THIS WEEKS' FRESHCATCH

This weeks' "Catch of the Week" is from one of our favorite partner boats, F/V Miss Moriah based out of Half Moon Bay! We will be offering delicious Rockfish and Petrale Sole! Capt. Geoff Bettencourt and the F/V Miss Moriah are one of a very select handful of boats that are a part of the California Groundfish Collective.  This means that their every move is recorded by multiple cameras set up by the Nature Conservancy to ensure sustainablity and have a way to validate their accountability at sea.  The Miss Moriah has been fishing for black cod, until recently switching gear to focus on rockfish and flatfish like petrale and different types of sole.  This is one of the most closely monitored and regulated fisheries in the world and is the only ground fish fishery recognized by Seafood Watch as a Best Choice.

Our Rock Crab are caught by one boat out of Santa Cruz; there are only a small handful of boats catching these guys so you won't be finding them at your local grocery store! Due to a standing restaurant pre-order, we have extremely limited amount of Rock Crab - we will sell out, sorry!

We are also expecting a great haul of Local Squid from our partner boat in Monterey, so hop on these local favorites before the season starts the slow down.


Common Name: Chilipepper Rockfish 
Family: Sebastidae

Species Name: Sebastes goodei
Catch Method: Trawl
Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Half Moon Bay up to Bodega
Species Catch Range: North Pacific - primarily California up to Vancouver
Seafood Watch Rating: "Best Choice"

Share Size:

Full Share - 1.25 lbs skin off, bone out fillet
Half Share - ~0.75 lbs skin off, bone out fillet

The Details:

Chilipepper rockfish are a common deep sea rockfish that our boats which operate with a trawl system often catch. These rockfish have a beautiful red skin (hence the name) and a nice flakey, mild, and firm meat that we love to use for tacos and fish and chips! 


They travel in large schools and feed on small crustaceans, small squids, or small fishes such as anchovies, young hake, and small sardines. They mature quickly, reproduce in great volumes, and give birth to live young like many rockfish. 

These rockfish are caught in special light nets with holes large enough to allow smaller fish to escape. Underwater cameras are attached to them that allows our captain to target very specific schools of fish. Camera's on board the boat set up by the Nature Conservancy closely monitor what is brought on the boat to ensure 100% accountability and sustainability.  Very few boats have this sort of outfitting which allows for nearly zero by-catch!

Our partners consider this fish to be a "Best Choice"  because we work with boats that are members of the California Groundfish Collective which goes above and beyond our current regulations to ensure that every trip out to sea they make closely monitored and sustainable. 


Common Name: Petrale Sole 
Family: Pleuronectidae 

Species Name: Eopsetta jordani
Catch Method: Trawl
Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Half Moon Bay up to Bodega
Species Catch Range: Pacific - along the West Coast up to the Bering Sea
Seafood Watch Rating: "Best Choice"

Share Size:

Full Share - 1 -1.25 lbs skin off, bone out fillet
Half Share - ~0.5 lbs skin off, bone out fillet

The Details:

Petrale Sole is one of our local flatfish that lives near the sandy bottom of the ocean floor! 

Petrale Sole is considered one of the best West Coast Soles!
It has a beautiful white fillets that are light and flakey, with a delicate flavor and texture -  a quick pan fry with butter, lemon, and herbs makes for the easiest and most delicious dinner! 

These fish are caught in special light nets with holes large enough to allow smaller fish to escape. Underwater cameras are attached to them that allows our captain to target very specific schools of fish. Camera's on board the boat set up by the Nature Conservancy closely monitor what is brought on the boat to ensure 100% accountability and sustainability.  Very few boats have this sort of outfitting which allows for nearly zero by-catch!

Our partners consider this fish to be a "Best Choice"  because we work with boats that are members of the California Groundfish Collective which goes above and beyond our current regulations to ensure that every trip out to sea they make closely monitored and sustainable. 


Common Name: Market Squid
Family:
 Loliginidae

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 NiƱo 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)
Family: 
Cancridae

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.