We are in the heat of wild sockeye salmon season!  Sockeye is abundant and prices continue to drop.  King Salmon quotas are tightening. We have a great supply of beautiful net caught Kings from the Cook Inlet in Alaska for this weekend, but may have gaps in supply moving forward.  As we move into August we will bring in Coho salmon, sometimes called Silver Salmon.  We will have both Sockeye and Coho available until Sockeye goes out of season at the end on August.  Near the end of August and into September Keta salmon, also called Chum salmon, will be available at the lowest price of wild salmon for the year.

It is officially mid-summer, please take the time to keep all seafood on ice in the refrigerator, especially shellfish.  Mussels, Oysters, Live Softshell Crab, and Live Lobster do not like the hot summer months – here’s some tips to keep your shellfish fresh:  Mussels should be packed directly in ice. Oysters should not be stored touching ice, as they will filter the ice and lose their flavor. Oysters can be stored on the floor of the walk-in as the coolest spot, stacking draining trays of ice with the oysters on top and/or covered with a bag of ice.  Oysters need to breath, so be careful not to cover entirely with plastic.  Live Softshell Crab should be dressed and used immediately, or if you purchase our dressed soft shells they were cleaned at the peak of freshness and tend to last longer.  Live Lobster shed their shells this time of year in the warmer southern waters, so we are purchasing hard shells from Canada to avoid these shell issues.  Lobster prices are increasing based upon the demand for hard shells at this time of year.  We are also supplying Cockle Clams and Coromandel oysters from the cold waters New Zealand to combat the summer heat.

Blue Swimmer and Red Swimmer Pasteurized Crab meat prices continue to increase.  Blue Swimmer Crab prices continue to be outrageous, while red swimmer crab is a more affordable option for those still wanting crab meat.

California White Seabass, California Halibut, and Yellowtail Jack thrive on the hot summer heat of the Southern Pacific.  Cali White Seabass has been fantastic this season and is a great alternative for Mahi Mahi which is currently high in price.  Be careful putting California White Seabass on a menu right now, as the season can end abruptly. Please be prepared with a back-up plan such as Corvina Seabass, or Yellowtail jack.

Bluefin Tuna season has started in the North Atlantic.  These fish are line caught with rod and reel from the Gulf of Maine.  These fish can be from 150 – 400 pounds, please let us know in advance if you are interested in having us purchase bluefin tuna on your behalf.

Swordfish are moving North and we are supplying catch from the Carolina’s up to thru Massachusetts.  If you are looking for an alternative to swordfish we are also getting billfish from Hawaii including lower priced spearfish, blue marlin, or striped marlin from Hawaii.

Alaskan Halibut fisherman are salmon fishing…confusing, right?  With a Pacific halibut permit, Alaskan fisherman can also fish for wild salmon, so many fishermen switch gears for a couple months to pursue the high-volume salmon season.  This creates a lull in the Pacific Halibut catch that we are supplementing with comparable Nova Scotia Halibut.  Alternatively, we have a good supply of California Halibut if you are looking for a lower cost option.  Pacific Halibut fisherman normally return in September or October to finish their Halibut quota that ends in November.

Domestic Catfish will come in 5 pound units only.  New packing requirements by the FDA have been passed to combat overseas swai catfish being sold as a domestic channel catfish product.  If you are use to purchasing fresh catfish by the pound, please request in 5# increments moving forward.

Hawaiian markets have been treating us well with some nice Onaga Snapper coming in this weekend.  We are more regularly receiving Hawaiian Opah, Ono (also called Wahoo by Gulf fisherman), Kajiki (Blue Marlin), and Hebi (spearfish).  Tuna is spectacular this time of year! We have both Yellowfin and Bigeye coming from Hawaii.  Albacore Tuna is in abundance this time of year, prices continue to be of value.

 

Chad Pettrone
Sustainability Director
Northeast Seafood