When chef Derek Wagner buys local fish, he knows where it was caught and who landed it.
Wagner, who owns Nicks on Broadway, prizes his close relationship with several Point Judith fishermen for two reasons. He buys fresh seafood from fishermen he trusts. And he can tell his customers where their meals were caught — sometimes how many miles offshore.
“That information has never been out there before,” said the 34-year-old restaurateur.
The relationship is one example of how chefs, fishermen and suppliers can work together, said experts Monday at the 10th annual Ronald C. Baird Sea Grant Science Symposium at Johnson & Wales University’s harbor campus.
“Rhode Island is a seafood factory and the stocks are roaring back,” said Barry A. Costa-Pierce, director of Rhode Island Sea Grant, a sponsor of the three-day gathering.
“This conference is all about how we can work together” to boost the state’s $100-million fishing industry, one that includes not only fishermen and suppliers, but some of the finest restaurants in New England, he said.