North Atlantic Sea Scallop Update May 2016

 

Season to Date 
The weather during the first 2 months of the 2016 scallop season has been unkind. Frequent gale and storm  
warnings have prevented many boats from leaving port and caused others to return to port earlier than  
anticipated. 

 

Boat Activity 
Many boats have ventured to the Mid-Atlantic Access Area for catches of 17,000 lbs, due to better weather  
conditions. A closed area trip is a great option for the first trip of the season as the majority of boats have been tied to the dock since last Fall. This gives the Captains an opportunity to evaluate all functions of the boat without using open area days.

 

 Landings 
Whaling City Seafood Display Auction has unloaded 667,000 pounds in March and 884,000 pounds in April. Of the 1.5 million pounds, 36% have been from the Mid-Atlantic Access Area for reasons mentioned above. Taking into account the private unloaders from New Bedford to New Jersey and Virginia, the total amount of catch this year has totaled 3 million pounds.

 

 Market Conditions  
Open areas will yield less this year in all sizes, so buyers are stepping in now due to superior quality. The water  
temperatures have been  50° off NY / NJ and 47° east of Cape Cod (George’s Bank) keeping the shucked meat temperature down creating little drip loss or loss of firmness.

 

 Catch Sizes 
The Mid-Atlantic open areas and closed areas are yielding 90% 10/20 and 10% U/12’s. Georges Bank trips have been 15% to 20% U/12’s and U/10’s. The low catch rate of the big scallops will continue as the Mid-Atlantic area’s contain mostly 15 count, which will not grow to U/12 or U/10 this year and Georges Bank is “thinned out” of the large scallops.

 Pricing

With the sharp interest of all buyers and larger companies stepping in to buy for frozen order projections, prices have remained strong week after week.

 U/10 and U/12 -  Over $18

 10/20 - Over $12.50

 20/30 - Over $12.25 Not lagging far behind 10/20 price

 

 Outlook 
Supply will increase with the better weather and all boats at sea. Pricing will not drop from current rates until we hit the middle and late summer when the landings are at their highest volume and quality is slightly less due to warm water and air temperatures. It looks like the majority of landings will be before mid-September again this year.

 

 Captain Jack.jpg

Courtesy of Captain Jack