MONTI: What is behind the tradition of the “seven fish” of Christmas Eve | Local sports



The reason some cultures serve “seven fish” on Christmas Eve dates back to the religious tradition in Italy of abstaining from eating meat on Christmas Eve.

Some say the tradition of the Seven Fishes is for the seven days it took to make the Earth, others say it honors the last seven of the Ten Commandments, which relate to human interaction, and d still others say it reminds us of the Seven Deadly Sins. However, some in Italy do not have a tradition of seven fish, but rather a tradition of 12 fish (for the 12 apostles) or a tradition of 13 fish (for the twelve apostles plus one for Jesus).

As members of the fishing community, it is nice to bring fish to our festive table. Fish and fishing are an integral part of our life, and it is one of the few natural foods that we can catch, clean, prepare, and eat like people have for centuries.

What types of fish do people eat? My family would often start with snail salad, fried smelts, stuffed clams, and baccala (dried cod preserved in salt that is soaked for days to remove the salt). This would be followed by calamari stuffed in a red sauce over linguini, baked white fish (haddock or cod) and baked stuffed shrimp.

Here’s a holiday fish recipe that includes cod, scallops and shrimp in one dish. I call it Sandy’s Tasty Fish Casserole, named after my good friend, Sandy Ducharme, who opened her house to me and others before, during and after the holidays and served this dish.

Sandy’s tasty fish casserole

It is not a milky gooey casserole dish but a lightly cooked dish of pilau rice, cod, scallops and jumbo shrimp. Sandy said, “This is a great recipe for entertaining because you can prepare it ahead of time and then cook it before dinner.”

2 pounds of white fish (cod, haddock or hake)

16 sea scallops, two per person

16 large shrimp (uncooked), two per person

½ stick of butter or margarine

½ to ¾ cup lemon pepper panko breadcrumbs (Sandy uses Progresso)

2 packets of Far Eastern rice pilaf

Cook the rice pilau as directed on the package and set aside. Melt the butter and mix it with the breadcrumbs and set aside. Coat the fish and shrimp (not the scallops) with lemon juice, place them on absorbent paper and pat dry. Place half of the cooked rice pilaf in the bottom of a 9 “x12” baking dish. Place the white fish on the rice, sprinkle half the butter / breadcrumbs and cheese over the white fish, place the scallops and shrimp on top, place the rest of the rice on the scallops and shrimp, then sprinkle the rest of the butter / breadcrumb mixture and cover with the rest of the Parmesan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Sandy said, “When the shrimp turn pink, it’s done.”

Turbine Reefs Could Be The Biggest Underwater Habitat Expansion In U.S. History

On December 6, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) released a report titled “Turbine Reefs: Nature-Based Designs for Augmenting Offshore Wind Structures in the United States”. The report at presents an opportunity to create and expand marine habitat for fish, crustaceans and other native species by creating improved artificial reefs at the bottom of offshore wind towers.

From my perspective, through collaboration between the fishing community and scientists, developers and government agencies, we can benefit marine life by improving habitat and fishing while endangering the negative effects of climate change. with the offshore wind.

In a press advisory, Nature Conservancy said: “Using an integrated approach when designing and building turbines can create new marine habitats in offshore waters for the first time, improving health fisheries and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions “.

Tricia K. Jedele, Head of Offshore Wind Policy at Nature Conservancy, said: “Without clean, renewable energy, the health of our oceans is at serious risk. By creating wind turbine reefs in partnership with offshore wind developers, we are highlighting how offshore wind can be part of the solution for climate and biodiversity. We can improve marine habitat and generate clean energy at the same time.

The report suggests that “nature-based designs” will improve habitat and fish when built in areas like Cox Ledge off Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and create new habitats and fish in areas like Cox Ledge off Massachusetts and Rhode Island. areas where there is currently no habitat and no fish.

The Nature Conservancy said, “Pylons require the placement of a layer of rock and other hard material around its base to prevent erosion. If scientists and engineers use nature-based design to purposefully select and place materials, native fish, seashells, and other marine life would have much more space to live, eat, and reproduce.

At the Block Island Wind Farm, commercial trawlers fish alongside the wind farm, commercial and recreational rod and reel fishermen fish up to the pylons, and commercial gillnets and lobster traps are set in the park area. wind power. Several users fish there because the fishing is good.

Hats off to Nature Conservancy for following the science and suggesting that the “nature-based designs” behind the pylons will improve habitat and fishing.

Where’s the bite?

Cod and tautog fishing. Tom Giddings of the Tackle Box in Warwick said: “Few anglers fish in the cold weather and strong winds that we had earlier this week. But more fish are expected to fish as the weather improves, as there is still tautog cod out there. Anglers are reminded that their local bait and tackle shops have gifts for the angler at all costs. Consult with your store owner as he can make suggestions. Giddings said: “Just give us a call and we’ll make sure we’re at the store when you plan to stop by.” Most cod fishing boats take reservations online in advance. Cod fishing off Rhode Island and Massachusetts south of Cape Cod is a good bet in January. Cod fishing boats this winter include the Frances Fleet at, the Seven B’s at and the Island Current at

Dave Monti holds a captain’s license and a charter fishing license. He sits on various boards and commissions and owns a consulting business focused on ocean cleanliness, habitat preservation, conservation, renewable energy, and fisheries issues and clients. Send fishing news and photos to [email protected] or visit



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