Canadian Cove Organic Mussels
Brothers Brian & Bob Fortune are true pioneers in the mussel aquaculture business. In 1989 they founded Atlantic Aqua Farms and its signature brand Canadian Cove. With quality the number one focus they grew to build a 100,000 square foot processing facility in 1997. By 2006, Atlantic Aqua Farms had acquired significant leases and production operations both on PEI and Nova Scotia. Today Atlantic Aqua Farms produces nearly 40,000,000 pounds of cultured mussels annually. With the belief from day one that all mussels are not created equal they moved ahead of the competition with quality mussels that stand apart and at the top of the industry. From farming techniques to cleaning, grading, packaging and quality control the Canadian Cove product stands above the competition.
Canadian Cove employs a growing system called long lines whereby the mussels are suspended vertically in the water column and are attached to a long line grid. The growing cycle starts by collecting seed on seed collector lines also suspended in the water column. Each spring mussels spawn, releasing billions of microscopic larvae into the water. These larvae float around in the water column for a week or so until they attach themselves to collector lines with a tiny thread called a byssal thread. At this point they are no bigger than a grain of sand. The mussels remain on the collector lines until they grow to 1/2 inch. This seed is then harvested and graded into uniform sizes and placed in socks about 10 feet long. These socks, filled with uniform seed, are taken back to the water and suspended from our long lines. This seed will grow to a mature size of approximately 2 1/2 inches in length over a 12 to 18 month period. When the mussels reach optimal size and meat yield, they are harvested by specially designed mussel boats. The mussel lines are placed in insulated tanks and brought to our processing facility in Orwell Cove. Once in our plant the mussels are stripped from the socking material and placed in our state of the art holding system.
Special care is the key to every step of the way for Canadian Cove mussels. While the mussels are in the water they are periodically lifted for inspection and maintenance. If growth is too concentrated they cull out excess to provide needed space for mussels to grow to a larger, healthier size. From harvest time through the mussels stay in the holding tanks in Atlantic Aqua Farms state of the art facility care is taken to keep mussels in a low stress state. Atlantic Aqua Farms research shows mussel life is longer after harvest when mussels have less stress. The mussel grading procedure is taken to the highest level as only mussels of the proper size and quality are put into the Canadian Cove bag. No tiny filler mussels or uncleaned mussels or foreign objects (pebbles, rocks etc.) that only add weight are added. The care in handling and this tight grading system added to holding tanks that purge impurities from mussels insure only the best mussels leave the processing facility heading to market. Complete traceability insures customer safety as every bag is tagged with a lot number and harvest location that is traceable throughout the entire process and into the marketplace.
Farmed mussels are the poster child for seafood aquaculture sustainability. Mussels filter plankton for food and do not need any supplement feeding. Mussels are not over crowded in pens and do not induce any adverse environmental impact. Aquaculture mussels are a “Green” list product on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch list as well as certified by Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The Canadian government has created an Organic Standard for seafood products and Canadian Cove mussels have a number of leases that qualify for the standard. All Canadian Cove mussels produced in 2 pound retail bags have the Organic sash banner attached.
Atlantic Aqua Farms announced in December 2015 a business combination of JP’s Shellfish, Confederation Cove and Stewart Mussel Farms with Atlantic Aqua Farms. This combination forms a completely vertical integrated shellfish enterprise. In the official press release Terry Ennis, President & CEO of Atlantic Aqua Farms Partnership stated, “The combination of these companies, each one with a reputation for quality and service, is a win for our staff, our loyal customers and the industry. Atlantic Aqua Farms is the #1 grower-processor and supplier of premium, rope-cultivated PEI blue mussels to North America. Our single focus every day is to consistently produce the best quality mussels in the world for our customers and the addition of J.P.’s Shellfish, Confederation Cove Mussels and Stewart Mussel Farms to our family will allow us to provide more of the high quality shellfish we’ve always been known for, in addition to a new suite of complimentary products including live lobsters, oysters and clams, to our customers.”
