Weekly Fish Reports

Sea to Table's Weekly Fish Report provides weekly information on landings and species availability from each of our partner fisheries.


Fall Fishing Season

September 14, 2014

As the weather cools for the last week of summer, we enter our favorite fishing season on the east coast.

Off Beaufort, NC, two major Atlantic currents collide, namely the southerly-flowing cold water Labrador Current and the northerly-flowing warm water Gulf Stream. This wall of water attracts bait fish irresistible to larger predators. Although Vermillion Snapper season ends this week, our fishermen are landing Wahoo, Mahi, Tuna, and Sword on hook and line troll boats, Amberjack and Grouper off-shore bottom fishing, Flounder and Red Drum in-shore. We also have boats landing fresh white shrimp which we can mix small quantities into boxes.

This is the season when Montauk fishermen steam to the Hudson Canyon, a fertile fishing ground only 100 miles from NYC. The canyon, an underwater cut larger than the Grand Canyon, draws Yellowfin Tuna, Mahi-Mahi and Swordfish in great numbers, and in its walls live Golden Tilefish, a fish that is ever growing in popularity. This is the time of year when the carefully managed Striped Bass population migrates around the end of Long Island, and once you have tasted this treat next day out of the water, it is difficult to forget.

16/20 fresh White Shrimp landed last week in Beaufort, NC
Pan Seared Mahi Mahi caught off Montauk, NY with local stone fruit & habanero sofrito over organic quinoa, avocado, and cucumber salad served at Brooklyn's Cubana Social

On the west coast we are still landing Coho on the Kenai in Alaska, but salmon season is winding down and fishermen will soon be targeting Pacific Cod. This is the final week for comment to the EPA concerning their decision on the Pebble Mine. If you have not already, please add your voice to protecting the world’s greatest salmon run.

Further south off California, it is reported that Blue Whales bounce back to near historic numbers. In 1966, the governments of the world banned commercial fishing for Blue Whales. Now, almost fifty years later, we are seeing these thrilling results. Blue whale families grow and prosper, and whale watching is booming.

And today is a banner day for the Dimin family as Katherine Dimin Covington gave birth to an eight and a half pound baby girl named Tessa in honor of her maternal grandmother.

All the best,
from the Dimins and the Sea to Table team


 

Responsible Sourcing

September 7, 2014

The capture of wild fish is the last true hunting on earth. Around the globe 90% of all fishermen are independent operators, but more than half of the wild fish harvested are captured by large industrial fishing operations, whose practices often go unchecked. On an environmental level, fisheries management in the US over the last 30 years has seen fish stocks go from near depletion to being sustainably harvested, with all federally managed fisheries no longer being subject to overfishing. This is not true in most of the world, and over 90% of all fish consumed in the US comes from overseas.

It is widely understood that industrial meat production is fraught with myriad problems. Although some fish farms practice better methods than others, the same problems exist in aquaculture as with industrial meat, and more than 50% of fish consumed in the US is now farmed. As more and more people look to seafood as the healthy protein, how can we make the right choices?

Just as we want to know who grew our tomato, and how our beef was raised, the answer is to know your fisherman. These are hardworking men and women, dedicated to responsible harvesting, the backbone of traditional domestic fishing communities, who deserve our support. Make your purchasing decisions count.

As the wild salmon season draws to a close, it was an excellent year for sockeye, less so for kings and keta. The threat of the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay remains, and the EPA is in the final stages fo its decision making process to exercise its authority to protect the watershed of the world’s largest salmon run. The comment period ends in 10 days, and we urge every salmon lover to speak their mind on this critical issue.

Good news from the west coast where the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch changed their recommendation for 21 species of California groundfish from red to green. This was a fishery that only a decade ago was feared lost. And both houses of the California Legislature passed SB 1138 requiring all fish and shellfish to be accurately labeled with their common names, along with whether they were wild or farmed, domestic or imported. Real steps in the right direction. 

A shout out to our friend Asheville chef Katie Button, recognized on World’s Best Chefs, and to Rocky Mountain chef Alex Figura who is creating great dishes direct from the dock.

African Pompano speared by fisherman Pat Bennett off Tarpon Springs, FL
Pompano with apples, bacon, and brussel sprouts at Denver's Lower 48 Kitchen 
Puget Sound Smelt landed on the Olympic Peninsula in Neah Bay, WA
Beautiful Smelt presented by Chef Alex at Lower 48 Kitchen

All the best,
from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team


 

Fishing is a Labor of Love

August 31, 2014

As we celebrate Labor Day, let’s remember the difficult and dangerous work of the men and women who catch our fish. The vast majority are independent businessmen who daily risk the cost of vessel and upkeep, fuel and insurance, quota and crew, with no guarantee of catch. What is guaranteed are long hours, weather, and the back breaking work of America’s most dangerous job. According to the Labor Department, 121 die annually out of an estimated 100,000 full-time fishermen, with the median pay for the fishing industry in 2012 of $33,430.

Erik Bahrt on the stern of the F/V Kristina in Sitka, Alaska
F/V Teeha Maria Crewmember "DJ" off Tarpon Springs, Florida

We want to take this opportunity to recognize a few of the outstanding people in the fishing business that Sea to Table has the pleasure of working with:
 
On the shore of Alaska's Bristol Bay, cousins Christopher Nicholson and Reid Ten Kley fish a set net site for sockeye salmon on the piece of land their grandfather homesteaded in the 1940s.
 
Southeast Alaska native John Bahrt has been commercial fishing since he was seven years old, and now fishes halibut, black cod, and spot prawns on the F/V Kristina with son Erik and daughter Ashley as crew. 
 
Ed Wood’s family has been catching and processing wild gulf shrimp around Port St. Joe on Florida’s panhandle since the Civil War. 
 
Captain Pat Bennet and the crew of the F/V Teeha Maria spearfish snapper and grouper in the waters off Tarpon Springs on Florida’s west coast.
 
Dave “Grouperman” Tucker and Jack Cox fish the fertile waters off Beaufort NC, and when Jack’s not fishing he serves on the South Atlantic Management Council.

From the Chesapeake, Jack, Bill and Joe Brooks run America’s oldest crab picking house in Cambridge, MD, founded by their great-grandfather Captain Johnnie.
 
The Nolan family of Montauk, NY fishes year-round for golden tilefish on the F/V Sea Capture in the depths of the Hudson Canyon, and mom Laurie Nolan serves on the Mid-Atlantic Management Council.
 
Portland’s Terry Alexander is a ground-fisherman who has seen the dramatic changes in the Gulf of Maine fishery, and now is working to assure its future with the New England Management Council.

Sea to Table is proud to be associated with these fine folks, and to deliver the fruits of their labor to America's best chefs.

All the best,
from the Dimins and the Sea to Table team


 
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