Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday share the same date this year, Feb 14th, the start of Lent that will end March 29th. At the end of February Denver Restaurant Week takes over Denver’s menus from the 23rd – March 4th.

The International Pacific Halibut Commission has a meeting in the beginning of every year to assess the Halibut fishery that stretches from California to Alaska. They meet for 5 days to determine how many allowable pounds of Halibut can be kept, and at what size fish. For several decades the IPHC has increased or kept the total allowable catch the same as previous years. 2018 will be the second time in 90 years that the IPHC will decrease the quota.

Pacific Halibut have 8 different catch regions that are normally regulated by the IPHC, but this year they were unable to come to an agreement on which locations should be reduced by what percentages. Instead they made a statement that 28.03 million pounds should be the target catch for 2018, a 10.7% reduction from 2017. The local governing agencies of each catch region will be in charge on determining what their total allowable catch will be for 2018.

Pacific Halibut season starts March 24th and ends November 7th.

Atlantic Halibut is available now from Nova Scotia Canada and farmed from Norway. Prices are about the same for both fresh fish. The Nordic farmed Halibut is fed a parasite free feed, making for a great opportunity to use the entire fish for both portioned cooking and sushi/ceviche/crudo.

Dungeness Crab Season is fully open in California, Washington, and Oregon and we have received some of our first shipments of the year in whole cooked and fresh Dungeness crab meat.

Stone Crab supply has been minimal with very low catch rates and high prices from Florida. The season remains open till May 15th, there is plenty of time for the catch to improve.

Ophelia Snow Crab Season starts in March off the east coast of Canada. The live crab season creates frozen production that builds up an annual supply of snow crab for 2018. We are currently at the end of the frozen supplies of 2017. Supplies are low, creating a price increase until we can purchase from the new surplus in April.

Live Crawfish for Fat Tuesday are reported to be very small and soft from our friends in Louisiana. They have had a colder than normal winter creating a slow growth season that has led to undersized crawfish for harvest. We have frozen whole cooked crawfish and crawfish meat available for your Marti Gras needs.

The New England Fisheries Management Council has bi-monthly meetings to assess fisheries information and make recommendations to NOAA who creates regulations and enforces them through state legislature. NOAA has approved the majority of NEFMC suggestions to reopen limited access areas in the mid-Atlantic, Nantucket Lightship, and Closed Area I. Full-time Permit holders will have access to these areas with 24 extra days at sea. The regulation changes could potentially increase large domestic scallop harvest by 5.5% of annual projected landings for the entire fishery.

Nantucket Bay Scallops continue with steady consistency. These delectable, sweet flavored scallops are unequaled to any other scallop. Nantucket fisherman hand dredge these scallops with small boats to preserve native eel grass that is important to the nursery environment for many aquatic species.

Mahi Mahi and Corvina from South America have been consistent. Traditionally February is a great Mahi Mahi catching month. We haven’t see prices this low in years! Take advantage while they are still in season.

Covina from South America has been consistent in larger size. This time of year, we start to see a smaller Baja Mexico Corvina that is of good value. The Baja Mexico fishery becomes populated with Corvina, California White Seabass, and Yellowtail Jack normally around March, in the spring. The season is starting a little early this year and we have received a couple of shipments of these seasonal fish. As the weather starts to warm we should see a consistent supply that will provide an excellent value.

Thank you for choosing Northeast Seafood! We love to tell you about our seafood and appreciate you taking the time to read our reports. We look forward to your continued business!

Chad Pettrone
Sustainability Director
Northeast Seafood