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Real Good Fish | Fish Species | | Fish Species | Bringing you the freshest sustainably caught LOCAL seafood!
“If we eat from our own shores, we're much more inclined to protect them, the water quality, and our marine environment.”
- Paul Greenberg, American Catch
Market Squid / Doryteuthis opalescens

Market squid are native to the Eastern Pacific Ocean and due to their short life span, reproduce at a young age, making them highly resilient to the pressures of fishing. Humans are not the only ones to find market squid delicious – they are a primary food source for sharks, carnivorous fish,...

Market squid are native to the Eastern Pacific Ocean and due to their short life span, reproduce at a young age, making them highly resilient to the pressures of fishing. Humans are not the only ones to find market squid delicious – they are a primary food source for sharks, carnivorous fish, seabirds, and marine mammals such as seals and sea lions.

In Monterey Bay, the market squid fishery has existed for nearly 150 years, originally begun by Chinese immigrants and later taken up by Italian immigrants. Within Monterey Bay, the fishery typically operates from April to November.

Culinary Tips: Fresh squid cooks quickly making it perfect for a stir fry or of course, lightly breaded and fried. The bodies or "tubes" are also great when stuffed and gently baked in a tomato sauce.

 

Catch Method: Purse Seine

Sustainability: On the West Coast they are plentiful and highly regulated. Market squid are a fast-growing species with a short natural lifespan, which makes them less susceptible to overfishing. By encircling schools of squid with nets, bycatch from squid purse seining is generally low.

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: N/A

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Northern Anchovy / Engraulis mordax

In Monterey Bay anchovies are a key building block in the California marine food web, feeding everything from whales to seabirds. Today most commercially caught anchovies are reduced to pellets, processed into fish oil, or frozen into blocks and shipped overseas to be made into industrial animal...

In Monterey Bay anchovies are a key building block in the California marine food web, feeding everything from whales to seabirds. Today most commercially caught anchovies are reduced to pellets, processed into fish oil, or frozen into blocks and shipped overseas to be made into industrial animal feed. 

Anchovies are extremely high in omega 3s, niacin, vitamin A, potassium, calcium and selenium, making them one of the healthiest foods in the ocean. We offer them fresh on occasiaon when they land still alive in Moss Landing, and we offer Monterey Bay Anchovy Boquerones in our Member Store as often as possible.

Culinary Tips: Fresh anchovies are much milder in flavor than canned or cured and are fantastic roasted or fried whole. We also sell cured anchovy products like boquerones which are perfect for sauces and salad dressings.

Catch Method: Purse seine

Sustainability: Formal stock assessments are not conducted for either the northern or central subpopulations of anchovies, but data is collected to help monitor the populations, and populations are currently thought to be abundant. (NOAA). The gear used to catch anchovies in California is used at the surface and has little impact on marine habitats.

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Not Rated

>NOAA Fish Stock Sustainability Index: N/A

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Pacific Herring / Clupea pallasii

Believe it or not, Pacific herring is a keystone species. That means that herring have a disproportionately large effect over their environment relative to their abundance because they are an important prey species and an important predator.

Pacific herring prefer breeding in bays and estuaries,...

Believe it or not, Pacific herring is a keystone species. That means that herring have a disproportionately large effect over their environment relative to their abundance because they are an important prey species and an important predator.

Pacific herring prefer breeding in bays and estuaries, making the California coast a favorite location for them to spawn. A single female can lay up to 20,000 eggs in one spawn. Interestingly, most herring are not caught for their flesh, but rather over 90% are caught for their roe (the eggs inside of them) that is exported to Japan. Japanese traditionally eat herring roe, or kazunoko, at the start of a new year because it symbolizes prosperity. To fill their demand for it, the Japanese turned to the United States and set off a "silver rush" in San Francisco and Tomales Bays that led to fishing limits on Pacific herring in 1973. Since then, local herring have been harvested mostly for their high-priced roe, with the rest made into fertilizer, and fish meal that is fed to pigs, chickens, pets and farmed fish. It's also used for bait in other fisheries. Visit this article in the San Francisco Chronicle about how Nor Cal chefs are using local herring.  

Lifespan: 8 to 16 years

Size: 18 inches and 1.5 lbs

Distribution: Found from the surface to depths of 400 m. They also migrate inshore to spawn in estuaries.

Why sustainable: Well managed fishery with reliable stock assessments is recovering. Fishing is only allowed in Tomales and San Francisco Bays. Bycatch is low; roe is in demand while rest of the fish is underutilized

How fished: Gillnets or purse seines

MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Best Choice

NOAA FishWatch Rating: Not rated

Nutrition: Good source of vitamin B6, phosphorus, protein, vitamin B12, and selenium

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Pacific Sardines / Sardinops sagax

Pacific sardines are found in both offshore and nearshore areas along the coast, with locations of schools largely dictated by water temperatures. Sardines migrate regularly, with spawning concentrated in southern California and feeding concentrated in the central and northern waters of the...

Pacific sardines are found in both offshore and nearshore areas along the coast, with locations of schools largely dictated by water temperatures. Sardines migrate regularly, with spawning concentrated in southern California and feeding concentrated in the central and northern waters of the state. In Monterey Bay, sardines may spawn year round, with peaks generally occurring between April and August. Migrations, or “sardine runs,” attract many predators, such as larger fish, marine mammals, and seabirds, often creating feeding frenzies.

Culinary Tips: Fresh sardines are much different than canned, and regardless how you choose to prepare them we recommend doing so as soon as possible since they are more perishable than other seafood species. A great way to cook sardines is on the grill simply with olive oil, salt and lemon. They also can be filleted and cured with those same ingredients and served raw.

Catch Method: Purse seine

Sustainability: The California pacific sardine biomass fell below an important threshold in 2015 and has since been closed. This is mostly due to the natural fluctuation that forage fish species like sardines experience, and likely not due to overfishing. On the rare occasions when we do source pacific sardines, it is only when we get them as part of allotted bycatch from sustainable market squid and northern anchovy fisheries.

>MBA Seafood Watch Rating: Not Rated

>NOAA FishWatch Rating: 3 out of 4

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