Westcoast Rockfish Market Update

16 August 2016, at 1:00am

US - West Coast processors indicate smaller catches of Pacific Rockfish as Hake continues to come in strong, reports Kyla Ganton in the Tradex Foods 3-Minute market Insight.

As we see every year, landings of red rock species like Pacific Ocean Perch and Yellowmouth are in abundance.

Twenty-three per cent of the 2.8 thousand metric tonne quota for trawl caught Yellowmouth in British Columbia have been caught to date in the year-round fishery.

The Pacific Ocean Perch quota was set at 6.1 thousand metric tonnes, of which 2.4 thousand have been harvested.

Many boats are targeting Pacific Ocean Perch this month with large offloads every week.

Fresh pricing is higher this year, up about 15 per cent over last summer, with the majority of fresh offloads destined to California for the Whole Round market.

We typically see fresh pricing loosen as the market saturates in this area, which is not the case this year.

Processors are mainly producing smaller sizes fillets with the current species landing, falling into the 4-6oz and 6-8oz fillet sizes.

However, we have heard that there are limited frozen inventories available on the West coast right now.

Most suppliers have moved away from frozen rockfish production and are only freezing small quantities, which could trend towards a stronger frozen market in the near future.

As mentioned earlier, many boats have focused on Hake this season, contributing to lower Rockfish catch volumes.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans set the quota at 101 thousand metric tonnes this season, of which 48 percent has been caught since February.

Once the Fall months approach and weather permitting, boats that were fishing Hake will target Rockfish again, building frozen inventories.

Buyers can expect larger sized fillets like the 8oz+ in the fall months, produced from species like Yellowtail and Silver Greys.