On April 22nd, 2015 the Camanchaca Hatchery in Petrohue, Chile suffered the effects of a natural disaster: the eruption of the Calbuco Volcano. Since then, they’ve been hard at work rebuilding this state-of-the-art facility and making it even better than it was before. See their extraordinary story of determination and community as they rebuild their salmon and trout hatchery.
Manitoulin Island Ruby Rainbow Trout
We have discovered a great fish farmer in the Georgian Bay area of Lake Huron. The farm is located off the coast of Manitoulin Island. Mike Meeker, family of Canadian hockey fame, has a fantastic enterprise raising Ruby Rainbow Trout. The farm is producing an all-natural Trout and an organic trout. There is very little difference in the two products. The feed is slightly different to meet organic standards but both products are raised with conscience stewardship. After the Trout is harvested they are transported to Wheatley Ontario Canada to the John O’s Foods production facility. John O Foods is a state of the art facility that also has been certified by the strict Organic Standards by Global Trust as well as three other Organic certification organizations. They also are MSC Certified for the Great Lakes walleye and Yellow Perch fishery. The partnership between Meeker and John O’s is a perfect match for Catanese Classic to partner with. We are carrying both the all-natural and organic items and look forward to growth in our relationship with both farmer and processor.
The following is part of an interview with Mike Meeker: Mike Meeker has just been recognized by the premier of Ontario for being the first producer of certified, organic rainbow trout in the country. He said he’s not doing anything terribly different than he was before he was certified. Meeker said he wasn’t giving his fish antibiotics for six to seven years before his certification which is contrary to most commercial operations. That, he said, shows how healthy his fish were already. But Meeker said there are strict rules. “The most important thing is food,” he says. “What do we feed the fish? And obviously what we put in, whether you’re human or fish, you put in your body is going to be a big part of your make-up. We have really stringent regulations about food. We can’t have GMO ingredients.” He goes on to say that he has to be able to demonstrate that the fish meal itself is environmentally sustainable. Space is also important to grow healthy fish. Meeker says they should have the same density as if they were growing in the wild. Meeker said these are just good practices generally. “I hate to differentiate the organic from the normal,” he said. “I lived on the site where I grew my fish and I raised my kids on that site, so I think all of us fish farmers are committed stewards of the water, and the organic standards take that idea a couple steps more.”
Wild Sockeye Salmon For Winter
We are now well past Fresh Wild Salmon season. Many people want to utilize Wild Salmon year round. I want to take this moment to promote a really fantastic alternative to fresh Wild Salmon. We have a MSC Certified, Monterey Bay Aquarium “Green” list Alaskan Wild Sockeye Salmon fillet that will make Wild Salmon in winter a no-brainer for everybody. The product was caught at the peak of the season this past summer (2015) in Prince William Sound and Yakutat Alaska. The Sockeye was caught specifically for creating pin bone out frozen sockeye salmon. This makes all the difference in the world regarding the quality of the salmon. There’s plenty of product on the market that was frozen due to lack of fresh sales or caught in areas that the fish had more age on it than the fresh market would accept. Our product is caught on small vessels landed in short day trips directly to a processing plant in Yakutat or Cordova Alaska. The fish are filleted and pin boned while still in a rigor or pre-rigor state. The the pin bones are removed without damage to the fillet. The pin bone removed fillets are then individually vac-packed and flash frozen. Then boxed and sent to the Lower 48 for distribution. These fillets eat as close to fresh as any frozen wild Salmon we have ever experienced. Priced right and beautiful, fillets are 1 to 1.5 pounds each skin on. This will bridge the gap until The Copper River opens in Mid-May 2016.
We have reached the end of the Ohio Lake Erie Yellow Perch season. We waved goodbye to our fearless boat Captains Mike & Holly as they left our docks for the last time for 2015. The boats headed West for winter storage and maintenance. We will have previously frozen Lake Erie Yellow Perch fillet cut from our own local fish that were frozen the day they were landed here at our docks. Our Perch cutters have been raving about the quality of the P/F fillet. we will have the P/F fish as long as our supply lasts. Other winter options will be a very limited IQF Yellow Perch fillet from our Canadian neighbors, and by very limited I’m not sure of how much or little we will have for sale at this writing. There will be good supply of Euro Perch (a cousin of Yellow Perch from Eastern Europe) and Zander, a pike/perch that isn’t really related to our Yellow Perch but has eating and visual characteristics that lends itself to use as a substitute when supply is short or non-existent.
Walleye has begun to slow. The Canadian walleye fishermen have around 2 weeks left to catch walleye. Weather conditions will dictate how often they will get on the water. When you feel the strong winds of December they’re more than likely not fishing. We expect to see walleye for the next 2 to 3 weeks but in more limited supply than it has been.
