This Week in Seafood: November 11, 2019

This Week in Seafood: November 11, 2019

NEW VIMS STUDY VERIFIES INVASIVE BLUE CATS TOLERATE SALTWATER UP TO 22 PPT! A new study by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) spells bad news for native Chesapeake Bay species. Blue cats have been found to tolerate salinity up to 22 parts per thousand and thus may be able to expand their range downstream to the mainstem of the Bay and from there even into the Delaware Bay! The study also found densities in the James River of approximately 220 FISH PER ACRE and one seven mile stretch that has a staggering 1.6 MILLION BLUE CATS! Even with the recent increases in the “market” for blue cats (and thanks to many of you for putting it on your menus!!!), their population is still exploding. So much so that the NMFS is EXPANDING THEIR FISH ELECTROCUTION PROGRAM! I call it FRANKENSTEIN GOES FISHING! That is correct, this summer there will be three permits granted allowing 3 lucky fishermen to “electro-fish”. Each fisherman will have a boat with a generator and probes that extend down into the water which stun, with low voltage, tens of thousands of blue cats within 100 feet of the probes. So many blue cats come to the surface that it takes two other boats just to “dip” the fish up before they regain consciousness and swim away unharmed. They dip about only 20% of what comes to the surface. Most days they catch 5 tons (10,000 lbs.) before 9 am! 

TRUMP ADMIN PROPOSES LOGGING UP TO HALF OF THE 16.7 MILLION ACRE TONGASS NATIONAL FOREST IN ALASKA – The Tongass, which lies in southeast Alaska around Juneau, is home to massive old-growth stands and provides habitat for a range of wildlife. Roughly 40 percent of WILD SALMON that swim along the West Coast spawn in the Tongass, generating a fishery that the Forest Service estimates is worth $986 million a year.The Tongass National forest is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the North America. Why would anyone want to preserve that?

EARLY NOVEMBER COLD FRONT COULD BRING PREMATURE END TO LOCAL MARYLAND CRABMEAT SEASON – Big northwest winds turn the water column completely over and below freezing air temperatures this weekend sent Bay water temps plummeting. With another cold front coming Wednesday, most Chesapeake blue crabs could possibly bury in the mud for the winter. Most years we make it past Thanksgiving with fresh local meat. Stay tuned  

FRESH VENENZUELAN CRABMEAT MARKET COLLAPSES FURTHER – Fresh jumbo lump crabmeat is less than $1 per ounce this week! Think of all the different ways you can sell crabmeat now and make lots of money! Today, I saw a menu from a Texas restaurant (Delta Blues – Pappas) that had a jumbo lump and BBQ Brisket CAKE! Now that is thinking outside the box! SELL SELL SELL CRABMEAT!

MAHI LANDINGS INCREASE IN CENTRAL AMERICA – The mahi “season” begins about now and runs through March. Each town along the coasts of Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua have hundreds of fishermen that go out daily in dugout canoes with outboard motors and catch small amounts of beautiful dayboat mahi. This very popular great tasting fish is an extreme value with fillets well under the $10 mark

“POT” SEASON FOR BLACK BASS OPENS IN N.C. — Just imagine an oversize crab pot baited up with menhaden and dropped near structure on the bottom of the ocean in about 100 feet of water. These fish are caught and iced alive – they are incredibly fresh – try some this week!


LOCAL FLOUNDERS ARE VERY PLENTIFUL – Many of our customers took advantage of sub $10 hand cut jumbo fluke fillets last week and this extreme value will continue into this week. STUFF YOUR FLOUNDER WITH FRESH VENZ JUMBO LUMP AT LESS THAN $1 PER OUNCE!

SWORDFISH: Swordfish are now moving south along the eastern seaboard. This year’s north Atlantic season for swordfish and tuna yielded mixed results for our American fleet. Many vessels made the choice to focus on tuna instead of swordfish. They did better than the sword fishermen by most accounts. The economic challenges facing many of our fishermen targeting swordfish has led some fishermen to consider new areas which are more promising. Some east coast fishermen are giving consideration to begin a fishery in the US portion of the Gulf of Mexico. There is a strong indication of a healthy and substantial swordfish population in this region.

TUNA: Global production of tuna has been strong with larger than average fish being harvested in many areas. Good news but no clear explanation. This was great news for our US fleet operating in the Atlantic. The crucial size for the value of Yellowfin and Bigeye tuna is 60 lbs. Fish that weigh 60 lbs. or larger, once gutted with the head and tail removed, are worth much more than the smaller tunas. This year’s bounty was a win for our fishery.

FARMED ATLANTIC SALMON: The Chilean salmon industry is now back up and running after weeks of crippling protests that strangled their ability to harvest and export. Their backlog of salmon will force them to sell at discounted rates. This comes at the right time. Holiday demand for salmon in Europe is finally pushing up prices from the historically low amounts which began this Summer due to the strong dollar and excellent growth of salmon in Norway, Scotland and the Faroe Islands. Expect reasonable pricing for the remainder of the year.

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