HALIBUT DUMPING?

To All Our Buyers and Chefs,

Looks like a good weekend of weather with a chance of a shower on Saturday. Today in 1842 Carl Paul Gottfried Linde was born, a German engineer who invented and developed mechanical refrigeration so beer could be brewed year round, our hero! Here in NYC the horse-drawn hansom cab is introduced in Central Park. Soon riding through the park becomes a favorite pastime for New Yorkers. On Monday, June 22Sustainable Seafood Week, the national effort to promote environmentally sound, responsibly sourced seafood, returns to New York City for the third consecutive year.

We have some amazing large format American Red Snappers, these bad boys are 8lbs and up. The yield is better than the smaller ones and the trim can be used for a ceviche, taco or crudo. These beauties have some beautiful red gills and a looking for a good home. Bronzini in the 4/600g size are a featured item for the weekend, the summer is a few weeks away and the price will go up as the Europeans start vacationing. Wild King Salmon has been stellar all week and should be a special as the price is better. Higher in fat and luxurious on the tongue, a real treat. 

Local Hake has made a nice drop this week for a food cost saving special, a cousin to the Cod she has a nice flake, cooks up off white and moist. Golden Corvina is another sleeper that is building momentum, versatile in use and has a nice fat content for a grilled plate. Lobster prices are at a good number too this week so if not already jump on it while the price is lower. Tuna has also dropped to some very nice numbers. Swordfish is also sitting nicely at a lower price as well. Wild Striped Bass is still on the higher side but NY season is opening in July...

Halibut Dumping Stirs Fight Among Fishing Fleets In Alaska                 

June 10th, 2015 - If you've ever encountered halibut, it was probably as a tasty — and pricey — entree. But in Alaska, it's the subject of a fierce fish battle. On one side are small family-owned fishing boats. On the other, an industrial fleet delivering seafood to the world. This weekend, federal managers are trying to decide how both sides can survive. In the middle of the Bering Sea, a fishing vessel is hauling in a 50-foot net. It looks like a stocking packed with fish, their mouths wide open and gasping for breath. John Nelson has been the captain of the Rebecca Irene for 20 years. His 35-man boat is part of a Seattle-based fleet that fishes these waters around the clock, January through December.

"We're talking about a tremendous amount of jobs. We're talking about a tremendous amount of a low-cost protein source that is utilized worldwide," Nelson says. The Rebecca Irene is a trawler — it tows a net along the ocean bottom, scooping up everything in its path. Most of the fish then goes to China for processing — and from there, around the globe. Some makes it back to the U.S., landing in the frozen food aisle. But here is the controversy. Mixed in with the cheap Yellowfin sole and arrowtooth flounder is expensive halibut, one of the iconic species of the North Pacific. At the store, it can go for $24 per pound. The Rebecca Irene can't keep that halibut: Trawlers aren't supposed to catch it, and the law requires any halibut that are caught be thrown overboard.

"We have no control over that," Nelson says. "We're forced to discard halibut. It's a prohibited species for us. We can't even eat it." That accidentally caught halibut is called bycatch. Last year, almost 9 million pounds of bycatch was dumped, dead, in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. And this is a point of contention with those who actually do fish for halibut. Simeon Swetzof Jr. has been a halibut fisherman for more than 30 years. He's also the mayor of St. Paul, a town of about 500 people, mostly Alaska Native Aleuts, in the remote Pribilof Islands. "You meet people on the street, talking to people anywhere, Seattle, other places in the country here, [and they say,] 'Oh, halibut! I love halibut.' Well, guess what? It comes from where we live, out in the Bering Sea, and down here in the Gulf of Alaska," Swetzof says. There isn't much of an economy in St. Paul. Most families rely on halibut for a big chunk of their income. They're part of Alaska's thousand-strong commercial halibut fleet, small boats that fish with longlines and hooks. The vast majority of those boats are family-owned.

But in recent years, because of concerns about halibut numbers, the amount that fishermen are allowed to catch has dropped. Meanwhile, the amount of bycatch the big boats can take — and discard — has stayed essentially the same. In the Bering Sea, halibut fishermen have seen their share cut so low that last year, there was more halibut thrown overboard by the big boats than was caught by the small boats. If the trend doesn't change, fishermen in St. Paul face the potential of a complete shutdown. With his community's future on the line, Swetsov choked up as he testified this week before the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, which regulates bycatch in federal waters off of Alaska. "I'm extremely angry that we're here today," he says. Swetzof and others asked the council to cut the amount of bycatch allowed in the Bering Sea by 50, calling the status quo unacceptable. "We live right out in the richest ocean in the world, practically, and we're going to see this happen to us, in our own backyard? No! We'll fight it!" Swetzof says.

But the industrial fleet says they've already done a lot to reduce bycatch, and anything more would be devastating, putting their boats — and crews — out of work for most of the year. The council is expected to vote on the issue this weekend.

“The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

~ Vince Lombardi, born today in 1913 here in NYC

Regards,

TEAM DOWN EAST

Susan Parker

SALTY SUSAN

susan@saltysusan.com

www.saltysusan.com

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