Lake Whitefish supply is good and should remain good throughout most of December. There’s a winter fishery for Lake Whitefish and we expect to see fish from that fishery starting mid-January.
White Bass and White Perch will wind down over the next 2 weeks. We expect very good supply the 1st week of December but slow to end by mid-December.
We have reached the end of North Atlantic Swordfish and Tuna season. As the fish migrate South to winter feeding grounds there will be a lull in Sword and Tuna production. We will buy imported Swords and Tunas from this point through the winter. We will occasionally see Gulf of Mexico USA production but the fish traditionally migrate well out to sea in Gulf waters as well. With less Sword and Tuna on the market and fish coming from farther off countries we will see higher prices on good quality Sword and Tuna. This usually continues until April.
As we reported earlier in November the Pacific Halibut season is long past its end. The Atlantic fishery is nearing the same. With weather conditions becoming more difficult and quota becoming short we will see very few Fresh Halibut landings in the Canadian Atlantic. However we will see increased volume of Farmed Norwegian Halibut arriving fresh whole head on over the next couple of months. These Farmed Halibut are of the highest quality but run on the smaller side of wild caught Halibut. We will see some fish in the 20 pound range but most fall in the 10 to 20 pound whole head on size. We will have previously frozen Alaskan Pacific Halibut to offer as well. We start with a H/G frozen at sea 20 to 40 pound Halibut slow thaw in a cold environment and fillet to order. Both of these are great options for the months of December and January. We should see improved landings of 2016 Atlantic season Halibut starting slowly in February. We will report on the Pacific season kick off when the dates and quota limits are set. Expect that season to open by late March.
Camanchaca Rated Top Chilean Farmed Salmon
We are proud to announce our Chilean Salmon vendor Camanchaca has been awarded the top Chilean Salmon Farming company by Seafood Intelligence 2015 Corporate, Social & Environmental Responsibility (CSER) Sustainability Report. The CSER report ranks the world’s top 35 Salmonid farming companies. Seafood Intelligence is an international consulting company specializing in aquaculture and fisheries. They’re rankings analyze a company’s transparencies within the industry in communicating their sustainability policies and results reporting, as well as sanitary information, community and human resources among their criteria. A very detailed study, Seafood Intelligence Report, is a global report encompassing all the world’s salmon farms.
Camanchaca accomplishments this year include moving from the 14th ranking in the world to 4th in the world of all salmon farmers. 4th in the world and 1st in Chile is a fantastic achievement in the salmon farming world. As well as Camanchaca is 1 of only 6 salmon farmers worldwide and the only Chilean company to achieve an “Excellent” rating in this year’s report. Camanchaca CEO Ricardo Garcia Holtz proudly states, “Our strong performance in this prestigious international ranking demonstrates that Camanchaca is on the right path in matters of sustainability, which is key for us.” It is key for us at Catanese Classic Seafood as well. We pride ourselves in aligning with the best seafood companies in terms of sustainability in the world. Congratulations Camanchaca we are thrilled for your accomplishments and happy to partner with you in the salmon world!
Florida Stone Crab Claws
October 15th was the official kick off of the 2015 Florida Stone Crab season. The fishing period runs until May 15, 2016. The Stone Crab is one of the most popular and sought after crab in the world. Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch has awarded the Stone Crab fishery with a “GREEN” Best Choice designation for sustainability. The fishery is well managed and only the claws are harvested from the crab as they regenerate new claws when a claw is removed. The Stone Crab can grow new claws up to 3 times in its lifetime. It takes less than a year to regenerate new claws. The population of Stone Crab is believed to be very healthy. Both spawn and molt season is during the fishery closure to protect reproduction and crab growth. A female stone crab will spawn 4 to 6 times per season. They have a life span of 6 to 8 years. Most of the catch is caught in the Florida Keys and into the Gulf waters North to the Tampa Bay region. There’s a fishery in the Bahama’s for Stone Crab as well as the US fishery.
Stone Crab claws are sized as follows:
- Medium = 6-8ct./lb.
- Large = 4-6ct./lb.
- Jumbo = 3-4ct./lb.
- Colossal = 2 or less per pound
The wild salmon season is quickly winding down. It has been a long good run since May’s first openings but the fish quality is not very good on any wild salmon species at the point. The later in the run the more mature and spent the fish become. At this time we are not going to stock any fresh wild salmon. If we get word on improved quality (not very likely) we would buy but our recommendation is to move away from fresh wild salmon at this time. We do, however, have a great supply of frozen Alaskan Sockeye Salmon. We are thawing to order and producing a beautiful pin bone out/skin on previously frozen Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillet. Supply is good and we expect to have inventory to carry us until next May when we ring the bell for the 2016 Copper River opening.
