This Week in Seafood: November 4, 2019

This Week in Seafood: November 4, 2019

FRESH VENEZUELAN CRABMEAT COLLAPSE! What happens when you put 100,000 lbs of fresh crabmeat into Miami on a slow market with a World Series and Halloween in the same week? Prices drop like a stone. Fresh jumbo lump can be had for almost $1 per ounce. Take advantage of these prices, promote the sale of crabcakes and make some money!!

WILD ROCKFISH IN NEW BRUNSWICK CANADA? Yes that is correct. As it turns out, along the Miramichi River off the Gulf of St Lawrence, Canada’s first commercial striped bass fishery in more than 30 years is happening right now. Caught by First Nation fishermen of the “Eel Ground First Nation”, these fish are trap caught alive producing a stellar quality fish. The MI’KMAQ people call their rockfish “Ji’kaw” and it is prized for food and celebrations!! Let’s all eat some “Ji’kaw” this week!!!!!!

BRETON BAY LOUISIANA LARGE POMPANO IN THE HOUSE! A short season for these beautiful fish opened last weekend. The fillets are dense, very firm and their high oil content gives them a nice buttery flavor. Your customers will jump for joy when they taste this Louisiana delicacy.

HURRICANE DAMAGE CAUSES BLUE BAY MUSSEL PRICE INCREASE! Hurricane Dorian, after smashing into the Outer Banks of North Carolina, sped up the coast and made a direct hit on Nova Scotia and parts of Prince Edward Island in the first week of September. Approximately 35% of the current crop was lost. Therefore, because we all know this story too well, when supply shrinks and demand stays the same, price goes up. The increase is modest by anyone’s standard, only 10 cents per pound.

CHESAPEAKE BLUE CRABS GETTING “SLEEPY” – As Bay water temperatures cool, the blue crab’s metabolism slows down and they head to deep water to bury in the mud and sleep the winter away. Must be nice to be able to do that! Anyway, in just about 30 days, all the local picking houses will close. All the HB1 visa crab pickers will go back to Mexico and return again next April. Now is the time talk to your rep and make crabmeat plans for the holidays. You can choose between pasteurized Maryland meat in the can and nitrogen frozen meat in their original cups.

LOCAL OCEAN CITY MD SWORDFISH ON THE MOVE!
Big swordfish are migrating south (these fish were in Canada and are headed to Puerto Rico and some will go into the Gulf) right on our front doorstep 50 miles east of OC Inlet in the Poor Man’s Canyon. They are so plentiful, sport fishermen are having success during the daytime dropping a big green eel down 1200 feet and drifting until one bites! The sword in the picture was caught by a friend of mine last week and weighed 255 lbs.!!!

THE “SKY IS FALLING” IN MAINE! Let’s see here – lobster tail prices are currently at record highs EVEN AFTER 119 MILLION pound Maine harvest last year. So what is going to happen next year when this year’s Maine harvest is still less than 50 million pounds as of the end of September? Barring a miracle, 2019 Maine harvest will drop by 40-50% – It seems all but certain that Maine’s 25 year lobster boom is coming to an abrupt end. Markets will have to adjust to millions of pounds less of available lobster supply. For decades prior to 1990, the Maine lobster harvest was only 20 million pounds annually. Only one person knows what is going to happen in future years for sure.

LOCAL HAND CUT JUMBO FLUKE FILLETS, DAYBOAT LARGE MAHI FILLETS AND LARGE SWORD LOIN – These are the three most undervalued fish this week – they are all just at or below $10 per pound

IT’S FRIED OYSTER TIME! When you think of November, you might generally think oysters, specifically fried oysters. However, this year a fried oyster po’boy costs 15% more than in previous years. Shucked gallons of east coast selects are over the $100 mark. I know it might be considered “sacrilegious” to serve a “west coast” gallon of shucked oysters BUT you can save $25/gal. Contact your sales rep for more info

Seasonally, scallops prices tend to firm and strengthen heading into the winter months. The same thing looks like it will happen this year. U/10 pricing seem to be steadily increasing with limited harvest on good quality scallops. A contributing factor to upwards pressure on 10/20’s are strong auction prices on areas of fishing that historically bring better quality scallops.

We are continuing to carry dry scallops from New Bedford, MA; dayboats out of Barnegat Light, NJ as well as our Chef Pack 10/20’s from Hokkaido, Japan.

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