Seafood has seasons — just like your apples and carrots — and some last all year while others are fleeting. So, what’s in season now, you ask? Fisherman’s Wharf in Steveston Village holds the answers.
Fresh shrimp at Fisherman’s Wharf in Steveston Village. (PHOTO JESSICA ROBERTS-FARINA)
Shrimp is in season, but their days are coming to a close at the end of March. On Saturday, shrimp caught just days before was flying off the (boat) shelves. The bright pink crustaceans were selling at $2 a pound for the small guys and $8 a pound for the large shrimp.
Down the wharf, crowds gathered around the fishing boat Haste of Hillis Bros. Fishing and its dazzling display of freshly caught rockfish, lingcod, sole, and octopus.
Rockfish seen on right at Hillis Bros. on Fisherman’s Wharf (PHOTO JESSICA ROBERTS-FARINA)
The grapefruit-coloured rockfish (sold as snapper in stores) and lingcod are seasonal all year, but they are easiest to catch in the early spring.
Colleen of Hillis Bros. explained that conditions are currently shifting out in the open oceans of Cape Scott, north of Vancouver Island, where they make their catches. They can go to the same depth and spot, but the catch will change each week.
So, one week they might catch some octopus, but the next none.
Lingcod is popular right now and you can catch it on many seasonally-focused menus. Pacific halibut is not in season for another two weeks, so people are snapping up the less expensive lingcod, as the two fish are similar in taste. Within 15 minutes, rows of lingcod depleted to one lone fish on the bed of ice.
Caught just days earlier, the lingcod was selling for $5.50 a pound and the canary rockfish for $4.50 a pound.
Seafood in season year-round
Beyond the bright pink shrimp, rockfish and lingcod, there’s plenty of seafood that’s seasonal in Richmond year-round.
Here’s a little cheat sheet to help you make seasonal purchases at the grocery store or the next time you’re out for dinner:
- Shellfish: Clams, Mussels, Pacific Oysters, Dungeness Crab, Scallops
- Fish: Sablefish (Black Cod), Pacific Flounder (Sole)