Fishing is starting to slow down and our partner boats are beginning to get their crab gear ready - local Halibut is winding down so grab some while it is still available!

Online Market goes live Monday 11/5 at 10:00am Pacific!

Rough winds and weather at sea is keeping most of our partner boats in the harbors, so this week we are offering delicious Red Abalone from American Abalone Farms in Davenport. These scrumptious sea treats are delivered shucked, tenderized, and ready to eat - super easy!

In addition we have some CA Halibut, Market Squid, and Cooked Rock Crab Claws!

Now for the exciting part, this weeks' Fishing Update!

See below...

Now for the exciting part, this weeks' Fishing Update!

See below...

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Fishing Update

Common Name: Red Abalone

Family: Haliotidae

Species Name: Haliotis rufescens

Catch Method: Farmed

Our Partner Farm(s) Location(s): Monterey & Davenport

Species Catch Range: British Columbia, Canada, to Baja California, Mexico

Seafood Watch Rating: "Best Choice"

Share Size:

Full Share - 6x ~1oz pan-ready steaks

Half Share NOT available for abalone

The Details:

All abalone are shucked and tenderized to order so we have to put our order in by Tuesday morning at the latest - please have your orders in before then to get abalone on Wednesday!

Red Abalone are a large type of sea snail which are native to northern California. Historically they have served as an important food source and cultural significance to native Americans. Currently they are threatened from over-harvesting and are on the decline - especially with the recent threat of declining kelp forests. Even our recreational fishery has been closed this year to help them rebuild so if you are missing your abalone or would like to try it for the first time farmed abalone is the best and only way to go! If you haven't had the opportunity to try them yet we highly recommend it - they are buttery and mild flavored - perfect for a quick pan fry!

About American Abalone Farm:

Since the collapse & closure of the commercial abalone fishery in California during the 1990's (due to over-harvesting) abalone aquaculture has been the only responsible and sustainable way to commercially consume abalone. American Abalone Farms is a family run facility that has been growing California Red Abalone within the pristine waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary for over 25 years. Their facility is located on the beach in Davenport, California, and is open to the public on the weekends - we highly recommend you visit! They raise their abalone in an environment that mimics their natural home - seawater pumps continuously supply clean, fresh seawater to abalone tanks directly from the ocean only a few yards away and they are fed a 100% organic diet consisting of a variety of fresh local seaweeds that workers hand harvest themselves. With the help of abalone farms like this one we help reduce the strain we put on our natural populations so they can begin to rebuild and flourish.

These Abalone are considered a Best Choice by Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program as they are farmed in a safe method offshore that relieves pressure from our wild populations and has almost no impact on the surrounding environment.

Want to learn more? Check out our abalone page here!

Common Name: CA Halibut

Species Name: Paralichthys californicus
Catch Method: Hook and Line
Our Partner Boat(s) Catch Location(s): Monterey to Alameda
Species Catch Range:  Baja California to the Quilayute River in Washington
Seafood Watch Rating: "Best Choice"

Share Size:

Full Share - 1 lbs skin-on, boneless fillet
Half Share - .5 lbs skin-on, boneless fillet

Whole fish - when the catch is abundant we will offer small fish that we refer to as "Roasters."  These fish are usually between 3-5 lbs and are perfect to throw on the grill or to roast whole in the oven.  All whole fish come scaled and cleaned - meaning no scales, guts, or gills for you to deal with!

The Details:  

When people ask us what is the best fish to try for people who don't like fish, we always tell them, Halibut! It is loved by all for being the trifecta of mild-moist-and firm meat that is easy to cook with and even easier to devour! It's a versatile fish that's perfect for bold flavor profiles - we especially love ours in curry or roasted in the oven with veggies and spices!

Our local Halibut is actually a flounder - more closely related to a Fluke than a Pacific Halibut. That probably explains why most people (especially sushi chefs) prefer our local halibut over it's Alaskan counterpart. In sushi restaurants, it is highly regarded for its clean and fresh flavors and its buttery texture when served raw. All of our California Flounder (Halibut) are caught using traditional hook and line methods by small boats - usually no more than 2-3 people on board. Currently we work with a handful of small halibut boats from San Francisco, to Alameda, to Santa Cruz, and they all use the same fishing method. We meet with our partner boats late night Monday and throughout the day on Tuesday, and then we work early into the morning on Wednesday filleting and packaging your order for delivery.  Our partners at Seafood Watch consider these fish a Best Choice because the fishery is well managed, the fishing gear has little affect on the environment, and there is no by-catch.

Common Name: Market Squid

Species Name: Loligo opalescens
Catch Method: Purse seine net
Our Partner Boat(s) Catch Location(s): Monterey to Alameda
Species Catch Range:  Baja California to Southeastern Alaska
Seafood Watch Rating: "Good Alternative" - see the details for the reasoning behind this

Share Size:
Full Share - 3 lbs of Market Squid (cleaning required - click here for details)
Half Share - 1.5 lbs of Market Squid (cleaning required - click here for details)

Why not process the squid?  

Squid have a very short shelf life - often times it starts to turn from great to poor quality within a couple of days which is why you rarely see them at local markets.  This process is slowed down if the squid are kept whole and on ice, once you process and clean them it is best to eat or freeze them right away.  If you do decide to clean your squid the day before you eat them, then store the cleaned squid in buttermilk.  It not only tenderizes the meat, but it also prevents the squid from getting a "fishy" smell.

