Fresh. The official blog of Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico.
Exclusive online commentary on the Southwest Market
April 11, 2017
April 2017 Market Update
Market news and ideas for your seafood cases and menus.
Supplies of Gulf shrimp are currently tight. February landings were down 12% from last year and 7% from January. While this is traditionally a slow time of year for Gulf shrimp, this year has been slower than 2016. The situation will likely not see any relief until July, at the earliest. Until then, supplies will continue to be limited with strong demand.
Windy weather along the US Atlantic Coast through the spring will impact fishing, especially clam harvesting. The winds make it unsafe for boats and harvesters. Atlantic clams will be harvested when possible, however there may be shortages at times depending on the weather.
The Canadian snow crab season should open in April depending on weather and ice buildup. Newfoundland will open first, with a lower quota than last year. The quota is 35,419 tons, down 22% from 2016. However, the quota in the Canadian Gulf is higher than 2016 and overall Canadian snow crab supplies should be similar to 2016. The Canadian Gulf snow crab season has been delayed until the last week of April due to large amounts of sea ice.
Wild salmon season will be starting in May. The Copper River, considered the unofficial start to the wild salmon season, will open in Mid-May. The run forecast for Copper River kings and sockeye is low. If the forecast proves accurate, the preliminary harvest estimate of kings will be around 29,000 fish, which would tie 2016 as the smallest run since 1980, and the sockeye preliminary harvest estimate of 1.1 million fish would 14th smallest in the last 38 years. The overall projected salmon harvest for Alaska is up significantly from 2016, due mainly to an up year for pink salmon. Alaskan sockeyes, however, are expected to have a down year, with the harvest projection of 40.8 million fish down from 2016 by 12 million. Meanwhile, the Columbia River spring king run for the tribal fishery is off to a slow start due to high water levels in the river. The water is at the highest level since the 1950s.
Soft Shell Crab
Soft shell crab season has started. The season usually opens with limited production as the waters warm. Soft shells have a sweet, buttery rich flavor and the shells become crunchy when cooked. Try them fried, sautéed, broiled or grilled.
Blue swimming crab meat supplies are extremely tight and costs are rising weekly.
The Pacific halibut season opened March 11. The fishery started slowly due to inclement weather. In the first 3 and a half weeks of the season, only about 8% of the quota (just over 1.4 million pounds) has been landed in Alaska, and Canada is not faring much better. The slow start has caused prices to stay high. We have halibut in house.
Our expert fish cutters custom process these fish. You can see the speed and accuracy of our fish cutters as he turns H&G halibut into fillets in this video.
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