Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fish-O-Gram! Halibut Season Set! Weatherbound Scallops! Harbingers of Spring! Carcasses Hit the Street! Year of the Monkey Dawns! New Reps System at Jones Ranch

Dear Weather Stymied, Nettle Eating, but still Pink-Hued Customers,

http://www.queenannehealingarts.com/qahq/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Nettles@Queenannemassage.com_1.jpg

A long, tempestuous week blew our diver friends off the water. It was a disappointing start to the Pink Scallop season--so sad.  But the winds have died down and we are looking at Sunday for sample collections and Tuesday for a commencement of commercial harvest.
Scallops live at such depths that harvest diving is dicey and challenging, as with any wild fishery, we are endlessly subject to vagaries of the weather.  As reflected last week, developing this fishery will take a great deal of time and experimentation.  Please bear with us as we work to Bring Back the Pinks!

Department of Fisheries Management
Yesterday the International Pacific Halibut Commission wrapped up their annual meeting in Anchorage.  For those with the inclination to dig a little deeper, there are some fascinating statistics on Halibut sizing over time on their website http://www.iphc.int/news-releases.html.
But more to the point, the 2016 kick-off to the halibut season has been announced for March 19 and the quota for our region has been raised by 20%.  This means that our local flatfish are thriving and stocks are growing, and it means more availability for you of the San Juans Halibut, the greatest halibut in the world!

This tribal-only fishery kicks off on halibut opening day, March 19th and our plucky Lummi, Swinomish, Tulalip and Jamestown friends will convert their crab skiffs to longliners for two, three or on a good year, four openings to pursue these massive flatfish.  San Juans Halibut have shorter muscle fibers than the Alaska variant, higher fat levels and a more subtle, richer and rounder flavor.  They are simply the best.  And, the past few years, these early fish have been the most reasonably priced of the season. 

http://www.mass.gov/eea/images/dfg/dmf/recreationalfishing/nyc-mayor-fiorello-laguardia-with-halibut-350.jpg
March 19.  Be ready

Winter's Almost Gone
Last night at Jones Ranch, we had our first round of Nettle pesto and nettle tea.  The grass is growing, buds are swelling and calves are on the ground.  We are on the home-stretch!
And fresh fish is beginning to loosen up as well. Rhode Island production looks good for the week ahead and we have a reasonable basket of fresh locals as well.
We still have green urchins available, crab pricing is still reasonable, and as of Monday we will have...

 #1 60 up TUNA

#2 TUNA


ALBACORE 


SWORD

MAHI


1-2 TAI SNAPPERS

GROPER


BRANZINI

ONO 

OPAH

BLUE MARLIN 


ESCOLAR 

8+ CALIFORNIA HALIBUT

FRESH FISH-DOMESTICS



TRUE COD  FILLET 

LING COD 


DOVER FILLET

ROCK FILLETS

PETRALE FILLETS
















FARMED STURGEON 


STEELHEAD, U9, G&


STEELHEAD, 9+, G&G




FRESH  &  LIVE  SEAFOOD   ***ALL  LIVE  SEAFOOD  WEATHER  DEPENDENT**
LIVE  DUNGENESS  CRAB  
LIVE  DUNGENESS  CRAB  
GREEN  SEA  URCHIN 
SEA  CUCUMBER SALISH  SEA FRESH  SQUID



Fresh Eastern Fish--Look For Monday Update

Valentines Day Warning
On and around Sunday, February 14, your business will be thronged with famished, amorous customers.   Suppliers nation-wide will run short of choice items.  We are digging deep to cover you with the premium proteins Lusty Diners demand.  Special Fishes!! Fresh Meats!! The Best Distributor list of Small-Farm Oysters in the business! Abundant Pink Dye--We've got you covered!! Don't get caught short!! Call today to set up a Valentines Program.  Help us help you!

Department of Land-Based Activities.

Feeding time at Jones Ranch

Hog Call
We slaughtered cattle last week--call now for availability week of Feb. 8- call Sara.
Hogs go this week--available as wholes, halves and in cuts as early as Thurs or for the week of the 8th.  We anticipate at least several months of weekly fresh pork availability. 

