Fresh. The official blog of Seattle Fish Company of New Mexico.
Exclusive online commentary on the Southwest Market
March 14, 2017
March 2017 Market Update
Market news and ideas for your seafood cases and menus.
Mahi is extremely short and tight. If you can find any mahi, prices are at historic levels and seem to be increasing daily. This seems to be the effect of El Nino, which alters ocean temperatures and currents. Mahi migrate following ocean currents and their preferred water temperatures. With El Nino changing those off the coast of South America, mahi are not following their normal paths and not appearing in their usual fishing grounds. Fishermen are unable to find and/or travel to where they actually are located. This situation may, emphasis on may, see a little relief when the Taiwanese season opens in April but it is also likely that the situation will not improve until the next South American season in November/December. In the meantime, if you use mahi it is time to get creative with finding replacements based on your specific recipe and usage. Consider trying red drum, amberjack, swordfish or tuna. Talk to your account manager about ideas for substitutions for mahi.
We have a great new sushi-grade, responsibly farmed yellowtail (Seriola lalandi, also called amberjack) arriving from southern Baja California, Mexico. Raised in the first complete cycle yellowtail aquaculture facility in the Western Hemisphere, these fish reflect the care with which they were raised. With a great fat content, these yellowtail have a clean, bright flavor and firm yet buttery texture. They are the perfect option for sashimi but also work well for smoking, searing, broiling, sautéing, roasting and braising. Plus, they are available year round as 5-7 pound round fish or 1.25-2 pound skin-on fillets.
Red Sea Barramundi
Currently available is high quality barramundi from Saudi Arabia. This Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certified barramundi is raised 4-8 kilometers offshore in the clear and highly saline waters of the Red Sea. The low stocking density and clean water result in a fish with the best characteristics of wild barramundi from the oceans around Australia: firm texture, sweet flavor and darker skin The mild flavor works well with any number of seasonings and spices. Try it steamed, fried, grilled, baked, broiled, poached, smoked or in ceviche. Red Sea barramundi is available fresh in 11.05 pound case of 1-2 pound, scaled fillets.
March 9th was National Crab Meat Day! It is a delicious day. However, blue swimming crab meat supplies are extremely tight and costs are rising weekly.
Tray Pack Oysters
If you are looking for a consistent oyster but don't want to worry about shucking we have a great solution. We are bringing in a new frozen half-shell oyster that is packed for even easier handling. The oysters are frozen live in vacuum skin trays. The trays are designed with inverted thaw technology. This allow for better quality oysters and simple prep with less labor. Just pull out the number of trays you need and place the trays of 12 half-shell oysters face-side down in the cooler for 3-4 hours to thaw. It doesn't get much easier than that. To make them even better, these raw oysters are processed to reduce any Vibrio bacteria to non-detectable levels. Vacuum skin tray pack half-shell oysters are available in a case of 12 trays with 12 oysters per tray (144 total oyster per case).
Supplies of Chilean salmon are tight; in part due to reduced numbers of fish in the water and in part due to increased demand globally. This will keep demand for Atlantic salmon from other producing regions (Canada, Norway, Scotland, etc.) high as well. There may be some softening when the wild salmon season starts in May, but that may depend on how the fish run in Alaska. It is expected to be a down year for sockeyes, so many expected pricing to remain firm.
Tilapia, with its white flesh and mild texture, is one of the most popular fish in the US. Since 2012, it has been the fourth most popular seafood eaten in the country, behind shrimp, salmon and canned tuna. The supply is stable and will likely remain so through Lent.
Catfish supplies are also stable. However, demand will likely be strong through Lent so there may be pressure on pricing.
This year has been terrible for Gulf shrimp. This is especially true for large sized shrimp. Catches are down significantly. But demand is strong and prices are high. There will likely not be any relief until July at the earliest.
Demand for Chilean seabass from China and the rest of Asia is putting pressure on supplies and increasing prices. With a growing middle class hungry for higher-end seafood, China has been importing more and more seafood, including Chilean seabass.
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