This Week in Seafood: February 25, 2020
This Week in Seafood: February 25, 2020
FRESH VENZ JUMBO LUMP STILL AN EXTREME VALUE – Fresh jumbo for barely over $1 an ounce is a real money-maker for our customers. The shippers are crying poor, but product is still coming into Miami. Look for prices to remain low this week and possibly next.
LIVE LOBSTERS UP SLIGHTLY – The post Chinese New Year “log jam” of product has dissipated into the market and the live market made a slight move up for the first time in over a month this week. I believe we will trend higher through April because new production is so limited. The coronavirus is the ONLY reason lobsters are’t 20% higher right now.
“HEAT STRESS” CAUSES MASS DIE OFF OF NEW ZEALAND GREENLIP MUSSELS – “Climate change is increasing the vulnerability of coastal marine species to unusual or extreme events,” warns Dr Andrew Jeffs, a marine scientist with the University of Auckland. As we watch this extreme weather occur with increasing frequency around the world, shellfish growers are becoming more and more susceptible to having their businesses wiped out by a “catastrophic” event like this.
LOTS OF VALUE FISH ON THE MARKET – Fresh skate, monk, fresh hake fillets and even jumbo black sea bass are all priced to sell this week. They are all below their normal price ranges reflective of market conditions this week.
MAHI MARKET JUMPS – The “Carnival” celebration has many mahi fishermen partying on shore and fish dried up quickly this weekend. Fillets are still in the single digits but just barely.
NEW TECHNIQUE TO CAPTURE ASIAN CARP IN KENTUCKY LAKE – The Asian carp has completely taken over many waterways in the mid-west. The government is experimenting with different techniques to try and eradicate this specie. Under water speakers and electric current are used to “herd” the fish into coves for capture via haul seining. Maybe we can use that here on the Bay for blue cats!?!?
ALASKAN HALIBUT QUOTA CUT TO PROTECT BREEDING STOCK – The Pacific Halibut Commission cut the 2020 Alaskan halibut quota by 5%. The season starts March 15 and closes November 15. The action was taken as new data from the commission showed that the sex ratio of the commercial catch ranged from 81 to 97 percent female in some regions. The Pacific halibut population, which has a host of problems, is in real trouble and has been on the decline for a decade or more. These problems include but are not limited to the following: 1. invasive specie the rock sole competes for food with juvenile halibut and is causing stunted halibut growth rates across Alaska 2. Cod trawler by-catch – when the trawlers drag the bottom to catch Pacific cod, 40% of what they catch is NOT COD – millions of halibut, king salmon and other valuable species are DISCARDED overboard DEAD in what can only be described as criminal but technically legal under current Alaskan law.
ANNUAL REPORT BY NOAA HAS SOME AMAZING STATISTICS – The annual “Fisheries of the United States” report from 2018 was just released. US fishermen landed 9.4 BILLION pounds of seafood valued at $5.6 billion dollars. Your McDonald’s fish fillet was responsible for 3.4 billion pounds of pollock being landed. The 5 highest VALUED fisheries are Maine lobsters ($684 million), crabs ($645M), wild salmon ($598M), sea scallops ($541M), shrimp ($496M) and Alaska pollock ($451M). RECREATIONAL FISHERMEN caught more than 950 MILLION individual fish and RELEASED 608 million of them (64%). The 347 million fish they KEPT weighed 359 million pounds. The top ranked specie caught by recreational fishermen was the striped bass (our rockfish)!!! NO WONDER the 2018 federal biomass assessment of the east coast wild striped bass population determined that it is being overfished and overfishing is occurring. Hence the 50% reduction in the recreational limit from 2 fish per day to one fish per day.
ASH WEDNESDAY THIS WEEK – This Wednesday starts Lent. Millions of people observe the Fish Friday tradition during Lent. Make sure you have plenty of seafood specials on the menu!