Wulf's Fish
Wulf's Fish

Ask-a-Fishmonger: Is Fish Seasonal?

Email sent: Apr 8, 2021 6:00am
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall
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NEW FISH. OLD SCHOOL.

Is Fish Seasonal? 

richie and fish

Striped Bass (pictured above, held by our head buyer Richie Taylor) is one of the most popular seasonal fish on the east coast. As the fish move from the Mid-Atlantic up through New York and into New England, local seasons phase in and out while observing a strict quota system.

Richard S. asked: Is fish seasonal? Like fruit, is it better to eat different types of fish at different times of year?

Our head buyer, Richie Taylor (above), who’s been with the company for over 40 years, gave us the answer:  

“The short answer is yes, there’s better times of year to eat certain fish. The complicated answer is, you go by the fish itself.” 

 

What does he mean, exactly? There are a number of factors that add up to getting specific types of fish at peak quality, from migration patterns to how the fish were handled post-catch, says Taylor. He explains:  

Fish move around, explains Taylor, who likens seasonal and local fish to apples from New England in the fall — even when we’re past our peak season locally for apples, we can still get really good ones from Washington State. 

“There’s a peak season and a peak time for every fish, but there’s also a peak time for those fish in other areas,” he says.  

But even if a fish is in peak season, says Taylor, “it doesn’t mean it’s going to be good.” Other variables can include what a fish has been eating, whether it’s spawning or stressed, if it was attacked by another fish in the ocean, and so forth. 

At Wulf’s, he says, sometimes the buyers refuse fish from the same haul if they don’t like the texture or color. Especially with bigger fish, like tuna, halibut, and swordfish, says Taylor, “the difference can be night and day. You have to go fish by fish.”  

In the Kitchen

Monkfish is a New England winter favorite, and this recipe for Whole Roasted Monkfish Tail with Apples and Thyme brings the best of the season.

Got fish questions? Our fishmongers have answers. 

Seafood can be confusing, and a bit mysterious. Bring us your questions! Our fishmongers have decades of experience assessing, handling, and buying fish and they really know their stuff. Ask them anything!

Take me to the fish!
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