Inconsistent has been the word for lake fish supply lately, especially the Yellow Perch supply. The wind and wave conditions have been brutal over the last couple of weeks. Our Fishermen have quota remaining and hope to land fish well into November. We expect supply to be light until quotas are reached sometime in November.
Walleye fishing has been much better and landings are very strong and should continue to be strong well into November. Weather conditions have been tough on fishermen but walleye has been landing.
Lake Whitefish supply has been good and we expect to see great quality fish at reasonable prices through November. The fish quality improves as the water temperature cools as Whitefish is a softer flesh fish that tends to soften even more in warmer weather.
White Bass landings have been good and should continue so as White Bass is one of the main by-catches in both the Yellow Perch and Walleye fisheries.
Recommendations: November will be a good time to run Walleye and Lake Whitefish and White Bass. Do not count on Yellow Perch to be a regular item in November but take advantage of it when landings happen.
North Atlantic Swordfish
We are coming off the full moon on the 27th and that should be the last full moon cycle of the fall North Atlantic Sword season. Supply should be good and quality fantastic for the next week or so as boats bring in their last hauls of the season before weather conditions and Southern migration prohibits fishing efforts. Take advantage of supply during the 1st week of November but be cautious as prices could rise quickly as we get into mid-November. If weather conditions hold we might see supply deeper into November than expected. Stay tuned for updates.
The Pacific Halibut season closes on November 8th. This will put pressure on supply of Atlantic Halibut being the sole source until next March’s 2016 Pacific opening. We expect supply of Atlantic Halibut to be light but steady through November but slow considerably if not end in early December. Traditionally, Atlantic halibut is very short in December and into the first 2 or 3 weeks of January. Even as it picks up in mid-January it will be weather determinant. Fishing in the North Atlantic is a challenge most of the year but becomes very tricky in winter months.
For those that have to have Halibut through closed seasons or short supply we will have frozen Alaskan Halibut ready to thaw and cut and high quality previously frozen Halibut fillet. The halibut we buy will range from 20 – 40 lb each and cut a 6-12 lb skin on fillet. These fish were frozen on board vessels as the peak of the freshness to assure a beautiful previously frozen fillet. Remember, both Atlantic and Pacific Halibut are MSC certified and “Good Alternative” listed on Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch list
Catanese Classic Seafood is proud to partner with Verlasso Salmon, the first farmed salmon to reach “Good Alternative” status on the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch list. Verlasso’s efforts have set the aquaculture bar higher for all salmon farmers worldwide. Their innovative methods have helped shape the future goals of the entire industry. Verlasso’s revolutionary feed, a collaboration between DuPont and Aqua Chile, is a major breakthrough in sustainability for the farmed salmon industry. As Verlasso states, raising salmon in harmony with nature, is truly a noble cause.
If you are not using the aquaculture sustainable breakthrough salmon and want to try it at home, visit our retail stand or go to your nearest Heinen’s Fine Foods store and ask for Verlasso by name. Heinen’s Fine Foods is the flagship retailer of Verlasso Salmon in Northeast Ohio and Chicago.
Worldwide Salmon Market Update
Chilean Farmed Salmon
The Chilean Salmon market is currently very soft. Prices have dropped slightly and will be stable throughout the summer. Pressure from wild salmon demand is keeping farmed salmon prices in check. Expect a stable Chilean salmon price until late September when the market could firm in preparation for November / December high demand.
European Farmed Salmon
The Faroe Island Salmon market is very stable at this time. Again, wild salmon is keeping prices down. Faroe Island prices also are in check due to softer Norwegian salmon costs. The Norwegians are in control of the European salmon market and most of the time all European salmon producers follow their lead. Russian and Chinese demand also play into European Salmon pricing. Expect Faroe Island and Norwegian Salmon prices to hold until October when they are almost certain to increase for December demand.
Canadian Farmed Salmon
Smaller sized Canadian fish are in good supply and pricing is as low as we have seen in quite a while. Again, aided by the wild salmon run prices will remain stable until fall.
The Alaskan Sockeye run is in full swing. Prices are very attractive and the run should last through July and into early August. Coho salmon will follow the sockeye run in August and should be available through mid-September.
King Salmon Season Closed
The troll-caught king salmon season has been closed as of Thursday, July 9th. The king by-catch limit has been reached and this shut down the fishing season for the year. There will be net-caught river kings available through the next 2 months. Expect king prices to rise and supply to be more limited.
