Fishing continues to be slow. The few dungeness crabs have been caught are really soft due them molting their shells (crabs and lobsters shed their shells to grow bigger). I have been told that dungeness crabs live on a 7-year cycle and we have begun the downward trend of this cycle. If this is true next year will be a worse year for this fishery…but a good year to buy permits if folks are looking to start another life as a commercial dungeness crab fisherman!
Quota for sablefish, also known as black cod in the open access fisheries has recently been cut substantially (open access permits are available to anyone, as opposed to limited access or IFQ’s more on the history of fishery permitting in this video). One boat is allowed 900 lbs a week without exceeding 1800 lbs every two months, down from 2100 lbs. To put that into perspective the last time we offered fresh sablefish to all our members we used 1370 pounds. What this means is we need two fishermen to almost max out one month of quota in a week and more specifically in one trip. Something that is very difficult to do. The demand and price for sablefish in Japan has also plummeted. With a Vessel Monitoring Systems running around $100 a month and fuel the prices few fishermen see much over their expenses. By this date last year we had done sablefish two times. You can now see why there has been a shift towards fishing sanddabs this year. We might need to start coining the phrase “Eating with the seasons, and regulations!”
And so we have everyones favorite this week – sanddabs! All shares this week were vacuum-sealed and refreshed for this weeks delivery. We are lucky because the big processors and fish buyer/sellers haven’t been able to get anything local. LCMB, on the other hand, have a little group of passionate fishermen willing to find what they can for us.