The effects of Hurricane Florence are still being felt across the Carolinas as devasting flooding wreaks havoc on land. At sea, the situation isn’t any better. From the Carolinas to Maine, many vessels remain in port and most will have trouble getting out to work this week due to the lingering high winds and rough seas from Florence’s aftermath. East Coast product will dicey this week, to say the least.
The Lobster supply’s September slump has set in. Lobstering is slow going with only minimal landings of hard shells. Pricing will remain high and possibly increase over the next couple of weeks. The same should be noted of Scallops. Pricing on larger meats will see a steady increase until demand wanes.
Supply of Ground Fish like Skate, Pollack, Monk, and Cod shouldn’t be an issue this week, but be careful if you have Mackerel, Fluke, Black Bass or Corvina on the menu. Fluke and Mackerel fisheries along the Mid-Atlantic were hit hardest, with no real back-up supply to fill the void. Expect these species to be hard to find this week. Luckily, Rhode Island’s Black Bass season just opened, so it should be around, but this fish will most likely command a premium. Corvina supply is in a lull, non-storm related, and will take a week to recover. Other species that will see some supply issues include Striped Bass, Blue Fish, Tile Fish, and Hake. - Prices in general this week will be higher than normal.
Expect disruptions in East Coast Shellfish production this week as well. Fresh water is the enemy of Shellfish and many companies pulled up their gear ahead of the storm to mitigate damage. It will take a few days for supply to get up and running and for water quality to return to acceptable levels. The species affected include Oysters, Clams and Mussels.
On a brighter note, Snapper and Grouper boats are back to work after the tropical storm and it appears that we will be in great shape with domestic fish for at least the next two weeks. Hopefully, without any major hurricanes on the horizon, supply will remain steady.
Swordfish landings have increased over the last week and we are seeing some beautiful, big Swords. This shift has brought the price down and quality up. Fish are coming from Ecuador, Costa Rica, and Brazil, and if you are not currently offering Swordfish, you may want to update your specials board this week.
Great Lakes species are also on the upswing. Lake Trout, Walleye, and Whitefish landings are all increasing, and many suppliers have plenty of fish to ship. Sizing may be the only issue here; most of the Whitefish and Walleye being offered are on the smaller side, with Jumbo fish in the minority of landings. Perch unfortunately is not in as great of shape as the other lake species. Due to some wind, Perch landings are not as significant, but we are expecting all fisheries on the lakes to improve as cooler weather closes in.