Call for ordering details!  Our pastured Lopez Pork is the best anywhere.
Lambs continue to go meekly to the slaughter, week by week and are showing no signs of rebellion.  Get yours today!

Non-Gregorian Calendar Corner

Chinese New Year is celebrated at the turn of the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar. Festivities start the night before the New Year and extend for fifteen full days of the New Year.  The first day of the New Year is held on the new moon between 21 January and 20 February.  This year Chinese New Year will be held on Monday, February 8.  Each night has a different feasting tradition involving specific dishes, but many oriented around seafood.  The New Year eve dinner is known as Reunion Dinner and is generally seafood heavy.  This is so because seafood is delicious, and also because  the pronunciation of fish (魚yú) makes it a homophone for "surpluses"(餘yú).  So, in the interest of a prosperous New Year, eat fish every night, but specifically on the 7th.  Sadly, the 13th night of festivities calls for an all-vegetarian menu. 

The year beginning Feb 8 will be year 2130, and is the Year of the Monkey in Chinese Astrology.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02807/chinese-new-year-5_2807135k.jpg 
More Crab! More Geoduck!

In 1928, the ruling Kuomintang  under Chiang Kai Shek mandated a Gregorian New Year of Jan 1, but the population refused to accept the change.  In 1967 during the Cultural revolution, Chinese New Year celebrations were banned for 13 years in an effort to extract more labor out of the population.  The return of traditional celebrations has been a powerful symbol of the unwinding of high-totalitarian laws in China.   

These last years Chinese New Year has typically marked the annual peak of prices of Geoduck, Dungeness Crab, Lobster, Shrimp and many fishes.  Jumbo Jets laden with Washington origin crab line the runways in Vancouver and  Shanghai.  Fishermen and brokers world-wide plan trips to Reno based on Chinese New Year winnings.  This year, prices have barely budged as we approach the date.  Why?

Changing Times
Many past Fish-O-Grams have discussed the changing nature of Chinese purchases of West-Coast seafood and what it means for all of us.  Simply put, China became the major driver in global seafood demand and pricing during the early years of the 2000s.  In China, imported food in general, and seafood in particular, became a mark of upper and middle class distinction.  Also, for good reason, Chinese consumers increasingly distrust their own food supply.  For a long decade Chinese demand and pricing ratcheted up every year.  This made business easy for brokers on our side of the pond and the persistent lesson learned was, "he who has the product wins", even if product was purchased above market levels, China would always pick up the slack and make long bets good.  Fishermen saw the value of their catch rise yearly, brokers splurged on Cadillac Escalades, gold plated e-cigarettes and Rolex watches, and everyone was happy.  This dynamic was also alive and well in other resource businesses, including oil, grain and metals.  Conventional wisdom held that this perpetual increase was not a bubble, but represented the new normal as the massive Chinese population moved into the global trading gyre.

In 2013 a coast-wide, all-time record salmon catch was met with higher pricing--an unprecedented combination--and supply seamlessly melted away into the marketplace.   

Many of the smaller, specialty fisheries saw pricing so high local buyers were priced clean out of certain markets, including Dungeness Crab, Geoduck, Spot Prawns, Seas Cucumbers and Urchins. 
 
Fish Broker in Happier Times

The Bubble Bursts.
Despite brewing stormclouds, 2014 seemed likely to offer the same happy circumstance.  The  Chinese economy was slowing down.  New leadership in Bejing slapped a series of taxes and restriction on imported proteins to reflect the anger of poorer Chinese about wealthier folk eating foreign foods.  However, through spring and into summer, prices maintained the momentum of years past and crept higher for the benchmark fisheries, including crab, salmon and halibut.  Fresh markets for fish, which are mainly domestic, stayed stable.  Then came a series of much larger than expected salmon catches in Canada and Alaska and fish companies began offering unexpectedly large volumes of frozen fish onto the spot markets and found no buyers at advertised prices.  Processors kept buying and buying.  Sellers lowered prices, still no buyers.  Meanwhile the Dollar was rising against other currencies, meaning our fish was pricing itself out of export market after export market.  Fish does not improve with age and and storage is expensive--at one point every cold storage on the coast was plugged to the point of refusing product.  Some processors were reduced to renting freezer shipping containers and stacking fish up in parking lots.

