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You asked for it, so it's back - Cioppino kits this week!

Cioppino is a tomato-based seafood stew that was originated by Italian immigrants during the early 1800's in North Beach, San Francisco, which would consist of that day's catch - this often included rockfish, Dungeness, squid, mussels, clams, and shrimp. Don't forget a crusty loaf of sour dough to go with it!

This dish is the perfect embodiment of everything that we do here at FreshCatch and we are excited to be offering a pre-portioned cioppino pack to our members!

We will also be offering each item individually.

Each kit will include a small portion of each thing as well as a Cioppino recipe - please read carefully and email us if you need to sub anything due to allergies. Details for exactly what is included in a kit is on our website - see the link below or click here.

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

What is our fishing update? It's a way for us to educate our members and keep our online market page more simple. If you ever want to learn more about your catch, then refer to these informative e-mails or see the "Fishing Update" blog on our website!

(Go to the website for more details on the Cioppino kits!)

See our Website

Fishing Update

Common Name: Chilipepper Rockfish (or Widow Rockfish depending on availability)

Family: Sebastidae

Species Name: Sebastes goodei

Catch Method: Trawl

Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Half Moon Bay up to Ft Bragg

Species Catch Range: North Pacific - primarily California up to Vancouver

Seafood Watch Rating: "Best Choice"

Share Size:

Full Share ($22) - 1.25 lbs skin off, bone out fillet

Half Share ($13) - ~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: Mediterranean Mussels & Manila Clams

Family: Mytilidae & Veneridae (respectively)

Species Name: Mytilus galloprovincialis & Venerupis philippinarum

Catch Method: Farmed

Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Shelton, Washington

Species Catch Range: Pacific - along the West Coast up to the Bering Sea

Seafood Watch Rating: "Best Choice"

Share Size:

Single Orders ($22) will include 3 - 3.5lbs of EITHER Mediterranean Mussels or Manila Clams

Regular orders too much seafood for you? Try a half share!

Half Orders ($13) will include 1.5 - 1.75lbs of EITHER Mediterranean Mussels or Manila Clams

The Details:

This week we are delivering fresh Mediterranean Mussels (grown in Washington) and Manila Clams (grown in Washington) to our customers! These shellfish are being harvested and flown in from their respective ocean grown facilities - meaning we aren't dredging our oceans and destroying habitats to get them but rather plucking them from ropes or other structures that we place them on to grown in a sheltered inlet.

Why Washington this week?

No local clams available and the harvest schedule for cove mussels currently doesn't align with our delivery schedule, but hopefully that will change soon!

Not only are they sustainable but they are also delicious, nutritious, and easy to cook!

We love these tastey morsels in soups and chowders, on french fries, pastas, smothered in butter on the BBQ, or served on top of pizza (that's right - pizza actually can get more delicious!)

I know many of you eat fish for it's health benefits - shellfish can also offer many of the same benefits in addition to others!

Mussels and Clams are teeming with vitamin B12, selenium, and manganese (offering over 100% of the RDA for each of them!) are they are particularly high in vitamin B12, selenium, iron, and manganese. That makes them excellent for nerve and blood cell health, treating or preventing iron-deficiency anemia, protecting against cellular damage, forming connective tissue, supporting cellular health, DNA synthesis, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, connective tissue and bone health, and blood sugar regulation (just to name a few!)

Our partners at Seafood Watch consider these farmed shellfish a "Best Choice" because they actually help filter our ocean water and keep it healthy for all of its inhabitants.

Common Name: Dungeness Crab

Family: Cancridae

Species Name: Metacarcinus magister

Catch Method: Pots

Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Half Moon Bay up to Bodega

Species Catch Range: Santa Barbara to Alaska

Seafood Watch Rating: "Good Alternative"

Share Size:

Full Share ($22) - 1 - 1.25 Cooked, cleaned and quartered Dungeness Crab

Half Share ($13) - 1 Half Cooked, cleaned, and quartered Dungeness Crab

The Details:

There are few things we love and celebrate more than our Dungeness crab season here in the Bay Area! We pick up our Dungeness from small boats out of Half Moon Bay and Bodega Bay. Our fishermen hand sort the crab and set aside the largest ones (2-3lbs+) just for us! The crabs will then be iced on the dock and whisked off to our warehouse where they will be cooked, cooled, and packed that morning to be delivered to homes across the Bay Area!

