Expect to Pay More This Year...
Head for your favorite fish counter and then fire up the barbecue – summer is a great time for good seafood values as catches of many species are at their annual peak. Two summer staples – lobster and salmon – will be plentiful again this year, although expect to pay a bit more, as fishermen try and pass on the higher price they’re paying for fuel.
Wild Salmon Season...
Down East, Maine lobster catches should peak in July, but don’t expect any bargains until after Labor Day, when demand from summer beach resorts drops off. Alaska’s wild salmon season will be in full gear by early July – look for good supplies of kings, sockeyes and cohos through September.
Hot Buy: Arctic Ketas
The best wild salmon value around may be chum salmon from Kotzebue, north of the Arctic Circle. These Arctic Ketas (keta is another name for chum) have great meat color and twice the oil of other chums. Salmon savants in Seattle swear they eat as good as sockeyes, but they sell for half the price.
Blue Crab: Fisherman Look Forward to a Good Year...
On the Chesapeake, blue crab fishermen are hoping for another good year after last summer’s surprising haul. Prices should be at their low point in July for live crab and fresh lump meat.
Hot Buy: Dungeness Crab...
Snow and Dungeness crab prices are at their lowest level in years. The record Dungeness haul this winter off the Pacific Northwest has pushed prices down, down, down and snow crab prices have followed. Look for good prices on frozen clusters at fish counters all summer.
Hawaii Tuna in August...
Catches of albacore and yellowfin tuna off Hawaii normally peak in August, so that’s a great time to buy some fresh ahi or tombo ahi (albacore) steaks and invite some friends over.
Shrimp prices remain at historical lows
as the tide of farmed shrimp from Asia shows no sign of abating. While imports of China whites have dropped sharply due to a dumping duty, other countries such as Indonesia have quickly jumped in to replace China. The average wholesale price of white shrimp, which remains well below $3/lb., is not expected to change in the near future. "There’s simply way too much shrimp being farmed for prices to rise much," says one California importer.