The Details:  

Squid - also referred to as Cephalopods - are a delicious treat that we are glad to be able to offer somewhat consistently.  It is one of the largest local fisheries; however, it can take long unexpected breaks and mysteriously seem to vanish during El Niño events (happening about every 4-5 years now.). Little is known about the present size, age structure, or status of the market squid population, however consistent historic catch numbers suggest that the fishery is well managed and not at risk for overfishing.  There are approximately 750 recognized species of squids alive today, and they all have a similar structure.

They use their fins for swimming in the same way that most fish do, and they can "funnel" themselves to swim in extremely fast jet-like propulsions either forward or backward.  Their ability to continue to swim for prolonged amounts of time allows them to migrate large distances and move vertically through hundreds of meters of water to feed.  Their lifecycle is extremely short (10 months at most) and they die after spawning - like salmon!  Our local commercial fishery targets spawning squid to ensure that the younger squid have an opportunity to grow and reproduce.  How do they target mature squid you may ask?  Its pretty simple actually!  Spawning squid congregate in dense schools, making it easy to target without affecting their eggs.  Research has proved that squid exhibit a very high natural mortality rate - meaning that the squid have a predictable and short life span with entire stocks being made of new squid annually.  Moral of the story: eat squid while they are here!

Seafood Watch gives this special species a "Good Alternative" rating because there hasn't been an accurate stock assessment done on the fishery, so current numbers are unknown.  It is, however, widely known that the squid population is soaring and historic slowdowns in the fishery have little to do with fishing, but more to do with environmental changes in ocean temperature.  The by-catch from the fishery is minimal and there is no damage to the ocean floor while seining from the boats that we work with.  There are also several marine protected areas that allow the populations to grow and allow for scientific research on the species.  We are confident that we are sourcing the most sustainable and fresh squid possible.

Common Name: Pacific Rock Crab (West Coast Stone Crab)

Species Name:
Yellow Rock Crab: Cancer anthonyi
Brown Rock Crab: Cancer antennarius
Red Rock Crab: Cancer productus
Catch Method: Trap/Pot
Our Partner Boat(s) Catch Location(s): Santa Cruz
Species Catch Range:  Baja California to Kodiak, Alaska - see details for the range of each species
Seafood Watch Rating: "Good Alternative" - see the details for the reasoning behind this

Share Size:
Full Share - 1 lbs of cooked Rock Crab arms
Half Share - .5 lbs of cooked Rock Crab arms

Why only sell rock crab arms?  

We sell the rock crab arms because they are the meatiest and most delicious part of the rock crab.  The bodies are pretty tough to get into and often times yield a disappointing amount of meat, so we process the arms from the crabs and include only the best parts in your order!  Our Rock Crab bodies are great for soups and stocks, so be sure an send us an e-mail if you are interested in frozen rock crab bodies.  Our biggest rock crab body customers are actually not even humans at all!  The majority of our rock crab bodies are sold to the Oakland Zoo and are fed to the Otters, Grizzly Bears, Mountain Lions, Condors, and more!

The Details:  
We like to think of our local Rock Crab as the Western cousin of the famous Florida Stone Crabs! They have big meaty claws and rock-hard exteriors to protect their sweet centers. Most of their meat is in their claws and the arm attached to that claw, so that is what we deliver with our shares.

There is only a small handful of boats going out to target rock crab and we are thrilled to be able to source them locally from Captain Jason Chin out of Santa Cruz - @chinacod . He has been fishing rock crab for years and delivers some of the largest, meatiest, most stunning crab that you won't be finding at your local grocery store.  The majority of rock crab that are caught are found in Southern California, while only 10-15 percent of commercial landings are done north of Monterey.  The range of these delicious crabs is dependent on the species, and lucky for us, we happen to be in the center for all three species.

Yellow rock crabs range from Baja California up to Humboldt Bay, brown rock crabs from Baja California to northern Washington, and red rock crab from Baja California to Kodiak, Alaska.  All three species can occur together in any range from shallow waters to depths of 300 feet or more, but fishing has proved that yellow rock crab prefer the sandy soft bottom habitats, while brown and red rock crabs prefer rocky type habitats.  They are a relatively short lived species, having an average lifespan of 5-7 years.  The good news is that they are prolific reproducers - females can produce up to 4 million eggs at a time!

Seafood Watch rates our three species of rock crab as a "Good Alternative" due to the fact that the fishery hasn't been assessed and the fishery isn't as highly regulated as some others.  The majority of this concern surrounds the fishery in Southern California where 85-90 of the commercial landings occur.  The other area of concern is the fishery in Oregon that occasionally has a by-catch of native whelks that are protected.  We are confident that by working with one small boat out of Santa Cruz that is captained by a respected and experienced sustainable fisherman that we are sourcing our crabs above the standards set by Seafood Watch.

Make us do the happy dance!
Become a pick up location host - enjoy reserved shares even if we sell out, discounted orders, invites and discounted tickets to special events, special catering/private event pricing, and the best part - help promote sustainable, local, and fresh seafood in your community!

Sustainable seafood is something to be celebrated every day of the week but for now we will celebrate Wednesday's as our primary delivery day.  Our goal is to eventually have our own brick and mortar store where all our customers can come celebrate sustainability with us - more to come on that soon, stay tuned!