1. 42 MILLION SOCKEYES CAUGHT SO FAR THIS SEASON IN BRISTOL BAY!! Second highest catch on record. Fillets are a value and still in the single digits. Starting to see a few wild Coho; Cohos will be the predominant fish late summer and fall – we also have troll caught wild king salmon from Wrangell Alaska.
2. CAROLINA SHRIMP BOATS TURN AROUND AND COME BACK IN – shrimp in the sounds are still too small – they haven’t grown in two weeks. Stay tuned!
3. BLUEFIN MARKET FLOODED WITH NICE FISH – Giant bluefins can be seen smashing through schools of bait (menhaden) within only 1 MILE of the beach near New Bedford, Massachusetts. People in KAYAKS are going out there and hooking these monsters. Many fishermen with quota are refusing to kill these fish for such little money. I guess they watch too much “Wicked Tuna” and expect “Hollywood pricing”!
4. TEXAS WILD SHRIMP SEASON JUST STARTING – The major producing season for domestic shrimp packers has started. Boats left the dock July 15 after the hurricane came ashore in Louisiana. All these shrimpers are freezer boats where they shrimp continuously for a month and freeze their catch head-on in 50 lb. onion sacks. When they come back to unload, the shrimp are thawed, headed and graded at a plant on the Gulf. Our premier brand is Dominick’s out of Bayou la Batre. The first catches will be smaller with the larger shrimp (16’s and 10/15’s) coming on in the fall.
5. SNOW CRAB SEASON OVER IN EASTERN CANADA – Harvest this year was below average with lots of small crab that produced mostly 5/8 clusters. 8-10 and 10 up clusters are at an all-time high right now. No relief in the near term – Alaska opens in October but their biomass is primarily small crab also. Eastern Canada will not reopen until May 2020. Expect prices to continue to rise
6. RED TIDES AND CLOSURES IN MAINE & CANADA PUSH GALLONS OF FRYER CLAMS OVER $150!! With all the soft-shell clams in our Chesapeake Bay dead (because of too much rain), the only source of this delicacy are clam beds in Maine and eastern Canada. Red tides and rain closures have severely restricted the harvest and prices are at all-time highs
7. MAINE FIRM SHELL LOBSTERS STILL A NO SHOW – They are catching a few, but the big slug has not hit yet. Processors like Downeast, keep records on when they start summer processing in Maine each year. July 28, 2008 is the latest they have ever started. So basically, we are on pace to see Maine get the latest start in a decade, assuming they start sometime next week.