After Le Bust, Le Deluge
Processors and brokers slowly came to the cold hard truth.  China was not going to pick up anyone's slack.  Prices began to plunge.  Sockeye salmon was the most spectacular example, with pricing falling from roughly $5# for large volume-high quality frozen fish to a reported low of #1 sockeye delivered into Tokyo for $2.15#  Larger companies lost huge amounts of money--Icicle Seafoods took such a beating it's owners threw in the towel and put the business up for sale.  Frozen Coho prices have fallen below farmed tillapia levels and remain there.  Tens of millions of pounds of 2014 product still languish in West Coast cold storage.

In 2015 the pricing knives came out.  As with most market crashes the pendulum has swung far in the other direction.  Fishermen in Bristol Bay saw boat prices of $.50#, down from $1.40# the year before.   2015 Chinese New Year still brought stratospheric crab prices, but the bloom was clearly off the rose.  Last April during the tribal Spot Prawn fishery the live Prawn price fell as low as $4.50# from 2014's $11+#.  Even worse, buyers only wanted limited volumes of prawns--we know fishermen who lost thousands of pounds of live prawns waiting for Chinese buyers who never came.  For Dungeness Crab, throughout the summer and into fall Chinese exporters have been MIA and brokers have turned their efforts to moving crab into the California and Eastern American market.

Hard times in the Bone Yard. 
As goes seafood, so goes other commodities.  China has turned off the lights, in the same way the Japanese did in the mid 1990s.  We can still remember the log export yard in Anacortes idle and stuffed with premium logs when the Japanese log market collapsed in 1995.   Years later the Port chipped the logs to clear the space.
Just for fun, below is a graph showing scrap metal prices.
https://www.arscars.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/ars_avg_price_of_crushed_auto_bodies_4thquarter2015.png
Should have put the money in Sockeye.

China, Seafood, and You.  
We like moderate, stable pricing and abundant supplies.  We also like robust economic times.  For the moment we seem to have the dream scenario, China has largely withdrawn from the buying end of the business, while our regional economy is ticking away.  Therefore, we, and you, enjoy reasonable pricing, abundant supplies and strong local demand.  Medium term, our West Coast prosperity has become so entangled with China that a weak China is not good for anyone, even if it means that they leave our Spot Prawns alone.  Hopefully troubles in China do not disrupt the Seattle Restaurant Rally.  Long term, anyone who bets against 1.4 billion Chinese bootstrapping themselves one way or another is a fool.  And, if they appreciate our fish more than we do, then they should probably have it.  One of the bitter ironies of American seafood trade is that we generally export our good product and import nasty stuff--farmed tiger prawns and reprocessed fish.
So the best case scenario is that we use this interruption in the Chinese market to build customer appreciation of our local products.  When, inevitably, resurgent Chinese demand begins to nudge prices up, hopefully we, and you, can stay in the game with higher prices justified by appreciation of our incomparable seafood.
So enjoy the reasonable prices, don't get too used to them, and above all, stay loose.

JFF Salutes the Monkey
So crab pricing remains stable and frozen fish is still a bargain.  What does the Chinese New Year mean to us?  Well, Sara and I are both Snakes, in Chinese Astrology.  The year of the Monkey can be a good and prosperous year for Snakes, provided we can Out Smart the Monkey.  So there you have it.  Good times ahead, just be alert and try and stay a step or two ahead of scheming primates.

http://creativecreativity.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8345158fb69e2015432a54f8b970c-pi

A Message From the JFF Office.
In order to maintain and improve our level of service as we grow, we are moving to a new system of customer-assigned Representatives.
Seattle Customers; you will be working more closely with Paisley.  Northend Customers, you will continue to work with Ivan, but with more individual attention from him.  The rest of us will spend our time watching nature videos on the new flat screen and shooting pool.  Got it?

http://cdn.home-designing.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/google-office-design-1-700x466.jpeg
New JFF office layout

Sincerely, Your JFF Crew!
Call Paisley (425) 577-2329.  Call Nick, Sara, Ivan or Renee, (360) 468-0533

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fish-O-Gram! THINK PINK!!!!! Green Urchins Yes! Oysters Yes! Hometown Heroes! Consider the Tree Lobster!

