Easter is just around the corner, March 27th, and it’s time to start thinking about spring menu items.

Pacific Northwest weather has been windy with high seas as of middle of March, but Alaskan Halibut season should bring out fisherman willing to risk it all for a fair price.  Halibut season has officially opened and we are planning to have halibut next week, just in time for Easter weekend.  Rockfish, Dover Sole, Petrale Sole, Black Cod will become more readily available when seas are more forgiving.  Alaskan Cod is plentiful, the season started in January and will be a good item to continue till the Wild Salmon season starts in May.

Chesapeake Bay is a sustainable fishery and has been fishing well for striped bass, sizes are 8+ # with some fish up to 20#, and others in the 5# class.  Prices are coming down on stripers and will be a great item moving forward.  Chesapeake Bay is also home to a variety of oysters and clams.  Chesapeake Oysters are sold by the 120ct making each oyster around 55 cents each – A great item for “Buck-A-Shuck”.  Chesapeake Bay also gives us Barcat oysters in the same price range, as well as Chincoteague Oysters.  Clams are a great option as well, and can be made fun by pairing with a can of beer “Can’s-N-Clams”.  We’ve got a great variety of different size clams provided by our friends at Ballard Fish & Oyster.

Salmon is at the forefront of headlines as many Chilean salmon farms have lost their harvest due to an algae bloom sweeping thru ocean net pens. The algae bloom creates a low oxygen environment that has been killing the salmon.  Many Chilean farmers have lost their entire saltwater stocks and won’t see fish again for at least 9 months.  The crisis is so large that we are seeing immediate price increases on Chilean salmon. The demand and likely prices will be increasing from other countries Canada, US, Scottland and Norway.  Chilean salmon is traditionally the least costly farmed Atlantic salmon available in the world, with the prices increasing maybe it is time to try one of our premium branded salmon: Ora King Salmon, Wild Isles Organic Atlantic Salmon, Verlasso Atlantic Salmon or our newest addition Wester Ross Scottish Atlantic Salmon.  Each salmon has a specific farming program with sustainability in mind.  If you want to learn more about the differences in farmed salmon, and why it’s worth the money for a premium salmon: http://northeastseafood.com/2016/03/wild-isles-organic-salmon/       and     http://northeastseafood.com/2016/01/verlasso-salmon/  

The increased salmon prices will also inadvertently effect the smoked salmon market as many smoked salmon companies use the less costly Chilean Salmon.  We are pursuing a company that offers a wild hot smoked salmon as this is a more sustainable seafood choice and within the same prices range.  If you are interested in trying some, please let us know.    

Lobster prices are firm and should remain consistent moving into spring and summer.

Corvina season is here, from Baja Mexico we are seeing a plentiful amount of 5-8# corvina seabass at a terrific price.  This is a short seasonal fishery, so make sure to try this fish while it is available because the season normally ends without warning.

Scallop quotas have been renewed for the year.  Each vessel is allowed a total number of days at sea and our partners at Oceans Fleet Fisheries in New Bedford have more boats than any other company.  This allows us consistent high quality dry scallops completely clean and fresh.   Learn more about Oceans Fleet with brand names Oceans Alive, bare naked, naked scallops, simply scallops, and fleet fisheries Blue Marlin Brand, as we visited the facility in this month’s featured supplier: http://northeastseafood.com/featured-supplier/

Shrimp, Crab, Tuna, Swordfish all staying consistent.

Mahi Mahi has been steadily available, but prices continue on a yo-yo of uncertainty.  

Snapper and Grouper prices have come down recently.  We are seeing a steady catch of both species.  Red Snapper and Lane Snapper have been available in the 1-2# head on as well as the 4-10# Snapper for Fillets.  Grouper is available in nice large fillet, or a 6-15# fish.

Sushi customers can look forward to east coast fluke becoming available again as the season warms. We also have the potential for a fresh whole hiramasa farmed in Baja, please let us know if you are interested.  Bluenose Antarctic butterfish from New Zealand has been available.  Sea Urchin Roe, Uni, from both east coast, west coast, and japan have been available. White tuna options are escolar or a farmed black cod from Canada with shinkei-nuki or pithing available upon request. T

As the weather warms, our selection of fish will start to increase.  This is a great time of year!

Chad Pettrone
Sustainability Director

Northeast Seafood