Carolina Classic Catfish
Founded in 1985, Carolina Classic Catfish set out to be the country’s premium farmed catfish producer. Rob Mayo and his staff in North Carolina have worked hard to set themselves apart from all others in the catfish industry. In 1993 Carolina Classics became the first American seafood processor to develop a USDC managed HACCP (Hazzard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan. Today all seafood companies must have a HACCP plan in place to operate legally. From the beginning they set the bar high and had quality as their mindset. As a vertically integrated company, Carolina Classics Catfish maintains strict control of the entire production system. From pond to plate they mill their own feed, operate their own hatchery, then raise, process and deliver premium quality catfish. Carolina Classic sets themselves in a league of their own as the only Catfish producer not adding water or any chemicals to their products. The industry standard in catfish is 10% water added. As most know you cannot just add water weight to a product without adding a chemical to bind that water into the fish. This just adds weight that has no value to the fish or customer. Carolina Classic has always looked at that practice as a practice not fitting into their model. In addition to their original Catfish Carolina Classics raises a catfish that qualifies to carry the All Natural label. There’s very little difference in the two products but the All Natural has a different feed maintaining a strict no land animal by-products in the ingredient list. Both products are produced without using chemicals antibiotics or water added.
Worldwide there is a firming in the salmon market. Higher Lenten demand combined with less fish in the water is pushing salmon pricing upward. This is true of Salmon from Europe as well as Chilean and Canadian raised fish. These increases should not be drastic and might ease off after Lenten demand lessens. Usual pattern would be an easing of farm salmon prices as wild salmon season approaches in May.
North Atlantic Groundfish
With a milder winter than normal the North Atlantic fishing fleet from Iceland to Norway to Canada and the USA has experienced good landings keeping supply good and prices reasonable. We expect good supply of Cod from all origins and Pollock and Flatfish (Flounders/Sole) as well to keep up through Lent.
There has been no fishing on Lake Erie but as the weather improves boats will venture on the water to find fish. We expect to see small landings possibly starting this week but improving over the next couple of weeks. We should start seeing Walleye, White Bass and White Perch to start. We have seen and expect to continue to see Yellow Perch landings from inland lakes in North Carolina and Lake Champlain in upstate New York.
Currently we are in the middle of the Gulf Black Grouper closure. We continue to receive landings of Red Grouper and other varieties of groupers not affected by the closure. We expected supply to be much shorter than we have realized to date. At this point baring any extreme weather in the Gulf we expect this to continue through this month.
Both the Yellowfin Tuna and Swordfish fishery are in short supply and this is normal for this time of year. Migrating fish and poorer weather conditions keep most Tuna Sword boats from large hauls. There’s tuna and sword to sell but prices should remain higher through this period. There will be Bluefin Tuna available in the Gulf as fish that have migrated from the North Atlantic in the fall to the Gulf waters are being targeted by the Gulf fleet.
Philly Seafood’s Texas Gulf Shrimp
With a desire to do something more with his shrimp, Kenneth Garcia recruited his sister Regina Garcia Pena in 2002 to sell it. Shortly after, his brother Anthony and father Edward, Sr. came on board to create Philly Seafood. The men wanted to have more control over their shrimp production, but it was Regina who was determined to change the way the company did business. She shifted the organization from just selling shrimp to developing a brand that represented the family’s values of hard work and dedication.
Philly Seafood is a family business with a family name. Regina’s son, Daniel Phillip Pena III, lost his life in a tragic accident when he was four years old. Regina takes great care with the company’s image and reputation because her son’s memory is intertwined with the organization. The company’s success and growth is based on the fundamental principles of integrity, quality and service. It manages the harvest, production, packaging, marketing and selling of the shrimp from family owned boats. Philly Seafood is now a recognized brand in the retail and food service seafood landscape across the United States.
