Friday, January 30, 2009

Raw Swordfish to Replace Bluefin


Japan is set to test the consumers reaction to raw swordfish in place of bluefin. I for one have seen too many swordfish and the organisms that live inside them to ever contemplate swordfish sushi. And without debating, wasn't swordfish the recent poster child of giving fish a break.

The second brilliant plan many have is to farm or ranch tuna. Most of the problems here involves either taking juvenile fish from the wild or the huge amount of forage fish that are required to feed these carnivores.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

MARKET REPORT BY MJ

John Dory is special!! The fish look great and the eyes are glistening
Fluke is back on the special, the price has dropped again
Stripe Bass is making its way back down the ole price ladder, the fish are coming in enormous from MD, the price is dropping as weather gets better and supply comes back, they do have big bellies as they are feeding voraciously right now, so watch your yields
Monkfish, Skate, Spanish Mackerel, Mahi Mahi, Grouper and Cod are all money makers. The price has come way down on these items and the outlook is good for a while
Jumbo Black Sea Bass is around from the North, the fish are mostly the 2-3lb size
Triple Tail - Buoy Bass is available, the fish are around 6-10lbs, The Tile Fish is Golden, and Nantucket Bay Scallops will be available this weekend, as well as Fresh Maine Shrimp
"Sometimes I get the feeling the whole world is against me, but deep down I know that's not true. Some smaller countries are neutral." - Robert Orben
Hope your weekend is looking up and the week has treated you well
MJ GIMBAR

IT AINT LIKE IT USED TO BE

From a New York fishmongers perspective, how things have changed. Since it has been nearly two months since my last musings here so much has happened.

The market for seafood has gotten quite dismal with the wholesalers at the New Fulton Market in Hunts Point reduced to working on nickels and dimes when they can. Many companies have put crews on 4 day schedules, and games of cards and the occasional chess match fill the empty late night hours for lack of buyers. Not a day seems to go by that I here of fish being sold at ridiculously low prices, just so companies can avoid an outright loss. Many fish like Halibut have simply become too expensive an option for most, and restaurants have removed them from their menus. Back in favor Atlantic Salmon (a particularly great bargain with the ISA issues in Chile), tilapia, catfish, and skate.

We are most of the way through Restaurant week here in the city (Restaurant Week is actually two weeks, many establishments are even extending it further.) and it helped inject a small amount of capital into the system.

So the economy has affected the seafood industry in many ways from my point of view. The multimillion dollar Poseidon Seafood based in North Carolina shuddered operations without notice, and creditors will likely be in courts years to capture back some losses. How all this will play out for seafood sustainability remains a huge "X" factor. After all, people's values seem to change in response to the environment. With price becoming a major force. Thankfully most of the fish that are on the avoid list because of sustainability issues are also high priced. Of course this is not always the case because many of the problems faced today are because of the economies of scale and the effects of huge corporate draggers. The boutique fisherman are likely to struggle if they cannot find a market close to home.