Sand Dabulous Tuesday

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Last week was a great week for fishing. Weather, seas, and fish cooperated to bring you all sand dabs caught by Tuck Yee, and Brian Lucas. Tuck got his out in front of the Moss Landing harbor roughly four miles out. Brian Lucas caught his not too far from Lover’s Point. Not only did they catch a lot of them, but they caught some really nice big ones. 

There IS a difference between whole fish and fillet share types this week – whole fish shares only will be labeled by member last name, so please be sure to take the right package. While our self-service honor system works great the vast majority of the time, every couple weeks or so a member will arrive at a site and find that their share is missing. Since one person’s actions affect everyone else,please please please always make sure to double-check our Monday email for instructions specific to that week and be sure to pass all the information along if someone else will be picking up your share for you.

In other news, I got an opportunity from Jiri Nozicka to be a deckhand aboard the F/V San Giovanni and fish in the deep water for dover sole, sablefish, skate and hard heads (shortspine and longspine thornyheads) off the Big Sur coastline this past Wednesday to Friday. There were four of us on the boat; Jiri – the captain, Shane – another deckhand, and Kathlyn – the observer. 

Not sure who painted this, but I think its a familiar perspective and subject for Monterey locals and tourists alike

The trip out of Monterey harbor that night was relatively quite with a little rocking and rolling from a fading northwest ground swell. Working through the night I watched the sun rising above the Santa Lucia Range, a perspective on Big Sur I have never experienced before. We worked all day. Sunrise quickly became midday at which point I was up in the pilot house talking with Jiri learning about the boat, the famous fishing grounds in Monterey Bay, and life on the sea. As we conversed under tow, we watched numerous pods of dolphins play, splash, and race on the glassy calm seas. Sunset happened while I was below deck sorting and icing fish in the holds. I emerged to from below to see last of twilight illuminating the mountains and hillside before dusk and night fell. 

We had made two tows and were on our third when Shane had an asthma attack while we were pulling the net on board. Four hours from port and with no medication, things didnt look good. We knew we had to cut the trip short. Shane went up to the wheel house where he could effortlessly steer the boat. Jiri and I dealt with the fish on deck. Shane was calm, he laboriously controlled his breathing as we headed back to Monterey. At no time did he loose consciousness or at no point did we think his current condition was life threatening, but we immediately recognized that this was a situation and condition that could rapidly escalate. We made it back to the harbor at 4am and quickly got him the care he needed. By 9am, with a lung treatment and medication Shane was back to help unload the boat. 

I took my camera with the intention of making a video and taking photographs. Needless to say I grossly overestimated the amount of free time I would have. That said It was a good trip and I think it will be possible in the future for me to do some more documentation to share with you all. In the meantime here are a couple photos taken with my phone over those three days. I know trawling is hot topic for many of our members and I hope that by going out on this boat I can learn more and share with you my experiences. 

As you all know probably know our food system is extremely complicated in everyway possible (just the thought of juggling environmental, social, and economic needs is mind twisting, never mind trying to ACT, but that is what we are here to do). It didn’t used to be this way and I think things are getting more complicated with news of impending genetically engineered salmon on the horizon (Check out this article by the Monterey County Weekly). This would be the first genetically engineered meat on the market. It’s unfortunate, but the decisions on whether or not to eat farmed salmon isn’t getting easier, recognizing there are aquaculture programs that are trying to do the right thing. Taking a step back, I think it is unfortunate that we have to farm, or genetically engineer fish/meat in the first place. What is the value of fish that we don’t have to produce ourselves; fish that nature makes, not people, laboratories, farms or factories? If you want to tell our Congress man, Sam Farr stop the approval of GE salmon click here.

In the cabin looking outside

Back home, on the mooring

Last but not least, I want to thank those of you who sent letters to Santa Cruz Harbor Port Commission in support of a local seafood retail business operated by LCMB. The SC fishermen and myself are very excited about this prospect. Such a facility would help make local seafood more available, and our proposal is supported by many in the fishing community. If you haven’t already you can still send your letters. The SC Port Commission will be reviewing the proposals in a couple weeks. Please scroll down for suggested text, and for other announcements about a Local Catch tour of the new Sanctuary Exploration Center, our Web Store, and the opportunity to easily earn $5 this week.

