“In the Know”

Author: Erika Eckley

Date: October 22, 2018

Seafood

Great Lakes
  • Whitefish – Landings have been decent, particularly on larger sized fish,  seeing mainly fish yielding 12 oz & larger fillets.  As long as winds stay fairly calm, we should continue to see good supply thru the end of November.
  • Lake Trout – No change.  Supply has been decent as long as the weather holds.
  • Walleye – We have had some wind interruptions this week with the cooler weather setting in, but nonetheless the fleet on Erie has been active. Fish continue to run on the smaller size, producing mainly fillets averaging 10 oz and down, with limited “jumbo” available.   Fishing on Lake Erie will remain active until the Lake freezes this winter.
  • White Bass – as a by-product of the walleye catch, production has been improving.
  • Yellow Perch –harvest numbers on Lake Erie yellow perch are increasing as boat captains are working hard to fill their 2018 quotas.  Landing continue to be heavy “medium” size.
  • White Perch – we are seeing heavy production on white perch as boats are targeting perch.  Plenty of fresh available and frozen stocks are being replenished.
  • Smelt – No production, refreshed or IQF are our available options.
  • Sunfish / “Bluegill” – very limited production.
  • Northern Pike – No Production.
  • Chubs – No Availability.
  • Farm Raised Ruby Trout – continued steady availability with fully stocked net-pens around Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron.
Farm Raised Salmon
  • Chilean and Canadian farmed salmon prices are unchanged again this week with good supplies available on both countries of origin.  Canadian processors all seem to be into large sized fish, producing 3-4 and 4-5# fillets.
  • Black Pearl Scottish Salmon will be back on track this week after weathering Storm Callum last week which caused cancelled harvests and production.
  • Premium Ora King salmon, farm raised in New Zealand is in tight supply with pricing on the rise as farm sites are being moved to colder water locations.  New Zealand is moving into their summer season, and they farms are working to prevent the die-offs they experienced last summer due to much warmer than normal water temps.
Wild Caught Salmon
  • Very limited production of fresh wild-caught salmon with a few Kings from Columbia river showing up.
  • There may be a few troll caught Kings from California showing up, but they will command a premium price.
  • We have plenty frozen H&G sockeye salmon in house and ready to be refreshed and processed.
Halibut
  • Only about two weeks left of the 2018 Pacific Halibut season, with the season ending November 7.  There will still be Atlantic Halibut around after the Pacific season closes, weather permitting.  Expect prices to rise as less fish is available.
East Coast
  • Wind has persisted for most of the week throughout New England area holding many boats at the dock; weather is expected to improve for the start of this week resulting in a more productive harvests.
  • Still seeing an assortment of ground fish, skate and monk production remains strong, but with slowly rising prices, the “seasonal migratory species” i.e. striped bass, scup, black bass and tautog  were also very favorable last week.
  • A long line sword boat will be unloading in New Bedford offering some availability and relief to a tightening market at least for the first part of the week.  Availability/selection in the market will most likely be a bit tight to start of the week; hopefully be back in good shape by mid-week.
  • Just as a reminder, Bluefin is shut-down for reassessment & reallocation of quotas, and hopefully will be opening once again November 1st for another short season.
Shellfish/Scallop/Lobster
  • Clams still extremely tight to non-existent, we were able to secure product for the first part of the last week, but most vendors out by the end of the week. Rain closures are down and more areas reopening with availability growing in the oyster arena.
  • Chesapeake shucked oysters, in gallons and cups are on everyone’s mind with pricing still the major question as we near the ramp up to the holidays. Most processors are currently offering a “no higher than cost” as they wait out a couple of key components before locking in on a “dock price”:
    • (1) Majority of fishermen still “crabbing” due to better dollar return, creating a tighter supply & higher costs on oyster s
    • (2) Better yields on shucked oyster meats as the weather cools, size will increase and take fewer meats to produce cans & cups
    • (3) Stable weather   encouraging continuous harvesting throughout the mid-Atlantic.
  • Once these aspects take the leap and sets the market or it’s just no longer possible to put off due time constraints: our best estimate is the “no higher than cost” we have been offered.
  • Scallops still holding at, last adjusted cost, but, the cloud still looms for another potential increase as the holiday season draws nearer; if anything develops we will keep all informed.
  • Little to no change for lobsters (firm shell) supply has been ok, prices still remain higher than we would like to see, “Up another $.25-.40 this week; if weather cooperates, we hope to see at least a small decline on cost. We will continue to use hard shell for FedEx shipments; but, maybe another week we will make the switch to “A grade” firm shell.
Southern/Gulf Species
  • It’s like someone turned off the “Tap”, sword & tuna just dried up and what little available spiked a $1.50-2.00 per pound.
  • The largest contributing factor for sword is fishermen wasted no time making the switch to Mahi as the new season begins.
  • Tuna, the jury is out, to explain the sudden drop; but I am sure part of the reason is also due to the Mahi opening up for the traditional mid-October to mid-January run.
  • As we see greater availability on Mahi, we also have begun seeing softer costs of $.50-1.00 per pound on 10/15 through the 20# plus fish.
  • Stone Crab Claws have arrived with good variety of sizes, and very strong (high) prices for first harvest. Please email “Pre-orders” early to insure count & customer expectations for arrival.
Farmed Species
  • Last week for the “October View”, please take advantage and give farmed Red Drum Fillet (Sciaenops  ocellatus)a try for your Cajun-style blackened recipe.
  • Farmed Rainbow Trout supply is currently very good and supply continues to increase with cooling temperatures creating a more optimal feeding pattern
  • And, of course keep in mind our other options for Farm –raised species, i.e., bronzini, dourade, char, and cobia. This time of year we encourage “pre-orders” to secure farmed product to fulfill customer’s need.

Produce

  • The market for onions continue to be active on jumbo yellows
  • With just a little bit of rain in the Salinas Valley and warm daytime temps, we may see some broccoli fields come off a little early
  • Strawberries supplies are leveling off with plants starting to get tired
  • The red color  for colored potatoes this season is outstanding and the purple color is very deep. Overall, this district is having a stellar harvest
  • Conventional carrots are in good demand and the market is up slightly on jumbo/cello/clip tops

Beef/Pork

  • Ribeye’s and tenderloins are continuing to increase
  • Everything else is remaining steady, check back next week for any changes

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