Monday's Market Report

To All Our Buyers and Chefs,

It will be sunny but cooler for the rest of the week with a slight chance of a shower on Thursday. In 1801 Alexander Hamilton and his political allies publish the first edition of The New York Evening Post to present the Federalist point of view. The National Broadcasting Company – debuts on radio with a network of 24 stations in 1926; its premiere program features Will Rogers and the New York Symphony Orchestra. The Space Shuttle Columbia completes its 1st operational flight in 1982. 'Call of Duty: Black Ops 2' grosses $500 million in 24 hours to become the biggest entertainment launch of all time in 2012.

American Red Snappers are a featured item for us this week, the 2-4# size are priced well. Red Snapper feed on fish, shrimp, crab, worms, cephalopods (octopus or squid), and some plankton (tiny floating plants and animals); these fish are stellar and should have a spot on your specials this week. We have some amazing Hamachi coming in tomorrow from Japan. They are whole sides with the center bone removed leaving just a loin of delightful yellowtail. These bad boys are a steal at current price, which is a few bucks less than the usual price. The Local Monkfish has been just a killer fresh for the last week or so, the tails have been on the larger size and still bleeding when they get to us.

Local Pollack is the bargain of the week so far, this cousin of the Cod is great for a fish stew, Fish & Chips and also works smoked for a pate. We have a boatload of Mahi looking for a home, that should be easy to pull the trigger on. Lastly our local oyster the Great North Bay is a steal this week, eats like a Barnstable for 20% less.

Abundant Stone Crab Pushes US Prices Down


November 16, 2015

It’s a “banner year” for stone crabs in Florida, providing a better value for foodservice and retail buyers. “I have never seen them catching stone crabs like they’re caching now, and I was crabbing 20 years ago,” said Gib Migliano, owner of wholesaler Save on Seafood in St. Petersburg, Fla. “It’s a banner year and prices have come down substantially since last year.” While the stone crab fishery had low landings for the last two years, this season is different. “This year, landings have been very, very good,” said Gary Graves, vice president of Keys Fisheries in Marathon, Fla.

Last season, around 2.22 million pounds of stone crab were harvested, versus 1.99 million pounds in the 2013-14 season. Still, last season’s harvest was notably lower than the average season of 3 million pounds. The lack of supply pushed last season’s stone crab value to 31 million (in Florida, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. As a result of plentiful supply this season – likely due to warmer weather – wholesale prices range from $3 to $7 per pound lower than last season, wholesalers say.

Thanks to lower prices, some retailers and restaurants are passing on the savings to customers. “Whole Foods Market has some wonderful prices on stone crab,” Migliano said. A Whole Foods’ store in Coral Springs, Fla., for example, featured medium claws for 17.99 a pound and large for 19.99 a pound during the weekend of November 14th. Many fish markets also have better prices on stone crab than last season, but some retailers and restaurants are not lowering prices.

“Some restaurants never change their price [on stone crab],” Migliano said. “Most have preprinted menus and are looking for a price at the beginning of the season.” Graves said it is a great time for restaurants to take advantage of the plentiful harvest. “With the price being down, it will be more attractive for a restaurant to have stone crab. The ordinary restaurant will put crab on special on Friday or Saturday.”

In good news for buyers, stone crab prices could slide again before the high demand Christmas season, according to Migliano, because of overproduction.

“Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and fillet gumbo,
Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio,
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-o,
Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou”

 ~ 1952 ‘Jambalaya (On The Bayou)’ by Hank Williams #1 on the country music charts.