The New York Times Magazine's
"The 7th Annual Year in Ideas,"
addresses what's being done to combat dwindling stocks of wild fish in the face of overfishing and environmental changes: manipulate farmed fish to taste wild.
This spring, after 10 months of testing, the aquaculture company HQ Sustainable Maritime Industries created what it calls "sea-flavored" tilapia, the first farmed fish manipulated to taste like a wild fish. "It met 10 out of our 10 taste parameters," says HQ's president and C.E.O., Norbert Sporns. The company, which is negotiating distribution deals with several fast-food chains, employs good old-fashioned food-processing technology to imitate the industry standard. It uses flavoring compounds to replicate the mild taste of Alaska pollock, a northern Pacific whitefish that holds a near-monopoly over products like fish sticks, imitation crabmeat and frozen fish fillets.