There is some controversy these days regarding Marlin, its sustainability, and whether responsible fish mongers should sell it. Catanese Classic Seafood is deeply invested in making sure we buy and sell as responsibly as possible. Currently, Hawaiian Blue Marlin is on the yellow (good alternative) list on Monterey Bay’s Seafood Watch guide. Monterey Bay has yet to complete a current assessment of the Hawaiian Striped Marlin fishery. If the population of Striped Marlin is solid, it should receive the same level as the Blue Marlin fishery as they are caught by the same vessels in the same manner in the same waters. They are reviewing the stocks of the species as well as other factors. When we receive Hawaiian caught Marlin it’s accompanied with a certificate of eligibility from the vessel that landed the fish. This chain of custody form must accompany all Marlin caught in Hawaiian waters. It includes vessel and captain name, method of catch, location of catch and the size and species of each fish landed. The Pacific long-line fishery has the most extensive government observer program in the industry.
Any Marlin not caught in Hawaiian waters currently is illegal to import or sell in the US. With Hawaiian Marlin being the only legal Marlin allowed in the country combined with the efforts to monitor and control all Hawaiian Marlin caught it’s is our opinion Hawaiian Marlin is a great grill fish that everyone should feel comfortable buying and selling.
Welcome to Catanese Classic Seafood’s inaugural newsletter edition! First of all, thanks for taking time from your day to read this report. We will report on seafood market news twice a month to help educate and inform you of current and pertinent information regarding the ever changing seafood world. For those who don’t know us, we are one of Ohio’s leading seafood distributors. We are committed to the sustainability of our industry and all our waterways. Catanese Classic Seafood is the first seafood distributor in the state of Ohio to collaborate with Monterey Bay Aquarium in their Seafood Watch program. We also support the My Gulf Wild traceable Grouper and Snapper fishery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Catanese Classic Seafood is Ohio’s exclusive wholesale distributor of Verlasso Salmon. Combining our efforts with those of the state’s best retailer, Heinen’s Fine Foods, we proudly represent the cutting edge sustainable Verlasso Salmon. Again, thanks for taking time to read our reports.
Wild Salmon Update
We are now reaching the peak of the wild Sockeye Salmon season. Many areas are now open from the Copper River to as far west as King’s Cove in the Aleutians. Sockeye is known in Alaska as Reds and should be running strong through July. This is the best time of the year for quality and price. King Salmon has been slower to come on strong but signs are looking better each day. Southeast Alaska is starting to produce more reasonable priced Kings. Supply should be good at least through July.
Open areas for Wild Salmon that we are seeing fish include: Copper River, Prince William Sound, Cook’s Inlet, Southeast Alaska, Ketchikan, and Sand Point of King’s Cove.
Lake Fish Update
Usually by July we have reached the heat of summer. With the heat of summer comes a slowdown in Lake Fish landings. This year we are far behind in the heat of summer. I expect us to be behind in the slowdown as well. What happens as the water warms the fish look for cooler waters. These waters are far east of the Central Fishing basin and far deeper. The fish become more dormant than when they feed in spring and fall making it harder to get fish to move into nets. Many fishermen stop fishing during the heat of summer and return to the water as fall gets closer and the fish return to feed and fatten for the upcoming winter.
We expect Yellow Perch supply to remain good through the month of July with stable pricing.
Walleye supply should be good until at least mid-July and possibly through the entire month of July. Expect the slowdown to happen in August.
Wild Striped Bass
The Summer Wild Striped Bass season in Massachusetts is upon us. Annually as the Striped Bass migrate north into New England waters the state of Massachusetts opens the fishing season for Large Wild Striped Bass. The fish must be at least 34 inches long ensuring all caught fish will be 20 pounds or larger. This is a very heavily regulated fishery. Each vessel is only allowed to land 15 fish each day. The season is only opened on Mondays and Thursdays establishing a limit of 30 Striped Bass a week per vessel to prevent any gluts of supply. The quota was reduced this year by 25% to a total of 486,000 pounds or approximately 19,000 fish. Considering the national demand for this great fish, that is a very limited supply. The season will end when the quota is reached or Labor Day if it hasn’t. With good fishing the quota could be realized by early August. So don’t wait if you want to take advantage of this great fish.
North Atlantic Sea Scallop – Summer Spawning
Spawning season is in full swing! During this time of year scallops will begin to purge a white milky liquid and have a softer texture. This is a completely natural cycle in the life of a North Atlantic Sea Scallop and not much can be done to prevent the excess purge. We are seeing most of the spawn coming from open area trips that are predominately from the Mid Atlantic. We will continue to monitor and source from areas that show the least amount of spawn.