This Week in Seafood: December 23, 2019
This Week in Seafood: December 23, 2019
“REDFISH BOOM” CAUSES NOVA SCOTIA POWER COMPANY TO SPEND $14.5 M ON BURYING CABLES AT SEA – The “Redfish” (also known as Ocean Perch) population off Nova Scotia has made a huge comeback recently after years of slashed quotas and even a moratorium. The redfish are in an area that Nova Scotia Power just put 100 miles of cable on the sea floor to transmit power from the northern tip of Nova Scotia (Cape Bretton) to Newfoundland. Because of the resurgence of the redfish, and the likelihood fishermen will be trawling the bottom in that area for them, (and could snag on the cables), Nova Scotia power is spending $14.5 million to bury them.
2. WHERE HAVE ALL THE JUMBO WILD ROCKFISH GONE? Well if you ask local OC fisherman, Capt. Jimmy Hahn, he would tell you they are just outside the three mile limit off Ocean City, Maryland. He says you can “walk on them” from the Bass Grounds to the 20 Fathom fingers. The state of Maryland controls the fishing up to within three miles of the beach and outside of that is considered “federal waters”. And of course there is a law that prohibits the commercial harvest (and recreational) of wild striped bass over the three mile limit. Recently states along the Gulf of Mexico have fought contentious court battles with the feds and were successful in extending the limits of state waters out as far as 12 miles in order to control their own American Red Snapper seasons.
3. WHAT FISH IS AVAILABLE FOR NEW YEARS EVE ? The challenge for fish availability this week is that most boats come in for Xmas but very few go back out after. Sometimes it is because the weather is too rough but most of the time they sit on shore because they just don’t feel like fishing. For the major categories like SWORD and TUNA, availability will be fine. Our NORWEGIAN HALIBUT is a sure thing and excellent choice. BLACK GROUPER should be available without too much problem but AMERICAN RED SNAPPER, right now, is possible but not confirmed. Theoretically, we have a couple boats unloading this Thursday and Friday in Louisiana such that the truck would arrive by Sunday night. If you are interested in American Red Snapper for New Years Eve please let us know in advance. LOCAL WILD ROCKFISH will be available in 2/4 and 5/8 size for sure. Jumbo Rockfish have not been consistently available lately. LOCAL HAND CUT FLOUNDER is another excellent choice and very reasonably priced. BRONZINO & ROYAL BASS supply won’t be an issue.
4. MORATORIUM POSSIBLE JUNE 1 ON CHESAPEAKE MENHADEN FISHERY – Omega Proteins from Reedville, Virginia catches menhaden to produce omega 3 rich fish oil and was found to have exceeded the harvest cap for menhaden harvest in the Chesapeake Bay, according to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council. This puts the state of Virginia “out of compliance” and the Dept of Commerce is threatening a moratorium on menhaden fishing in the Bay June 1
5. Our North Atlantic swordfish season is behind us now and the fish are now spread out and moving south to Florida. But there are some fish moving North. In Brazil, where it is summertime !! The southern fishery that harvests fish near the border of Uruguay has now shifted north to the Trinidad Islands off the coast of Vitoria. This is a more tropical area that is north of Rio de Janeiro. The fish here are larger and leaner with bright silver exteriors. We will have a plentiful supply of these beauties for the Winter months.
6. FRESH HPP CRABMEAT IS AVAILABLE FOR NEW YEARS – The last shipments of fresh Venezuelan crabmeat will hit Miami this week and there is enough supply to get through New Years Eve. So go ahead and feature the sweet jumbo lump crabcakes, this meat makes, all week and weekend. The Venezuelans were successful in pushing up the price this week (price per lb is now in the low $20’s) but it is still a value when compared to Indonesian pasteurized AND it tastes so much better.