Dungeness gets its common name from the port in Dungeness, Washington where the Dungeness crab fishery began in 1848 and is said to be the oldest known shellfish fishery of the North Pacific coast. However no one really appreciates Dungeness crab like we do here in the Bay Area - where we celebrate the start of the season with family and friends every November. Our nearly century long tradition of steaming the crab with a secret mix of salt and water within minutes of landing it on the docks giving it its famous sweet, briny, and from meat has made San Francisco Dungeness Crab a highly sought after product around the world. Our local Dungeness fishery brings in millions of tourist and locals together to feast on this delicacy each year!

Our partners at Seafood Watch consider Dungeness Crab caught in California in net pots a "Good Alternative", while the stocks are in good health there is concern about the large fishing pressure put on them each year. Additionally there is concern about whale ensnarement in the ropes of the pots - although this is rare. Our fishermen operate on small boats and participate in fishing gear recovery programs and undergo training to help mitigate these risks to other species.

Common Name: White Gulf Shrimp

Family: Penaeidae

Species Name: Litopenaeus setiferus

Catch Method: Nets

Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Louisiana Gulf

Species Catch Range: New York to Mexico

Seafood Watch Rating: "Good Alternative"

Share Size:

Soft Shell

(meaning you can eat even the shell - these shrimp are in their molting phase and are specially sorted out on the boat!)

Full Share ($22) - 1 lbs

NO HALF SHARES

Peeled & Devained

Full Share ($28) - 1 lbs

NO HALF SHARES

The Details:

We get all of our Louisiana shrimp from Lance Nacio because we truly believe in his efforts in sustainability and that his shrimp are unrivaled in quality and taste.

In his words:

“My great-grandfather, grandfather, and father all supported their families by hunting and fishing along the fertile coast of Terrebonne Parish. It's a tradition that I carry on.”

Since 1998, Lance has captained the the F/V Anna Marie (named for his daughters), a 55 foot vessel large enough to sustain rough weather and a carry sizable haul; while small enough to keep diesel costs down. It’s this kind of inventive cost-conscious thinking that has kept Anna Marie Shrimp in business through some very difficult times.

Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and the BP oil spill all took a devastating toll on family-run fisheries. The aftermath resulted in low-cost loans for local fishermen. Lance used the opportunity to take a risk and invest in on-board freezers. The equipment, which freezes seafood almost instantly on large aluminum plates, had long been used in the big commercial fisheries in Alaska and Canada, but it had never been used in the shrimp industry. Other investments in the F/V Anna Marie included wider mesh nets and modified turtle excluder devices; meeting our commitment to environmentally responsible fishing methods.

Anna Marie Shrimp is building a legacy where tradition meets innovation. The result is leadership which will improve fishing practices, freshness standards, and wildlife sustainability. We believe our efforts will directly help to ensure that Louisiana shrimp will thrive for the next generations of fishermen. Shrimp is not just our industry-it’s a way of life. Anna Marie Shrimp, where the best tasting shrimp is -- Born free. Caught wild. Delivered fresh.

Our partners at Seafood Watch consider White Shrimp caught in the Gulf of Louisiana to be a "Good Alternative", while the stocks are in good health there is concern about by catch. We support Lance because he goes above and beyond what is required of him to ensure his catch is sustainable including working with organizations like the Nature Conservancy.

Common Name: Market Squid

Family: Loliginidae

Species Name: Loligo opalescens

Catch Method: purse seance net

Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Monterey to Alameda

Species Catch Range: Baja California to Southeastern Alaska

Seafood Watch Rating: "Good Alternative"

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

Family: Cancridae

Species Name: Romaleon antennarium

Catch Method: pot net

Our Partner Catch Locations(s): Santa Cruz

Species Catch Range: Alaska to Baja California

Seafood Watch Rating: "Good Alternative"

Share Size:

Full Share ($22) - includes 1 lbs of Cooked Rock Crab arms - these are the meatiest part of the crab!

Half Share ($13) - includes ~ 0.5 lbs of Cooked Rock Crab arms

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. The body meat is minimal making it perfect for stocks - you can always email us if you are interested in purchasing bodies! There are only a couple boats going out for these guys and we are thrilled to be able to source them locally from 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.

Rock Crab are named for their tough rock hard exterior shells that protect their delicious meat from predators like octopus, seals, and other crabs! There are three different species of rock crab (red, yellow, and brown) found along the Pacific Coast from Alaska to Baja. They are all caught using traps - the same way that dungeness crab is caught. Each species has it's own habitat preference but generally they are found on rocky reefs and different soft substrates.

Our Partners at Seafood Watch consider these crabs to be a "Good Alternative" because monitoring is limited and there is concern for by-catch of kellet's whelks. We like to source from Jason because he is very conscientious of where he drops his pots so as not to disturb the ocean floor and there is very little concern of whelk by catch in Santa Cruz.