The Garcia family started with 1 shrimp boat in 1952 and now owns the largest shrimp fleet in the United States. The bulk of Philly’s boats production is Texas Brown Shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) caught in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The boats also fish the shallower waters of the Gulf for Gulf White Shrimp (Litopenaeus Setiferus). All Philly vessels produce the highest quality shrimp as the family knows and is invested in all the captains and crew. This relationship is unique in the shrimping industry. Most shrimp companies buy the majority of their product from independent boats and or traders. Subsequently having much less control over raw material. The Philly Shrimp family oversees every step of the process from fishing vessel to production and sales and everything in between. Philly has just opened a state of the art production facility in Texas. Aligned with Sustainable Fisheries Partnership and Gulf Seafood Trace Philly Seafood is the clear leader in the Gulf Shrimp industry. Catanese Classic Seafood as a family business appreciates the Garcia family’s journey in the industry and are proud to partner with their great company.
Skrei Cod, Norway
The excitement in Norway this time of year is similar to the buzz in Alaska in May. In May, Alaska’s fishing world is awaiting the arrival of wild salmon season. In January, Norway is anticipating the return of Skrei Cod. This is a unique happening in the Cod world. Skrei Cod, pronounced Skray, an old Norse word that loosely translates to wanderer; is a branded, tagged Arctic Atlantic Cod that migrates from its home in the Barents Sea to its spawning ground off the coast of Norway. This migration starts in late January and ends in early April. The journey these Cod take is over 1800 miles. Not every Cod caught in this fishery is branded Skrei. To quality for Skrei quality standards the Cod must be a fully grown adult caught in the traditional Northern Norway spawning grounds. The fish must be processed and packed within 12 hours of being caught. The skin is required to be immaculate, no scratches, bruises or other flaws. We are awaiting the arrival of the first landings of this great Cod sometime near the last couple days of January. We will see fish arrive in the 8 to 12 pound range with a few fish near 15 pounds. This will produce a nice 3 pound average fillet. The fishery is certified sustainable by Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). The health of this fishery is very strong as is evidenced by research vessels showing a 90% return of all eligible fish returning to the spawning grounds yearly. Enjoy the sweet flavor of this cold water delicacy while it is available.
2016 Grouper Closure
One of the adventures we will be facing in the current year is a two month black grouper conservation period in Mexico for the months of February and March. This two month moratorium has been rumored for a while, but we did not want to announce it until we were certain of the details. Two months without black grouper will almost certainly leave an unprecedented shortage especially in the fresh fish markets. We would like to mention that while we are very supportive of the extension of the conservation period to two months, we see that as just one of a number of important steps that need to be taken.
Remember, last years’ closure was rumored to be 2 months but was left at the traditional 1 month closure. The catch has dropped every year from record lows in 2013 & 2014. The 2015 catch was slightly improved from the record low of 11 million pounds in 2014 but not much improved. This closure, although difficult, is needed to help improve black grouper stocks in the Gulf of Mexico for the long term sustainability of the fishery.
A 2-month closure from February 15 through April 15 is actually about a week or so later than those dates. We will have fish for around a week or so after the closure and will not have fish until at least a week after the fishing resumes. We will have options for black grouper customers during the closure. Those options include Gulf Wild tagged red grouper, Pacific grouper and we will have frozen black grouper fillets to create a previously frozen grouper fillet.
The Salmon market is in flux at this time. Not that it’s unusual at this time of year. The Chilean Salmon supply is feeling pressure from Lenten demand. Many ads have been booked by large retailers and demand is higher than anticipated supply over the next 2 months. Expect Chilean salmon prices to increase in February and then possibly again in March. The market should stabilize after Lent in April. The increases could be as much as $1 per pound. Expect a minimum of .50 per pound increase.
European Salmon, meaning Faroe, Norwegian and Scottish Salmon, increased prices before the holiday season in December. The European Salmon has increased in January as well. I know this is old news but the point is the European Salmon market has already increased price levels for Lent. The market should stabilize as Lent approaches. If there is an increase it should be slight. We expect a stable market from Europe but depending on the depth of the Chilean increase we could see that slight increase from Europe.
