Weekly Fish Reports

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

Know Your Fish

May 24, 2015

Bloomberg Business published an engaging infographic of the US Labor Dept study of America’s deadliest jobs. Commercial fishing topped the list by a wide margin, and another study in Alaska is looking at the long term health issues of fishermen. The families of traditional fishing communities deserve our support.

In Southeast Asia the scandal surrounding slavery and piracy in the fishing industry continues to heat up. Refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar are finding themselves as slave labor on pirate boats and shrimp farms. Indonesian authorities, under the threat of a “red card” from the European Union for all seafood, have begun cracking down on pirate fishing vessels in their waters.  Indonesia sank a large Chinese vessel as well as 40 other foreign boats that had been caught fishing illegally in the country’s waters, a move likely to spark a strong reaction from Beijing and other regional capitals. “This is not a show of force. This is just merely (us) enforcing our laws,” Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti was quoted as saying by The Jakarta Post.

Under the subject of all the things we learned that were wrong, scientist have now identified the first warm blooded fish. In a paper published in Science, researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) describe the unique mechanism that enables the opah, a deepwater predatory fish, to keep its body warm. Continuing under sea creatures with an ‘o’, octopus never cease to amaze. Evolutionary biologists Desmond Ramirez and Todd Oakley of the University of California, Santa Barbara have determined they can see with their skin. Not to mention that in the Gulf of Mexico they have learned to hunt in packs and figured out how to open stone crab traps for their dinner.

The Indonesian Navy destroys foreign fishing vessels caught fishing illegally in waters near North Sulawesi Reuters

Becky Gabriele and Tom Kacherski from Crew Restaurant in Poughkeepsie, NY surround Sea to Table's Maria de la Motte.

Our Maria de la Motte took a visit last week to the burgeoning food scene in New York’s Hudson Valley. Chef/Owner Tom Kacherski and Chef de Cuisine Becky Gabriele run Crew in Poughkeepsie from a modest strip mall where they grow their own herbs and tomatoes in the parking lot. Until finding Sea to Tale,  they described getting seafood in Poughkeepsie as a nightmare. Maria reports “now they say we are ‘an absolute pleasure’ to work with and that they look forward to ordering fish every week knowing that I am willing to talk to them for twenty minutes if need be to answer their questions. The staff was equally excited and people even came in on their day off for the FOH talk.”  Becky is very proud to have recently received Yelp acclaim as "The Fish Master," for her preparations of Bay Port, MI catfish and whitefish. 

Truck Restaurant in Bedford NY is absolutely loving their new brown shrimp from Galveston, TX. They say the flavor is just incredible. Nancy Roper, the owner, didn't serve fish until she met Maria two summers ago, and now the fish taco is one of their most popular items, along with the shrimp taco and the Bristol Bay sockeye salmon burrito.

Enjoy your holiday weekend.

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


Large Sea Creatures

May 17, 2015

Maybe not so much for seals, but it is a good sign for the health of the waters that after decades of decline, great white shark populations are surging in the North Atlantic. In 2012 scientists tagged one shark they named Mary Lee, a now world-famous 16-foot great white with over 49K followers on Twitter. The 3500 pound behemoth was reported cruising NY’s Jones Beach this week, but apparently decided to weekend on the Jersey shore. Last week in Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay three beluga whales were sighted, very far from the arctic waters they usually roam. Sea to Table’s Eliza Heeks was also in Rhode Island last week. While visiting home, she spent some time with the Brown family men (she went to high school with one of them) who fish the waters off Point Judith. She reported that “the people of South Kingstown love dogfish”.

Across the world, a 21 foot long giant squid, reminiscent of Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, washed up on a New Zealand beach. Further north, two Indonesians and five Thais were arrested on charges of human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry, Indonesian police said Tuesday. They were the first suspects taken into custody since the case was revealed by The Associated Press in a report two months ago.