HOOORAY FOR THE SCALLOPS!!!



http://www.junglewalk.com/animal-pictures/642/Pacific-pink-scallop-8110.jpg
Talk to me, Sing to me

Dear Pink-Hued Customers,
Our mission and passion in life is to bring superlative products from our island-studded home to market.  We love everything we sell, from Rhode Island squid to Fiji Albacore, to Japanese Tobikko, we love it all.  But there is something special about the products that come from this little corner of the world.  On land we find that the persistent salt-spray and great day-to-night temperature swings build subtle, piquant flavors in vegetables and meats.  By sea we find that the combination of big, clean, moving waters and sweet, protected bays yields finfish, Echinoidea (Urchins) and shellfish that have an unmatch-able combination of flavor profiles, clean and sharp from the big waters, and deep and rich from the abundant food.  We are always meditating on what more we can do and bring to you.  

Remembrance of things deep and dark
Years back harvest divers were kings of the North-End.  Insatiable Japanese demand coupled with huge standing stocks of Urchin and Sea Cucumbers mobilized hordes of neoprene-clad divers.  Over every inch of seafloor crawled the treasure hunters. Long ignored or neglected species came to surface for the first time, including thirteen varieties of sea scallop.  Most are too scarce to support a commercial fishery, or not especially toothsome.  Pink and Spiny scallops, however, are both plentiful--actually they are common as dandelions at certain depths--stock estimates are in the tens of millions of pounds--and delicious.   Deep-Venturing divers found pulsating carpets of Pinks and Spinys clinging to ledges and rocky bottoms in high-tidal flow areas.  Harvesting them is enchanting, but hazardous.  During maximum-flow times, the scallops attach themselves to rocks and one another with byssal threads--the same fibers that constitute Mussel beards.  Once the tide slackens, scallops sever their attachments and flutter around like little butterflies, always moving forward as they flap their shells.  At the depths they cluster, divers have only minutes to gather product safely.   Commencing a commercial fishery in those go-go years was an easy task, and soon Singing Scallops were featured on restaurant menus region-wide. They are truly extraordinary--combining the sweetness of scallops with the depth and richness of clams.  A 1987 NYT article neatly sums up the story and appeal of our most abundant natural scallop; http://www.nytimes.com/1987/05/10/travel/fare-of-the-country-tiny-pink-scallops-from-puget-sound.html?pagewanted=all



Deep Water Blues--PSP issues, short shelflife, creeping bureaucracy. 

Scallops, like other shellfish, mainly eat phytoplankton.  At the depths they call home, most plankton is cystic, or dormant cells that have drifted down to the seafloor to await favorable environmental conditions for re-emergence. Pinks and Spinys have the ability to "clap" their shells to stir up sediment from the sea floor and feed on the resulting suspended slurry.  Among the many species of phytoplankton with a cystic stage is Alexandrium, the toxin-producing algae that creates red tide.  At scallop depths regular monitoring is impossible and with scallops constantly stirring up sediments, PSP levels in scallops can spike anytime, any season.  After a series of disastrous product recalls, WA Department of Health eventually required PSP testing of every single batch of scallops harvested.  This was a great idea, but swiftly caused another string of problems.  Pinks have a very short shelf-life out of water.  At most three days.  For a diver to send a sample off for sampling cost at least 24 hours, and more likely 36 hours of a 72 hour shelf-life.  Hot scallops needed to be dumped, which, given the heroic efforts needed to harvest them, is a bitter pill for harvesters.  Divers began holding pinks in barrels and crab traps in marinas and home bays to await test results, but scallops, like other shellfish are filter feeders, and DOH takes a dim view of holding any shellfish in proximity to concentrations of boats and developed areas.  By the late 90s the fishery had wound itself down to pretty much nothing.  For the next ten years the fishery remained technically open, but no-one harvested.  Meanwhile, FDA guidelines, under which DOH operates, stiffened up to the point that open-water harvest of any shellfish became illegal.  

