This Week in Seafood – Monday, May 20, 2019

This Week in Seafood – Monday, May 20, 2019

1. US DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION STOPS ALL FLIGHTS COMING FROM VENEZUELA – The supply of fresh HPP Venezuelan crabmeat has been severely restricted because of our government’s abrupt change in policy. Our suppliers’ plan now is to find alternate routes (not direct) to get the meat to Miami. It looks like they will fly to Columbia then to Miami or to Panama and then on to Miami. The increase in just airfreight alone is $2 per pound. We are back over the $20 mark again this week.

2. PLENTY OF CRABMEAT IN MARYLAND AND NORTH CAROLINA – If Venezuela gets shut down completely, I believe that picking houses in North Carolina and Maryland could fill the void rather easily. This week the price difference is about $4 per pound. There seems to be plenty of picking crabs available

3. SOFT CRAB RUN ENTERING ITS THIRD (and final) WEEK – The run is completely over in North Carolina (no more peelers – all the crabs have shed) but in Deale Island Maryland the “floats are still full” – from talking to our guys on the eastern shore, we are on the “downside” of the run. It could get tough to fill orders by the weekend. Prices will rise this week.

4. FLUKE SUPPLY DRYING UP – In many Atlantic states, their fluke seasons have ended and most of the trawl fleet is changing gear to go “scalloping” – translation – fluke pricing will be “painful” until Massachusetts opens in a few weeks.

5. LOCAL CAPE HATTERAS MAHI RUNNING STRONG — Two and three day trips make for some very beautiful fish – fillet prices are low, relatively speaking

6. FRESH PICKED LOBSTER MEAT – Are you tired of cooking and picking your own lobsters to make your lobster dishes? You save time and labor when you purchase fresh picked lobster meat direct from Portland Maine. Picked today, in your back door tomorrow – 12 lb cases (6×2) pre orders only – contact your sales rep for current pricing

7. COPPER RIVER FIRST OPENER SETS RECORD – Not that you should care, the first fish caught in the Copper River outside of Cordova Alaska went for record money. Whole sockeyes for $25/lb ($35 fillet) and whole kings for $32 ($41 fillets) – California troll kings are more reasonable but still expensive at $15.95 whole. By the second week of June, wild salmon prices should be affordable for most everyone.

8. LARGE SWORDFISH A VALUE FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND – Break out the charcoal grills for this holiday weekend ! Sub $10 large loins make an easy choice for specials this weekend. 

9. LAST WEEK OF LOCAL OCEAN CITY MARYLAND ROCK – The jumbo rock are racing up the coast headed to Massachusetts as part of their natural annual migration to their summer feeding grounds. After this week, we will get local smaller rock (2-4, 5-8 and a few 8 up) from Maryland pound netters, whose season starts June 1.

10. LOCAL WILD BLUE CAT POPULATION STILL EXPLODING  – A charter boat captain told me he was trolling for jumbo rock in the shipping channel Friday, and a rod goes down with a big fish on it – a 25 POUND BLUE CAT hit the artificial lure. It seems every week I am told a story about how these monsters are eating everything in site. If we don’t figure out how to sell more of them quickly, blue cats will be all we have to catch in the Bay in the future.

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