We’ve officially entered into Lent, a time of year where Christians eat more seafood!  Lent extends until Easter, March 27th and can be a great time of year to run a Friday fish special. 

Denver Restaurant Week Feb 26th – March 6th is a set-priced menu of $30, that can add challenge to creating a great affordable dinner.  Try some economic and sustainable seafood choices like Rocky Mountain Trout, Canadian Mussels, Alaskan Cod, Costa Rican Tilapia, Missouri Catfish, or a 1# Whole Colorado Striped Bass presentation.  

Alaskan Halibut fishing starts March 19th, total allowable catch limits were set very close to last year’s numbers.  Last year offered us a full season of Halibut at reasonable prices.  You can expect the Northeast Seafood to have halibut from the first flights out of Alaska!  In the meantime, try our fresh Nova Scotia Halibut that has been at a very reasonable price lately.    

Copper River salmon starts the fresh wild salmon frenzy, it’s not here yet, we have till May to find out the specific opening day.  Alaska Fish and Game released numbers to tell us how the fishery is doing and what to expect for the 5 species of salmon (pink, chum, sockeye, chinook, coho) that are harvested from Prince William Sound; that includes Copper River sockeye.  To sum it all up, 2015 was the worst Copper River sockeye salmon run since 1966 due to warm temperatures, but including the 5 other species of salmon it was consistent with the 10 year average.  Sockeye salmon come back to the rivers of Alaska to spawn after 3-5 years at sea, last year they were expecting many 4 year fish.  This year they are expecting larger 5 year fish and in bigger numbers, weather permitting.  The exact prediction is 2.56 million fish, and if realized, the 11th largest since 1980.

If you are ready for wild sockeye salmon now, we have a great Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon Fillet, Pin Bone Out (PBO), skin on, and cryo-vac frozen.

Farmed salmon prices have been fluctuating, but recent trends are moving downward.  We now offer Chilean, Canadian, Scottish, Norwegian, and New Zealand varieties of salmon to meet the price points and sustainability needs of our customers.  If you’re looking for a premium brands of salmon, ask about our Wild Isles Organic Scottish Atlantic Salmon raised with GMO free, preservative free, and pesticide free ingredients; Creative King Salmon raised GMO free and antibiotic free from organic wheat.  Premium brands recognized for environmentally friendly farming techniques include Ora King Salmon, and Verlasso Salmon. We have sourced a new variety of GMO free Norwegian Salmon that is at a great price point if you are looking for premium fish at a commodities price. 

Steelhead are not salmon, they are ocean living trout, but are identified under the same Latin species as salmon because they migrate from the ocean to rivers, just like salmon.   The main difference is that steelhead salmon can have multiple migrating spawning runs, whereas salmon perish after spawning.  Farmed steelhead is a great alternative to wild steelhead.  The meat is bright and has a salmon-like appearance, but the flavor is mild and tends to hold more moisture.  We offer 3 varieties of saltwater farmed steelhead trout: Chilean, Norwegian, and our premium Tasmanian Ocean Trout.  Give farmed steelhead a try on your menu before the wild salmon season starts in May.

Pacific Northwest weather is unpredictable this time of year.  Although it has been much better than last year, we have intermittent periods of bad weather catching Rockfish, Sole, Alaskan True Cod, or Sablefish (Blackcod).  We try to mitigate these weather risks by offering similar species of fish, previously frozen fish, or farmed fish to keep your supply consistent. For example: Pacific Rockfish is a skin off fillet that has been inconsistent in supply lately, so you may want to try our Ocean Perch.  Ocean Perch is a skin on, scaled, and smaller species of Rockfish but is available both from the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Pacific.  Sole is technically native to Europe, but USA has adopted this name for flounder species. They all have 2 eyes on one side of their head and have a delicate white meat.  If you wanted Sole on your menu there are many substitutes. Dover Sole and Patrale Sole are from the Pacific Ocean, while Lemon Sole, Yellowtail Flounder, and Fluke are from the Atlantic.  Alaskan True Cod is available fresh, previously frozen, or we have fresh Atlantic cod in both regular and jumbo fillets as well. Sablefish (Blackcod) season starts in March, we have previously frozen or a sushi grade farm raised fish available now to get you started.

At Northeast Seafood we try our best to keep your supply of seafood consistent for your menu needs!  Talk to your representative to make sure there is a back-up plan to your wild seafood menu items, and we will work our hardest to ensure you get the seafood you need.   

California has been catching a couple varieties of fish that have been making great specialty items.  California halibut are smaller than their northern cousins with a size range of 5-15#.  California Halibut meat is a more pink than the North Pacific or North Atlantic variety and is an outstanding fish.  Everyone loves halibut, and California Halibut is always at a great price.

California white seabass catches in the 8-15# range have been consistent as of late, but with any wild fish that could change tomorrow.  So, we’ve got a back-up plan as always, farmed White Seabass is available, smaller in size 4-6# but can keep those plates covered with a consistent supply!

Monkfish, once known as the poor man’s lobster, now has a consistent market and great supply.  Monkfish have a big ugly face with no meat value that is connected to a delicious tail.  Monkfish tails have one bone down the middle.  You can get it with the bone in, or a boneless fillet.

Wild Striped Bass from Chesapeake Bay are available and at a great price!  Please let us know that you are interested as these delicious fillets of flakey white meat from sustainable fisheries. 

Stone Crab Claws prices from Florida have come down considerably and are at great price!  We have been bringing in medium (6-8ct) and large (4-6ct) claws for a crab cracking good time!

Red Snapper fishing from U.S. Gulf has been picking up, but supply may be inconsistent as Mexican Gulf fisheries are closed for February and March to allow the fish a vacation from fishing boats.  This can be a great time for Red Snapper specials as most large purchasers are not in the market for snapper right now, potentially lowering prices. 

Corvina Seabass from Mexico will be something to look forward to in March.  This is normally a fast fishery that can produce a lot of fish in a short period of time with prices hitting very low numbers.  Get ready for this beautiful fish to hit the market!

Mahi Mahi and Swordfish have both been fluctuating in price and can go either way in direction.  Most fisherman are blaming El Nino as we have been seeing a lot of billfish much farther north in cooler waters than years past.   Mahi Mahi has NOT been fishing great, but that can turn around at any moment. This time of year is traditionally a great time for Mahi.    

Hawaii market has been having great catches of tuna, marlin, opah, escolar, ono, snapper and grouper.  Fishing boats can vary in catch species and supply at any given time, so if you are looking for anything in particular like monchong, onaga, opakapaka, etc. let us know so we can bring it in when we hear that it is available.

Oysters are a huge hit, and continue to be a consistent trend as many restaurants are featuring them as a regular item on the menu.  Prince Edward Island area is in winter ice freezing up our supply of Malpaques.  We have great selection of inexpensive oysters for “buck a shuck” happy hours including from the east coast: barcat, chunu, Chesapeake’s, deleware’s, long island’s and from the west coast: big coves, diamond points, golden mantle, goose point.  East coast traditionally offered in a 100 count bag, and west coast a 10 dozen bag, but we do sell by the dozen at an upcharge.  

Chad Pettrone
Sustainability Director

Northeast Seafood