Department of Fisheries Revival
Six years ago we bumped into Sara Dickerman at the Willows Inn.  At one point Sara asked, "what happened to the pink scallops? They were my favorite thing when I first came to Seattle.  Can anyone bring them back?"
Thus began an odyssey through bureaucratic never-land.  Rekindling a dormant fishery ought to be easy, thought we.  As shellfish growers we deal weekly with DOH.  DOH is hands down the best State or Federal agency we work with.  Our concept was to bring all harvested scallops home to Shoal Bay to hold in our certified, tested waters until PSP tests come back clean.  So doing mean no risk of poisoning anyone, no need to dump hot scallops--we can just hold them until the toxin clears--the scallops are happy in our tanks and the freshness clock doesn't start running until we pull them out of the water--generally an hour or so before the ferry leaves.  But open-water harvest, meaning harvest in areas not continuously monitored, is now illegal, acoording to the FDA.  Never mind that big water in the San Juans is some of the cleanest water in the world, never mind that surface water samples tell nothing about what is happening 90 feet down, the law is the law.  Furthermore, even certifying the scallop harvest areas is troublesome.  It takes five years, and DOH is geared to working with shellfish growers, Department of Natural Resources and the Tribes, all of whom have title to the tidelands and bedlands in question.  When we tried to submit harvest site certification requests, no dice, because we don't own and can't lease the bedlands.  Finally DOH superstars Bob Woolrich and Scott Berbells came up with an elaborate end-run involving tissue sampling, endless mapping and classification work and mandatory transplant/relay periods for the scallops.  
Then we slammed into Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.  What seemed to us simple--reviving a well-trod commercial fishery--turned into a six-year slog through the wilderness.  We tried working with the Tulalips, Lummis and the State.  At different times we thought we were close, four times we began gearing up and four times something popped up to dash our dreams.   We never forgot, but moved onto other projects.  Meanwhile, a few short miles away, unbeknownst to us, Joe Stephens, another would-be scalloper was fighting the same good fight.  

Bureaucracy Busters
Last November, during dealings over our cultivation of European Flat Oysters, Rich Childers, Puget Sound Shellfish Manager decided Pinks were a cause whose time had come, and things started to happen.  And today we are overjoyed to announce that the Pink/Spiny Scallop fishery will re-commence in a limited area on Jan 26!!!!!!!  Thank you Rich!!  


Rich Childer, bureaucracy Buster.  I speak for the Scallops

Scallops Forward!!!!, Bespoke Hooch
These next weeks we are entering uncharted waters with harvest, relay and paperwork challenges.  Chris Sparks, our long-time Urchin diver and Joe Stephens will be heading up harvest efforts.  We will focus on relaying, testing and distributing these deep sea treasures.  Please bear with us as we work through the layers of logistical, biological and regulatory issues to bring you the FIRST PINK SCALLOPS SOLD IN ALMOST 20 YEARS!!!  Look for a schedule of scallop Coming Out events, call Paisley to schedule your own!!!  
Also, to accompany the scallops, Owen Roe Winery has custom-crafted a signature Pink Scallop Rose, a blend of the Grosso clone of Sangiovese from the famed Red Willow Vineyard and Cabernet Sauvignon from Own Roe's own Outlook Vineyard.  Owen Roe co-owners Ben and Julie Wolff have been our strongest and most steadfast supporters and friends these past few years.  They have ridden the roller-coaster of heartbreak and triumph with us through our house fire, business dramas and more.  Now we get to partner with them for the Pink Release.  This wine will only be available for special scallop events.
Look for first-sale announcements!!!
Scallops will be a limited-supply, high demand product.  Ordering restrictions will apply.  

Urchins Yet Again
Last weeks' announcement of the ending of the Green Urchin season was highly exaggerated.  A few thousands of pounds still remain on the quota and the urchins have not yet spawned.  Please enjoy another week of greens and perhaps another week after this.  We'll keep you posted.  
https://champagnewhisky.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/green-sea-urchin.jpg
Still Swingin'-2-U.

Blizzard-Bound Eastern Fishes
Eastern Fishes will return as soon as their weather dies down.  Right now everyone is battened down and the airport is not accepting fresh-freight consignments until things settle down.   Forecasts call for reasonable weather early next week.  Stand by for news of your favorite squid, monk, flounder and eels.
We do have 10# tubs of cleaned squid.

