1. SOFT CRABS TIGHTEN UP DRAMATICALLY – The thing about live soft shell crabs is that they have the unique ability to disappear overnight. Late last week they shut off like a light switch in most areas of the Bay. The ONLY area a few peelers are shedding is the upper Bay (Kent Island to Rock Hall). We will do our best to cover orders this week, but it is a struggle daily. There is better availability on smaller soft crabs (primes & hotels) so you can pre-order them with your sales rep!
2. LOCAL OC JUMBO WILD ROCK HAVE “LEFT THE BUILDING” – The local Ocean City jumbo wild rock we had been enjoying over the last month are “high tailing it” up the coast to Massachusetts as fast as they can swim. The last of the school of migrators are north of Jersey by now. Our local commercial pound net rockfish season will start June 1. There should be plenty of fish of all sizes available Monday June 3. This week, we will only have Rhode Island wild rock which will be pricey.
3. VENEZUELA STILL MANAGING TO GET FRESH CRABMEAT INTO THE US – In spite of a United States government ban on all flights to the US coming from Venezuela, our suppliers are flying their meat to either Columbia or Panama and then on to Miami. The increase in airfreight alone is almost $2 per pound above their original cost in the product. We have secured enough meat to get through this week and into next week.
4. LOCAL GREY TILE FROM HATTERAS NC – Dayboats are getting out and hook & lining some excellent quality 4-8 lb. grey tile. Fillets are $12.95. These fish inhabit the same bottom and are as tasty as any local grouper.
5. CATCHING THE “LIVING DAYLIGHTS” OUT OF LOCAL MAHI – There must be a load of mahi swimming by Hatteras as we speak because it seems every other day boats are unloading big catches of beautiful local mahi – prices are down and very reasonable
6. COPPER RIVER ALASKA WILD SOCKEYE SALMON MARKET FINALLY CRACKS – we are at least headed in the right direction with whole sockeyes trading at $11 and fillets at $16.95. Alaska fish & Game is allowing 2 openers each week so far. The last opener was a 24-hour fishing period which brought in plenty of fish that cracked the market. We should see further price drops later this week. The wild king salmon market is still in the clouds with California troll king salmon going for $15 per pound whole.
7. NORWEGIAN ALGAL BLOOM KILLS 8 MILLION SALMON!!!! About $82 million dollars (1.3 metric tons) worth of salmon suffocated in Norwegian waters in the regions of Troms and Nordland last week. This was as a result of a deadly algal bloom. The combination of warm weather and slowing currents produced a lethal bloom affecting nine salmon companies. I guess there is no escaping the worldwide effects of climate change.
8. Swordfish: The Summer catch of Gulf of Mexico Swordfish has started. They are a resident population of fish which are seldom targeted due to the difficulty of catching them. They are hard to find. The reward for their efforts is a dark-skinned swordfish with amazingly bright meat colors. They are a lean firm fish. They have a characteristically milder flavor than most swordfish.