
pamphlet to encourage people not to release or dump live and fresh
seafood and seafood waste into the wild. The pamphlet, Live
and Fresh Seafood: Into the Pan, Not into the Wild, is part
of an outreach campaign to teach people what they can do to prevent
the introduction of marine and freshwater invasive seafood, such
as finfish, crabs, oysters, clams, turtles, algae, and any animals
or plants that may travel on seafood and seafood products (hitchhikers).
Invasive species are animals and plants that are introduced to
new ecosystems where they thrive, causing economic or environmental
harm, or harm to human health. It is estimated that the United States
spends $120 billion each year managing introduced species in terrestrial,
freshwater, and marine environments. Invasive species are a problem
worldwide. South American apple snails have been introduced into
south-east Asia where they threaten rice and taro crops. Louisiana
crayfish have colonized parts of Ecuador, Asia, Europe and Kenya
where they devour local vegetation and small fish. They also burrow
into the sediment, causing damage to dams. Water hyacinth, originally
from South America introduced to North America, Asia, Australia,
the Pacific Islands, and Africa, is an aggressive aquatic weed which
clogs waterways, shading other aquatic plants and animals from sunlight.
Species are introduced into new environments via many pathways.
Invasive species can travel in ship ballast water or on the hulls
of ships and boats. They can also escape from aquaculture facilities
or be inadvertently released during transport. In addition, invasive
species are often introduced by aquarium owners who dump unwanted
fish and plants into the wild. One pathway that is currently receiving
much attention is the intentional and accidental release of live
seafood, both freshwater and marine species, by seafood handlers
and consumers. The northern snakehead fish and the Chinese mitten
crab are two examples of seafood that were released or dumped and
are currently invading parts of the United States.
Invasive species and their hitchhikers can spread diseases and
parasites to other species in their new environment, devastating
ecosystems. In addition, species such as the northern snakehead
eat and compete with native plants and animals, which may be important
food sources. Environmental damage such as erosion and flooding
results from invasive species such as the Chinese mitten crab. Other
species, such as most shellfish species, may spread human diseases
such as cholera. Each of us can take responsibility for our actions
and prevent accidental or intentional live seafood introductions.
How can you prevent the introduction
of invasive seafood?
- Seafood should always be eaten, never
released into the wild. Released seafood could become invasive,
carrying with it diseases, parasites, and other hitchhikers.
- Always put seafood waste in the trash.
Fish heads, fish scales, guts, and shells can carry diseases,
parasites, and other hitchhikers.
- Be extra careful with non-native
seafood. Releasing non-native seafood can be more harmful than
releasing native seafood. Non-native seafood may harbor foreign
It is illegal to release any non-native
fish or turtle into the wild. If caught, you could be fined or sent
Live and Fresh Seafood: Into the pan, not into the wild
was designed to raise awareness on proper handling and disposal
of live seafood and seafood waste. It also draws attention to types
of seafood that are illegal to possess in the United States, such
as the northern snakehead, walking catfish, and Chinese mitten crab.
The pamphlet is available in Chinese, English, Khmer, Korean, Spanish,
and Vietnamese. To obtain free copies or for more information email
firstname.lastname@example.org, call 617-253-7092,
or contact us.
This project has been made possible with a grant
from NOAA’s National Sea Grant Program.
For more information on invasive seafood visit:
Fact sheets on non-native seafood species:
We have prepared fact sheets providing information on many of
the finfish species that we have found in markets across the northeastern
United States. Included are both native species such as the yellow
bullhead catfish, and introduced species such as the snakehead.
Follow the links below for information and pictures of some of
the more important seafood species in this area.
More coming soon...
For more information on invasive species visit:
Total hits since 5/9/06:
Translate this site into: Chinese,
(Translation performed by Google Language Tools. The MIT Sea Grant
Program is not responsible for the accuracy of these translations.
Khmer and Vietnamese translations are not currently available.)