Fresh Fish, Local and Beyond
It is still January, but we have a few solid fresh options for the week ahead.
Steelhead remains plentiful and reasonably priced, Cali Hali is our over-sized flounder of choice, we are getting consistent fresh True Cod from Kodiak.  For those who can commit to and handle regular deliveries of 25# cases of true, we are offering substantial discounts--Call Paisley--.  We will have a limited volume of farmed sturgeon bullets for Weds and potentially a dab of from Alaska Troll Kings.  And for you editorially minded customers, grouper is known as groper when hailing from New Zealand.  So thanks, but it is spelled correctly.  And think how your customers will respond to Groper on the board.

Frozen Favorites
Don't forget Warner Lew's specialty Togiak Herring, Medium Spot Prawns and Baker River Sockeye.  Finish out January with a bang, not a whimper! Go frozen!!



Fresh Meats
Fresh Lopez Lamb in wholes, halves and cuts is available until further notice.
Fresh Pastured Lopez Pork will be available the first week of Feb.
Fresh Skagit Grass-fed beef from the Mainland Cattle Co will be available the second week of February.
Call Sara or Paisley for meats info. 


Science Corner, Lazarus Bugs.
Lord Howe Island, some 400 miles East of Australia, has some of the most unique fauna on earth.

19th century settlers on Lord Howe Island were welcomed by a unique giant insect, the Tree Lobster.

http://www.oceanpaddler.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/Lorde-Howe-1.jpg
Can't see the rats from the air





https://ringtailcats.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/s1-male-on-hand.jpg?w=541
Welcome ashore, white man.  Want to go fishing?

These flightless, speedy insects were everywhere on Lord Howe.  They eat leaves and decaying vegetation and mate for life, with females being more active and males accustomed to following their mates' lead in feeding and ambling.  Daytimes, the male sleeps snuggled around the female.  In the absence of males, female Tree Lobsters may reproduce by parthenogenesis, meaning that unfertilized eggs may mature and hatch on their own.  Lord Howe locals came to consider the the chunky critters as an island mascot, and used them as fish bait.  Apparently fishes are passionate about Tree Lobsters.  For decades there were plenty of Tree Lobsters for everyone. This idyllic state of affairs came to halt in 1918, when the supply ship, the SS Makambo went aground on Lord Howe and a legion of black rats escaped onto the island and began munching their way through local wildlife, especially these charismatic stick insects .  By 1920 the Tree Lobster was declared extinct, another victim of invasive species and the the Island Biology trap. 

Decades later climbers venturing up nearby Balls Pyramid Island came upon a dessicated Tree Lobster skeleton.  Further parties found a few more skeletons, but no live insects. In 2001, Australian scientists David Priddel and Nicholas Carlile and two assistants travelled to the Balls Pyramid to search for the elusive bug.  They scoured the barren island and found only some large insect droppings under a single Melaleuca shrub growing in a crevice 330 ft above the shoreline.    

That night they returned to the bush on the theory that the insects might be more active at night.  Snuggled under and around the bush they found a community of 24 adult Lobsters.

Two years later a team returned to the island and captured two mating pairs.  One pair failed to reproduce, but the other, transported to the Melbourne Zoo has multiplied admirably.  Twelve years on the Zoo has successfully spawned over 13000 bugs.  Some have now been re-introduced to a rat-free corner of Lord Howe Island and others have been dispatched to other zoos for breeding and display.


http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/4e61d0ee91e8d729cffe5ec7806c7be4?api_key=zw4msefggf9wdvqswdfuqnr5
One island, one shrub, 24 lobsters.  

Tree Lobsters; JFF salutes you!  Never give Up!!!

Your JFF Crew

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Fish-O-Gram! Urchin Victory Lap! Return of the Oysters! Fresh Quinalt Steelhead! Fresh AK Troll Kings! Fresh Lamb! Happy Birthday Cyrus McCormick!

We hope you are all enjoying the deep-winter interregnum.  Life here is going swimmingly--we had a terrific company party last Sunday.  Big thanks to Nick Coffey and Nova for preparing our feast.  This next week we are again offering the full line of Marinelli Shellfish selected farm-specific oysters!!!!