The ice is forming and breaking up as our weather changes from deep freeze to mild. Those conditions keep fishermen off the water. We do not expect any Lake Erie caught fish for the short term. A longer break in the weather would get the boats back on the water but it’s not expected. We will be getting inconsistent supplies of ice fished Lake Winnipeg Walleye over the next month, as well as of yellow perch coming from Lakes in upstate New York and Maryland. Lake Whitefish should be available from Lake Huron but weather could interrupt supply periodically. We do not expect to see fresh White Bass anytime soon as well. We will have a great supply of high quality previously frozen lake fish to carry you through the gaps in fresh supply.
Wild caught fish in general is more difficult this time of year. Most ports during winter see less fish landed. Even in the Gulf of Mexico the winds and seas are higher and less good days of fishing exist. This combined with conservation closures and annual fish migrations make wild caught fish shorter in supply than it will as spring approaches. We suggest utilizing farm raised fish during this time. Also, mahi mahi is one of the best choices during winter as the fishing season in Ecuador is in full gear until April. There should be fairly good supply of Hawaiian landed fish this time of year. Weather permitting supply of North Atlantic groundfish should be in good supply and very popular as Lent arrives. Mid-Atlantic species such as Fluke and Wild Striped Bass should start to show, again weather permitting.
It was 1965 when Noah Clark first started cutting fish in a local Point Judith Rhode Island fish house. In 1980, Noah opened Town Dock in Warwick, Rhode Island. Since then, after many changes, Town Dock has become the leader in the squid industry in the USA. Catanese Classic Seafood is proud to partner with the fine folks at Town Dock. The direct information and relationship we have developed with Noah’s staff, primarily Aaron J. Ferri, has been extremely valuable helping us make sound decisions to provide proper direction to our valued customers. Town Dock offers multiple lines of product to suit the needs of many customers.
First and foremost is the flagship of the fleet, domestic Rhode Island Loligo squid. The American Loligo has been considered the highest quality squid in the world. Having full control of the operation from the boat to the processing floor to the distributor, with the finest squid in the world, produces the top product on the market.
The second tier, so to speak, is the imported Asian Loligo squid Town Dock calls Green Line. This is the same species as the US-Atlantic species. The fish and processing takes place in Asian waters. Town Dock has representatives on staff working with the fishing fleet in Asia and the processing plants as well. This gives them more control than the competitors. We feel this Asian Loligo squid is a great price friendly option of Loligo.
The third option is a squid produced in China and also caught in Asian waters. It is the species called Todarodes. This is a budget line of squid that works well for many customers.
The market conditions currently have dictated some changes. US production has struggled all year coming off the two toughest winters in recent memory. Production has not improved enough to have full availability. Town Dock is rationing USA Rhode Island Loligo to its best customers and we at Catanese Classic Seafood are happy to be in the mix. I believe our supply is currently in good shape on US product. The cost is up on the US produced squid but it is very relative as squid is one of the most reasonably price seafood items on the market today. But if the slight increase is too much for some customers we recommend the Green Line as it is stable in cost currently. As always, we strive to keep everybody in supply on the exact squid that meets their needs.
Wild Caught Octopus – Fremantle Octopus Hands
Another species that has mystery and confusion surrounding it is octopus. Only a handful of octopus fisheries have been assessed by MSC or MBA. Most are fished by divers with little or no habitat damage or by-catch issues. One of the fisheries not yet assessed by either MSC or Monterey Bay is the Fremantle Octopus fishery in Western Australia. In 2000, the Fremantle Octopus fishery commenced with fishermen focused on creating a sustainable octopus fishery. This fishery should get favorable grades from the fishery assessment groups. The item Catanese Classic Seafood is promoting currently is the Fremantle Octopus Hands. This product is comprised of only the “hands” or arms of the octopus. Most octopus is sold as whole octopus. Although there are uses for the heads and other parts of the octopus most use only the arms. The cost is higher on the Fremantle Octopus hands, but the yield and labor time to prepare the octopus into the form that Fremantle Octopus Hands comes out of the package more than makes up for it. No waste no extra labor, just prepare and enjoy.
