Fall is a great time for a menu change and we hope to give you some ideas that will carry you into the holiday season!

September offers a twisting contract as the warmest ocean temperatures of year mix with cooling fall temperatures = hurricane season.  Our suppliers on the East Coast are all thankfully O.K. from hurricane Florence, and earlier in the month Hurricane Lane that came very close to hitting Hawaii but breezed by with 160mph winds and 50” of rain.

The cooling fall temperatures offer the best time of the year to eat shellfish!  Oysters, Clams, Mussels, Lobsters, and Crab feed heavily in the summer months to pack on the fat reserves for winter.  As the waters get colder, less plankton becomes available and oysters have a sort of cleansing.  October, November, December offer the cleanest, plumpest, sweetest, and most flavorful oysters of the year!

Stone Crab Season in Florida begins October 15th !!! Stone Crab are tough to crack but worth the effort when you get to enjoy the sweet succulent crab meat!

Scallop prices have been great for 2018 due to NOAA’s opening of restored fishing areas.  These areas have brought in a surplus of large U8 and U10 sized scallops, but we are getting word that the well is drying.  Please anticipate scallop prices to rise into the holiday season.   It is unknown how many large scallops still lie on the ocean’s floor outside of Massachusetts, but hopefully enough to keep prices at bay.

Nantucket Bay scallop season starts mid-October.  These sweet little treats are a New England favorite!

Wild Coho Salmon are being caught throughout southern Alaska, Canada, and northern US Pacific.  Coho season normally ends in the beginning to middle of October.  We will also get some nice Chum salmon in October from Johnstown Strait.  These premium chum salmon are often-overlooked, inexpensive, and forgiving when cooked.

Wild King Salmon are still available and at a good price. The Columbia River Kings have run thru November in years past, but there is no definitive date when the seasonal fish catch will slow down.  King season can also end without warning.  Sockeye is at the end of the season. When sockeye are no longer available fresh, we have a great frozen pin bone out sockeye fillet available!

Alaskan Halibut prices are dropping, and we hope to see catch continue till the closing bell mid-November.  Nova Scotia Halibut will stay open year-round, so don’t be afraid to keep this great fish on your menu after November.  We are currently supplying both Nova Scotia and Alaskan Halibut.  The culinary difference of these two fish is not noticeable, they both offer excellent white succulent meat.

Hawaii can no longer distribute spearfish, blue marlin, or striped marlin to the mainland according to the new House Bill 4528.  We are finding alternatives to purchase from our Hawaiian fisherman; Parrot fish, Onaga Snapper, or Hapu’upu’u maybe items available for your seafood specials.

Bang Island Mussels are unavailable currently.  There next harvest will be the second week in October. https://northeastseafood.com/featured-supplier/

We will have Salt Spring mussels from BC as our premium oyster for the fall/winter season. https://northeastseafood.com/2016/08/saltspring-island-mussels/

Grand Banks Swordfish, MSC certified from Northeastern Atlantic waters of US and Canada are fishing well and will continue to in the coming months.  This is the nicest swordfish of the year, and currently at a great price!  The regular means of harvesting swordfish are with long-lining gear, but there is an alternative and more sustainable means of catching swordfish called Deep-Set Buoy Gear.  If you’ve ever gone fishing in a pond, it’s like bobber fishing with a worm, but swordfish are at 1000 feet deep and weigh 50-200 pounds!  The advantages of Deep-Set Buoy Gear are that it reduces the by-catch of untargeted species and you get a fresher product.  Buoy gear fisherman know when a fish is on the line and can catch the fish quickly, bleed it, and put it on ice for a premium quality meat.  Please let us know if your willing to pay a little more money for Deep-Set Buoy Swordfish!

Monkfish is an excellent fish at great price.  It’s my favorite surf ‘n’ turf fish and holds up well in any application that you’d use for lobster…monkfish roll, monkfish ravioli, monkfish bisque, monkfish mac & cheese…this can be a fun new fish option for your fall menu.

Large Wild Mexican White Shrimp and Ecuador Shrimp season is now! We have stocked up on our annual supplies! Wild shrimp fishing is largely dependent upon seasonal fishing fleets that catch shrimp and freeze them for annual supplies.  We will restock our Wild Gulf Shrimp in the spring season.  It is common for the largest wild shrimp sizes to run out of supply before the new season begins.  If you plan to menu a nice large wild shrimp, now is a great time!

Baja, Mexico fishing starts to pick-up in the fall.  We anticipate California halibut, Yellowtail Jack, and Cabrilla grouper to be available soon.

Great Lakes Walleye become consistently available again in the fall.  Walleye come into shallow waters in the fall and are much easier for fisherman to catch.  We have fresh and frozen walleye available now!

We hope this helps you plan your fall and early holiday season seafood selection.  Thank you for choosing Northeast Seafood.  Let’s enjoy this beautiful fall weather before the busy holiday season!

Chad Pettrone
Sustainability Director
Northeast Seafood