Department of Fond Fairwells,
Sad to say, next week may be the last week for live urchin deliveries.  The Green Urchin quota is almost thumped and we are having no luck finding tribal divers to take up the mantle.  It has been a wonderful run, maybe the best year ever for Red Urchin quality, but all good things must come to an end.  We may have a few one-off shots of product going forward, but this next week is the last best chance.

So long until October! Thanks for the memories!

Fresh Fish Round-Up
Fresh Fish continues to fill our vans and brighten our lives.  We urge those who have not yet done so to try the Black Sea Bass and Ink-In Squid.  At our annual party last weekend the incomparable Nick Coffey prepared us a Bass/seaweed ceviche and grilled squid. 

Overall, next week looks to be tighter on fish.  Prices are creeping up and availability is challenging.  Exceptions to this are True Cod, Steelhead and Eastern Fishes.  Also, frozen and refresh are always good options.
Our friends to the North are producing semi-consistent numbers of Alaska Troll Kings.  They are runty and high priced, but extremely high quality and anyone willing  to bounce around the Fairweather Grounds in Februrary deserves a little extra clover.   For those working on boosting deep-winter margins consider Fresh Quinalt Steelhead.  We should have Steelhead consistently through Mid-FebruaryDemand for winter trolls always exceeds supply, so order now for Monday.  These fish will be spoken for by Sunday.  East Coast Fish continues strong, with a possibility of Lemon Sole for Monday.  Limited locals in the form of Rock, Pet, Dover, True Cod and Cali-Hali continue to trickle in as well.  Warm Water fish is also readily available.   No Change on Crab pricing.

http://www.setsail.com/images/stories/dashew/fairweather_3.jpg

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a7/Hauling_in_salmon_caught_by_trolling.jpg
Short days/long nights on the rolling ocean

Fresh Locals (Call for pricing) Live Dungeness Crab O/R, Live Dungeness Crab 2#+, Live Green Urchin, Fresh True Cod (AK), Petrale (WA), Rockfish (WA) (Weds), Cali-Hali, Troll King(AK) O/R, Quinalt Steelhead, Princess Dressed

Eastern Delights
ALL EASTERN FISH SUBJECT TO SHIPPING AVAILABILITY Always watch for updates.
John Dory, Monktail, Skate Wing, Black Sea Bass, Conger Eel, Squid, ink-in, Cleaned T&T, 10# tubs, Sardines, Dry Pack Scallops, 10/20, Mackerel

Lambs Beware!
After a three week hiatus, we are again butchering lamb weekly.  Remember, these are luscious, Lopez Lamb, pasture raised and forage finished on the salt-kissed pastures of South Lopez.  Available as halves, wholes and cuts by arrangement. 

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Run, Lambs, Run!

We sell Whole or Half Lambs.

Oysterlands Update.
While our own oyster stocks slumber and slowly grow, we bring back the Marinellis line.  Marinelli Shellfish has been the pioneer in building the West Coast half-shell oyster trade.  The Marinellis family of independent oyster growers is the best in the business, and we are proud to be part of it as a supplier and distributor.  When buying directly from Marinellis or from us, you are buying the best sourcing and handling in the business.  Plus, you just might see this guy at your place some night. 
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Pour the likker and hide the Monkfish!

Oyster Availability--Order Deadlines Apply!
Hood Canal xs/small
Calm Cove, Sisters Point

South Puget Sound
Barron Point, Eagle Rock, Flapjack Point, Hammersley Inlet, Harstine Island, Pickering Pass, Wild Cat Cove, Shigoku

BC
Fanny Bay, Kusshi
           

Department of Agricultural Heroes
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The Man

February 15 marks the 207th birthday of Cyrus McCormick.  Cyrus and family spent 20 years developing the McCormick mechanical reaper, the first mechanized grain harvester.  The reaper was the companion piece for mechanical Threshing Machines, invented in 1786. .  Prior to this invention, grain was scythed and shocked by hand, then threshed by stomping feet or physically beating heads off the shocks.  Mechanized grain harvest revolutionized global agriculture, sped settlement of the North American continent, was perhaps the largest factor in ending slavery and began the dramatic increase in nutritional inputs for the human race that, two centuries on, allows all of us to focus on Sous-Videing pork fat and making Sea Urchin foam.  Cyrus McCormick, JFF Salutes You!

The Machine