This Week in Seafood: July 15, 2019
This Week in Seafood: July 15, 2019
1. FRESH WATER KILLING OYSTER LARVAE IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY – The Horne Point Research Lab contracts with the Federal Government for 500 million oysters planted on Bay reefs each summer. They are usually done by August 1. This year ZERO so far. The problem is lack of salinity. Freshwater is killing the larvae and stunting the oyster growth. The price of oyster “meat” (shucked gallons) is getting ready to go out of sight with the Gulf of Mexico oyster supply just about completely dried up from their persistent freshwater floods killing all the oyster beds completely. It will take the Gulf three years to recover from this. The Chesapeake Bay has lots of live oysters 2-2.5 inches that have not grown at all in over a year (because of the lack of salinity). The aquaculture oyster growers are not affected as severely because they buy “seed” oysters from other areas not having these issues and grow those oysters out. Their oysters do grow much slower too but they can harvest at 2.5 inches unlike the wild fishery (3″ minimum)
2. WILD SOCKEYE BONANZA – Bristol Bay Alaska set records last week harvesting 2 MILLION FISH IN A DAY !! That is more than a “boatload” ! It is time to put wild Alaskan sockeye on the menu ! Fillets under $11 !
3. FRESH MAHI MORE EXPENSIVE THAN # 1 TUNA ! You know things are messed up when this happens. Most of the mahi are way off the US coast and not being targeted by anyone. We are hoping a school shows up in the Gulf sometime this summer but if nothing changes mahi will be this expensive until late September.
4. VENEZUELA FRESH STILL INCHING HIGHER – now we are close to the $25 mark – supply is much less than a month ago – 4 weeks until conservation –
5. DID YOU KNOW PORPOISES EAT BLUE CRABS ? I didn’t – but in talking to a crabber this morning he said “flipper’ LOVES to eat our little blue crabs, and lots of them. He said if you are trot lining and see a pod of porpoises you might as well quit crabbing right then because you won’t catch any more that day.
6. PLENTY OF BLUE CRABS IN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY – There are plenty south of the Bay bridge – freshwater is holding them back from going any further north. Picking houses all over Maryland, Virginia, Carolina, Mexico AND the Gulf have plenty of crabs to pick and are begging to move meat. Prices on all the major producing areas are close right now so we could see a break lower next week – there is ample volume to fill the void left by Venezuela – PLENTY OF SOFT CRABS AVAILABLE TOO
7. ATLANTIC SEA SCALLOPS – Our scallop category continues to thrive. We offer a number of options from different areas around the globe. Capt Derrek of the F/V Second to None has had a great season fishing the Mid Atlantics with great success. We send a Congressional truck to Ocean City, MD daily to unload his daily catch and bring them to our facility and have them at your back door within 2 days of being caught! We are also carrying Domestic U/10s and U/12s from Maine and New Bedford. The season up there has also been a great one yielding beautiful, large Atlantic sea scallops. We also are still bringing in re-freshed Peruvian Bay Scallops in half gallon tubs. These tasty little treats have been well received by a number of our customers. If you haven’t tried them yet, give em a go! 8. FRESH CAROLINA SHRIMP SEASON GETTING READY TO START – All indications are that it will be a BANNER YEAR for fresh shrimp in the Albemarle, Pamlico and Core Sounds behind the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The shrimp are counting around 31/35 right now and will shed a time or two before August and grow to the 21/25 size. The shrimpers are letting them grow now before starting to harvest them. This is a great “local” item to feature in August and through the fall season.