For those that want the whole octopus, we offer a variety of sizes from 2 to 4# all the way to 8# and up. We offer a high quality octopus from the Philippines. This octopus unfortunately carries a Red list rating from Monterey Bay. The rating doesn’t reflect on the fishery itself as Monterey Bay’s assessment of the fishery found octopus populations were very good and fishing methods were also sound. Octopus is caught by divers in 150 to 300 feet of water. By-catch is almost non-existent and habitat destruction very minimal. Everything about this fishery assessment was good enough to land it on either the Yellow or Green list. So why is it on the Red list? It is due to the Philippine government’s lack of fishery management policies. Hopefully the Philippine government will make management of their great resource a priority sometime soon. The fishery seems to be managed well by its fishermen but that’s not a sustainable future as it leaves open chances for abuse without repercussions. We do not support the Philippine government’s lack of fishery management policy but do support fishermen that have taken control of properly managing a fishery that their livelihood is dependent upon.
Looking for fresh whole octopus? With a little planning and pre-order we can usually procure whole fresh octopus from US waters.
Lake Fish: Walleye
With the mild weather we are experiencing Walleye fishing continues. It will slow this coming week and end just before Christmas. Now if the weather continues its mild trend the fishermen are able to fish between Christmas and New Years’ using next year’s quota. Most will not opt to do this but we might see an boat or two make that call. we will have previously frozen Walleye fillet to offer for New Years’ business if no fishing takes place.
White Bass and Lake Whitefish also continue to land and expect White Bass to end also by Christmas week. we should see Lake Whitefish through the New Years’ holiday.
This is shaping up to be a banner year for Stone Crab Claws. The fishing is stronger than anybody has seen for many years. Maybe as many as 20 years. The catch has been predominately Large crabs producing Large (4-6ct) and Jumbo (2-4ct) claws. The fishermen are putting many under sized crabs back into the water as well. This is a good sign for the health of the fishery. Monterey Bay Aquarium has graced the US Stone Crab Fishery with a Green Best Choice label. The season will be open until May 15th. take advantage of this delicacy while it’s available.
Tuna is a global market. Issues with the Japanese Yen is holding Tuna prices down. Tuna catch is not up but less Tuna is being bought and shipped to Japan the worlds’ biggest Tuna user. This leaves more Tuna being shipped to the US market. This increase in supply is keeping Tuna prices very attractive. Expect this trend to keep up through the holidays and into early January. Be cautious though as bad weather issues and actual landings could affect the market.
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
Dom Petroff Caviar
As we get closer to the holidays there are special luxury items chefs and consumers have on their shopping list. Caviar is one of those items. Catanese Classic Seafood has a great partner in Dom Petroff Caviar. We believe Dom Petroff represents the finest Caviars in the world. Dom Petroff is known and respected worldwide. One of the values we appreciate is transparency and straight information. Many caviar companies operate in a matter that can be confusing as very little information of value is shared with the customer. Dom Petroff has a different approach. They spend time educating customers with an extremely gifted sales staff. The knowledge we have acquired from Sebastien Puech, our valued representative from Dom Petroff, has far exceeded any caviar company’s efforts in our past. Here’s some background information on Dom Petroff.
Established in France in 1979, Dom Petroff has supplied the top Seafood Purveyors, Chefs and retail stores with the best quality caviar and fish roe available. Since the ban on wild caviar took effect in 2005 (first on Beluga – Huso Huso, later extended to all sturgeon species), working with high quality farms around the world is key. Selecting sustainably raised caviar protects endangered species and provides a wonderful alternative to prohibited wild caviar, while offering more consistency throughout the year in terms of quality and price. Dom Petroff experts select the best batches available around the world thanks to long term partnerships. As it takes 8 to 10 years for an Ossetra – Acipenser Gueldenstaedtii to reach its maturity and produce caviar, the quality of the farm now matters much more than the country of origin. Every tin of Dom Petroff caviar includes both the common name and scientific name of the species. The word “caviar” is not protected in the US, which is why customers can sometimes be confused and need to be informed properly: only sturgeon makes real caviar. In the US, Dom Petroff is the only company that selects, matures, grades and hand packs all its products to order. Maturation is a key step during which, after processing, caviar will obtain its taste profile and exceptional qualities. Since the process takes between 4 to 8 months, it is a costly step that requires constant care from Dom Petroff caviar experts in New York, where the company is based.