Caught by: Tuck Yee (1200 pounds), and Brian Lucas (155 pounds)
When caught: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (2/1,2/2,2/3)
Landed in: Moss Landing, and Monterey
Cleaned and filleted: Monday 2/4
Coolers packed: Tuesday 2/5 by Alan, and Vinny
Fillets shares vs. Whole fish shares:
fillet preference: Pan-ready (headed, gutted and trimmed)
whole fish preference: whole sand dabs LABELED with member last name
What to take:
small shares: 1 package
family shares: 2 packages
Eat by: Friday

Links:
about sand dabs:
-Our LCMB sand dab species profile

about sand dab fishing:
-Sand dabs are caught with hook&line and trawl nets. Click on the hyper links to learn more about pros and cons of these fishing methods
-Here’s a video taken while sand dab fishing with Greg Young

about sand dab preparation:
Sand dabs have a sweet and delicate flavor that makes it a local favorite. Recipes and accompanying seasoning should be light and simple letting the fresh flavor come through. I was recently told by Jiri Nozika, captain of the F/V San Giovanni, that dipping the sand dabs in dry pancake mix is a simple and delicious way to pan fry them. 
-Seven scrumptious sand dab recipes on the LCMB website
-Whole gutted sand dabs can be cooked as they are. This is the easiest way, as the meat will fall off the bones once cooked. If you would rather fillet your whole sand dabs prior to cooking, you can follow these instructions or this video.
-Please share your sand dab experience on our Facebook page or on the “Sand dab Discussion” section of our Member’s Forum.

Enjoy your Local Catch Tuesday!
Alan

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Want better access to local fish? Help us by writing a letter!
We’d like to ask for your help in sending letters to the Santa Cruz Harbor Port Commission in support of a local seafood retail business operated by LCMB. We would greatly appreciate it if you could take a moment to do this. Here’s some suggested text:

Dear Lisa Ekers, and the Santa Cruz Harbor Port Commission:

I am writing in support of the lease proposal for a local retail seafood market and charter fishing office at 2210 East Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz Harbor.

In recent years, it’s been increasingly difficult to find fresh, local, and sustainable seafood in the Monterey Bay area. Although fresh, local, and sustainable seafood is being landed here in Santa Cruz, most of it ends up in other parts of the country and world! We support the idea of a local seafood market that only provides local seafood caught by fishermen we know. 

Local Catch Monterey Bay has done a great job at reconnecting us with local seafood producers through their Community Supported Fishery (CSF), and we support the proposal for a retail market as another way for them to continue strengthening our connection to the ocean while supporting local fishermen, the community and economy.

Please mail letters to: Santa Cruz Port District, 135 Fifth Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA 95062.

This is a drawing a friend of LCMB did. Wouldn’t this be cool???

Local Catch Webstore is Open!
Currently available items include:
-Extra shares of tomorrow’s fish
-LCMB T-shirts and hoodies – your order helps us to provide our regular fishermen with free Local Catch hoodies
-Smoked sablefish
-Live abalone
-A new LCMB cooler bag
-Fisherman Chris Zajac’s art and original shirts
-Cedar planks for grilling fish
Access the Webstore by logging in to your account and then clicking on the words “Web Store” in the upper right corner.Orders must be placed by 9pm Monday to receive the following day. You should receive a confirmation email with the successful completion of an order, and your Local Catch account balance will be debited accordingly at the time of delivery.

LAST Independent Marketplace, 4-9pm on 2/7/13
Join us for fish, oyster shuckin’, and fun at the final Independent Marketplace in Sand City on February 7th. We’ve enjoyed being a part of this amazing social / culinary experiment, especially for the chance to get to know many of you in person. Learn more about the future of the ground-level space at the Independent here.

Sanctuary Exploration Center Tour, 10am on 2/16/13
Much of our seafood comes from the clean waters of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS). In 2012, the MBMNS opened the Sanctuary Exploration Center (SEC) at 35 Pacific Avenue, right by the Santa Cruz boardwalk. The SEC is a first-class facility that can “bring it all together” and help you to understand the environments that many of your Local Catches come from. LCMB member Sandra Cohen is a docent at the Exploration Center, and has offered to provide some interpretation for interested Local Catch members. Admission, an outstanding 17-minute film, and Sandy’s intepretation are all FREE (donations to SEC are optional). This is an excellent opportunity to learn about our local waters and meet others in the LCMB community. Meet at 10am on Saturday, February 16, and plan to spend about an hour. All welcome.

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