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Food - Drink
The Cajun Dish That Was So Trendy It Resulted In A Fishing Ban
When people imagine dining on an endangered species, they might picture a $100 plate of a grand sea creature like bluefin tuna, a notoriously in-demand fish whose numbers have dwindled due to overfishing. However, a much more homely fish is also under protected status due to a craze for Cajun cooking in the U.S.
In 1984, New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme published a recipe for blackened redfish (AKA red drum fish) in his cookbook “Louisiana Kitchen.” The dish caught on like wildfire, and less than two years later, the U.S. banned red drum fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, which put out 8.3 million pounds of the fish in 1986, compared to 2.7 million in 1980.
Once sought after for its mild, slightly sweet, and firm flesh, the red drum fish remains a protected species in the U.S., and catching and selling red drum fish is 100% illegal in Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida, as well as in federal Gulf waters. Mississippi is the only state where fishing for red drums commercially is legal.