Catanese Classic Seafood currently has in stock Ossetra, Pacific White Sturgeon and Red Salmon Roe. Please call us to discuss and plan your holiday caviar needs.
The Amazon River is the second largest freshwater waterway in the world. Protecting the Amazon and its animal and plant life are paramount to a sustainable planet. Paiche farming is a valuable piece of the daunting task of protecting the Amazon. Paiche is the world’s largest freshwater fish. it has been prized by fishermen and Chefs worldwide for centuries. In the wild Paiche is known as Pirarucu in Brazil and in Peru as Arapaima. Demand overpowered supply for many years and stressed the Paiche population nearly to extinction. Over the last 20 years conservation laws were put into effect and the challenge to raise this delicacy in controlled environment farms was on. Over the last few years farming methods have improved and success is being reached both in Peru and Brazil.
Catanese Classic Seafood is proud to be on the cutting edge working directly with importers to bring this sought after freshwater treasure to the Ohio market. The fishery has yet to be assessed by Monterey Bay Aquarium or MSC but will certainly be applauded by all conservationist for its effort to protect the great Amazon River and provide a wonderful eating fish so popular for so many years. Adding to the improved sustainability of the species Paiche farming has created jobs in areas they are sorely needed. Paiche in the wild can grow to 500 pounds and well over 6 feet long. They feed mostly on a plant diet and are commonly seen reaching out of the water to pick fruit from trees in the high water flooded Amazon. A unique single lung allows the giant to surface and breathe air as it forages for food. Paiche is sold in frozen skinless boneless fillets averaging 2 to 4 pounds each.
November usually is the last good production month on the Lake. Our mild weather has made fishing conditions better than usual. Yellow Perch has not responded to good fishing conditions and have been very elusive. Both catch and quota is winding down. We do not expect to see much Yellow Perch landed for the remainder of the season. Our boats will continue to go search as the weather permits but low catches are an indication the season will be over very soon.
Walleye fishing has been great this early November. We expect continued success with Walleye landings this mid to late November. This, of course is weather permitting. White Bass, White Perch and Lake Whitefish have been landing in good supply as well. In summary, all lake fish species except Yellow Perch should still be considered for use through November. I keep stressing weather permitting.
The fall pack season for American Lobster is winding down. This pack season was not as good as needed. In fact it was downright poor. Normally there are 2 packs per year for American Lobster. The first is in the spring, between April and early June. That is the primary season as Lobsters have the fullest meat to shell ratio and yields are much better. This spring the pack wasn’t very good either. Processors struggled to satisfy demand and maintain good inventory. Thus the freezers were very low before the fall season started. A good season was needed. With that being said and inventory levels as low as they are, demand for holiday Lobster products are driving up prices. We expect to see increases on frozen Lobster meat throughout the holiday and winter seasons. Supply of Lobster tails is better than supply of meat. Smaller size tails, under 7oz are in good supply but lager tails over 7oz. are shorter in supply, especially tails over 12oz. Live Lobsters will start to increase near Thanksgiving and continue to rise with increased holiday demand and less open fishing areas.
The US and Canadian King Crab fishery is currently ongoing. The season opened October 15th and will finish when the 9.7 million pound quota is realized. The catch has been lighter than expected but has been good for larger crabs. One of the issues with pricing is the fact that Japan and China are buying large quantities of small whole crabs at dock level. This has shortened supply of 16/20s and smaller. Those sizes drive the market and, being short, drive all sizes up in price. We are buying in now as the market has hit bottom, although that bottom is higher than last year’s price levels. Expect prices to rise with holiday demand and then ease off slightly sometime in March or April. It should then be stable into the summer.