Back in our special food-themed June issue, one of the more popular articles brought to light how government regulations were  denying local fisher-people from selling their catch to local restaurants, despite the demand for fresh and local bounty.

It was stunting the growth and sales potential of our local fisheries and a mutually beneficial relationship between local fishers and local business. But it was announced today that restaurateurs and us regular folk alike can now purchase a variety of seafood directly from local fishers, at their licensed establishments.

Seafare that is now fair game for direct sales include finfish (cod, salmon, halibut, etc), live crustaceans (crab, lobster, shrimp), squid, seal meat, and scallops.This is particularly exciting for our restaurant owners who have been promoting sea-to-table freshness and the terroir and health-benefits of eating local.

Just last spring, St. John’s hosted “Terroir Symposium’s Best Practice Culinary Mission.” Many of the Terroir participants, who came from around the world, were surprised to learn that local fish wasn’t readily available to our chefs, given we’re surrounded by the sea.

Roderick Sloan was Terroir Symposium attendee. He’s a Norwegian chef and sea urchin fisherman who supplies Noma and other top restaurants in Europe, and he told The Overcast at the time that a direct connection between the people catching the fish and those cooking it is incredibly important.The chefs he works with are among the world’s best, and they demand top quality and freshness for their seafood.

He was one of many visiting foodies who were astonished that, until today, the vast majority of the fish caught off our province’s shores was exported. Now restaurateurs can buy a licence – for $50 a year – that will grant them the ability to buy up to 300 pounds per species per week.