Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Halibut Fillets $17.95 / Pound

Halibut here, but this flatfish will flatten your pocketbook

Anchorage Daily News
Published: March 14, 2007

One thing is clear. There will be halibut for sale in Anchorage today. How much is another matter. And the price is kind of iffy.
Steve Fortier, general manager at the Sagaya stores wholesale facility, said Tuesday morning he will have halibut on hand but couldn't hazard a guess at what those stores might be selling the flatfish for this morning.
"I've heard $5-plus (at the docks) and as high as $6, but I have no actual proof," which likely would make a halibut fillet at the store among the most expensive ever.
Some of that price will be dictated by demand.

Fortier said he heard 100,000 pounds had been harvested during the first run at the fish that started Saturday. But, he said, most of that had already been shipped south to Seattle. So he didn't know how much he will have and wasn't sure of the demand here because, he said, the town isn't bustling with business right now.

"The market is so volatile, I have to be careful I don't get stuck with some expensive fish."
Over at 10th & M Seafoods, Dannon Southall said he will also have fresh halibut this morning.
"We'll get it in late tonight (Tuesday) and cut it tonight."
Just before noon Tuesday, he got word from his buyer that he had 2,000 pounds coming in.
"A short shot to make sure we had some on hand."

The price for fillets is $17.95 per pound through the weekend.

He wouldn't hazard a guess as to how long that price might hold up.
The total harvest this year for the season that continues through Nov. 15 is 65.2 million pounds for the United States and Canada. This year's total catch is 6.7 percent less than last year's -- 69.9 million pounds -- and that was down 5.37 percent from 2005's 73.8 million pounds.
So while demand for the mild-tasting fish continues to grow, the supply continues to shrink. Consumers will undoubtedly bear the brunt of that until the market stabilizes.

Alaska's portion of the haul is 52.4 million pounds, down from last year's allowable harvest of 55.3 million pounds.

Those allowable catch numbers are set annually by the International Pacific Halibut Commission, which monitors the harvest that stretches from California to the end of the Aleutians.

Those looking for fresh fish for a little less money can turn to cod fillets for $6.95 per pound and $7.95 for rockfish and Dover sole fillets.

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