Salmon season officially opened in Alaska on Thursday with the first Copper River fish from Prince William Sound. There was sad news from further north where native fisherman Bobby Andrew passed away on Tuesday. Bobby was a Bristol Bay elder who played a large role in protesting Pebble Mine. Anyone who has seen The Breach, a film about the plight of wild salmon now screening around the country, will recognize Bobby for his passion, as his interviews were among the most moving parts of the film.

Last week brought much better news to another star of The Breach. Canadian salmon activist Alexandra Morton, who has been working diligently for 20 years to stop some of the worst practices of salmon farmers, celebrated when a federal court in Canada struck down licensing rules allowing salmon farms to transfer diseased fish into open ocean net pens. “This is a great day for wild salmon,” said Margot Venton, the Ecojustice lawyer who represented Morton. “In my view government has tried to perpetuate a dangerous myth that this disease is no threat to BC's wild salmon”.

Bobby Andrew, a Bristol Bay fisherman who became a spokesman for protection of the Bristol Bay watershed against potential adverse affects of large-scale mining, died while at Aleknagik, near Dillingham, on a fishing trip. He was 72.

Lunch menu at Ohio's Wildflower Cafe

Our own Lindsay Haas was in Ohio last week, and met with our friends Todd & Jenna Hudson of Mason’s Wildflower Café. Lindsay was most impressed how they were getting more Ohioans to #eatbetterfish, but even more so with their dedication to creating a better food system. We are proud to be affiliated with these folks.

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


Midwest Local Fish

May 10, 2015

People living near the coast almost always prefer the fish they grew up with, the fish that lands nearby. Folks from the Midwest often miss the delicious lake species they enjoyed as kids. Last week Sea to Table’s Sean Dimin and Jacob Tupper traveled the Great Lakes and met some great fishing families landing great fish.

First stop was in Bay Port, MI. on Lake Huron’s Saginaw Bay. Commercial fishing vessels have landed at Bay Port since 1871, and the Williams family has been fishing the F/V Osprey and the F/V Patsy since 1977. Father Tod and his daughter Lakon land Yellow Perch, White Perch, Catfish, Lake Trout, Bullheads, Burbot (aka Lawyer or Freshwater Cod), Buffalo (aka Quillback), Sheepshead, Carp, White Bass, Rock Bass and White Suckers, but mostly Whitefish.

A long drive and ferry ride found Sean and Jacob across Lake Michigan in Two Rivers, WI, about an hour’s drive from Green Bay. The F/V Susie Q and F/V Peter Paul are owned and operated by Mike LeClair, alongside his brothers Daniel and Paul as well as his daughter Jamie. The LeClairs are a five generation fishing family, moving from Quebec in the mid-1800s and fishing ever since.

Captain Jon Kulpa and his son Jeremy Kulpa run the F/V Jaime Ann, a trap-net boat that Sean and Jacob boarded before dawn. They harvest from a specified area about three miles off shore, and Jeremy made the point to stress how fresh their whitefish was and what good care they take. Trap Nets keep the fish alive and stop them from getting beat up in nets. Immediately processing the fish allows them to offer the freshest fish possible from the lake.

Jacob asked Jeremy what his hobbies were besides fishing. He said, “fishing.” Jeremy made the comment, “If you got all the LeClairs and all the Kulpas together, you’d need a big hall and at least a couple barrels (of beer).” Jacob reported “Jeremy fried up some fresh caught Burbot (known to them as Lawyer) as well as some Whitefish when we arrived back at the dock. I have to say, I’ve never been so excited and impressed to eat fried fish at 10:30 in the morning.” A nice morning, and we plan to make Midwesterners happy everywhere.

Jeremy Kulpa with a beautiful Whitefish in Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Michel Nichan of Wholesome Wave is recognized for fighting food deserts

The 2015 James Beard Award Winners were announced last week.

Special kudos to four of the winners:

Best Chef: Great Lakes
Jonathon Sawyer, Greenhouse Tavern, Cleveland

Best Chef: Midwest
Gerard Craft, Niche, Clayton, MO

Best Chef: Northeast
Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother, Cambridge, MA

2015 James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year
Michel Nischan of Wholesome Wave, Westport, CT

We are very proud of our friends.

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

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