Friday, April 07, 2006

"Go catch your own fish"...

Dolphin, Mahi-mahi, Dorado, Coryphaena hippurus...

Here is a good one for you... It's cheaper to get the one from Peru...

A few years back I lived in Key West Florida and worked on a Sportfishing Charter boat that took people out fishing in the Florida Straits for day trips. The photo above is of a female Dolphin fish that is also known as Mahi-mahi, Dorado, and numerous other names depending on your location and what ocean you were in... Dolphin is a very fast growing fish and is also very good eating. The Florida Keys has become a popular place for tourist to escape to and get in some fishing and great dining in town. Key West has some incredible restaurants with all the "fresh" seafood you could ever want...

An interesting fact was that times during the year I could fish during the day catching all of the Dolphin we want and then stop by the supermarket on the way home only to find foreign caught fish for sale. Many times I would catch an outstanding fish like the one above only to find Dolphin in the fish section that was from Peru or some other country thousands of miles away.

One of the main factors to this was that a charterboat had to maintain the proper licenses and permits to be able to catch and sell the fish caught during the trip. There were days where I saw the price of fresh Dolphin as low as $.40 a pound and many commercial boats could not pay fuel to go out fishing. The fish caught also had to be maintained at a cold temperature and was inspected at the fish house before sale. The Charterboat also had to report catche's for there were also quota's that once reached the season would be closed. All of these restrictions made it possible for the local supermarket in Key West, surrounded by water and some of the best fishing in the Atlantic, offer Dolphin from Peru cheaper then that caught 5 miles offshore...

It was interesting to see that there were so many restrictions on American fishermen who abided by the rules only to be undersold by countries that operated under very few restrictions let alone few inspections.

4 comments:

Bubba said...

People think Wal-Mart destroys or decimates local competition. You should see what some of the mega fishing fleets do to the people that rely on the waters they over fish. foreign fishing fleets take advantage of the waters around chile and peru because of the abundant catches there but due to lack of reglation they get over fished and the eco-system crashes. The locals there don't lose jobs.....they starve to death.

I would be happy to pay a premium for fresh caught local seafood. But instead we buy the cheap foreign fish then pay income taxes so that we can send aid to the people who just lost their ancestral fishing grounds. Ain't life great!

If most people knew how many of the foreign outfits ran things they would never buy the products that they catch, grow, or manufacture. I have a very good frien who refuses to drink a popular mexican beer normally served with a lime after he toured part of the plant that bottles it. BUT cost overides all other considerations.

My point is that as a country we have regulated and organized ourselves out of being able to be competitive on the cost line.

Mike R. said...

I see when I go to the local markets here that they show which country the fish comes from and very little of them come from U.S.

Catfish come alot from "FarmRaised" and cooks up just as good aas the stuff we catch around here.

SWAC Girl said...

Would I rather buy fish caught in the U.S.? You bet!

I learned something in this post I didn't realize ... and will check closer when buying fresh seafood in the future.

While growing up and spending time during the summers with relatives on the Northern Neck of Virginia (the "rivah"), we used to go to the docks when the fishing boats came in and buy flounder and other fish straight from the fishermen. That was some good eating!

Thanks for the interesting post, Rightside.

Bubba said...

I actually would prefer to catch all my own fish, or just drink lots of beer trying........