Black Sea bass

Wintertime Fish Species

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Business will be exceptionally slow from now until the beginning of Lent.

During this time, the weather will be a huge factor in determining availability and price. There are a few species that will be consistently available during this time. Make sure to stay in touch with your rep for future updates:

Sword & Tuna- The first couple weeks of January are traditionally a nightmare regarding sword and tuna availability.

The “longline fleets” worldwide come in for the holidays and stay onshore for a while afterward. That means minimal fishing effort and very few landings for the first two weeks of the year, leading to extreme shortages in the market. By the third week of January, the boats return on proper rotation, and supplies of tuna and sword return to normal.

Jumbo Black Sea Bass- With the new year comes new quotas for many species, and black sea bass is one of them. Trawl boats are busy catching fluke this time of year, and many of them have a black bass quota. So after catching their 10,000 lb quota of fluke, they will often catch 5000 lbs of black bass on the way back in.

The New York market keeps the price high most of the year, but jumbo black bass often gets cheap in January. So keep your eyes and ears open for value pricing on jumbo black bass fillets this month. Fillets will get under $15/lb and sometimes under $13/lb, depending on the supply.

Local Fluke- January through March is “prime time” for trawl-caught fluke along the mid-Atlantic seaboard. Prices are more than reasonable during this time of the year. This is a great fish to feature that is easily recognized and enjoyed by your customer base.

Mahi- Winter in the northern hemisphere is prime Mahi catching time around the equator. These highly migratory fish migrate south in the fall to Central America. Thousands of tiny “day-boats” highly target them in many villages along the coast. Quality is high, and prices are low.

Local Rock- January starts a new year and new yearly allotment of drift gill-net rockfish quota. Prices are currently low on wild rock and will remain that way in January, barring a hard freeze. There will be plenty of rock on the market through February and into March at a great price point.

Wild Norwegian Halibut- The weather off Nova Scotia is frightful, but apparently, Norwegian halibut fishermen aren’t scared so easily. Beautiful fish with a hefty price tag. The halibut market won’t fall significantly until April.

Icelandic Cod Loin- Beautiful, delicious North Atlantic cod is harvested all year around Iceland, but winter is the time of year when most of the fishing effort occurs. It is also the time of year when Mother Nature tries to make it impossible to fish. Prices are currently elevated, but anyone who has ever tasted this fish knows it is still way undervalued.

Prices are subject to change.