Resurgent Gulf of Maine
We are working with Portland, ME fishermen landing Haddock, Hake, and Pollack from the resurgent Gulf of Maine.
After major fish stock declines in the early 90’s, scientists at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute have observed remarkable improvement as a result of management efforts. Haddock stock levels have returned impressively, Hake stock numbers are steadily increasing, and Pollock biomass has steadily increased with the current population 115% above its sustainable target level. The stocks are managed by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC), under the Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan using catch shares.
As opposed to the days of ‘derby fishing’ when boats rushed to sea to maximize their share of quota, under the new system fishermen own individual fishing quotas (IQF) allowing them to plan year round harvests to maximize safety and profit. What this means for chefs is that they can consistently enjoy premium fish at a known cost, completely traceable back to the boat. Receiving fish directly from the point of landing, by-passing the long traditional distribution chain, not only means days fresher, but lower costs, creating a win for both the fishermen and the chef.
Alaska Wild Salmon openers are popping up all over the state and indications point to even better salmon market conditions than last year. “It looks in general like a great year for the Alaska salmon industry,” said Gunnar Knapp, fisheries economist at the University of Alaska. The total catch for Alaska salmon this season is pegged at 204 million fish, the fifth largest on record. Knapp says as always, there is only one certainty – “The most certain thing is something will happen to surprise us.''