Tag Archives: Gloucester Seafood Display Auction

So You Want To Learn About Fish Distribution In Modern Times Locally?

Let Your Boy Joey Explain it For You The Best Way I Know How- Through Pictures and Video


Heather Atwood has been looking for a lead for her upcoming story which you will be able to read in her Wednesday Column in The Gloucester Daily Times.  So to help her sound like she somewhat knows what she’s talking about I was digging through the archives and found these posts from 2008 and sooner that many of our readers probably missed but are essential if you want to understand how fresh fish is distributed in Gloucester in modern times

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Market Cod
Grading Fish Inside The Gloucester Seafood Display Auction Video
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Monkfish Tails
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Grey Sole
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction Diplay Floor Video
Getting Ready To Offload 4:45AM Gloucester Seafood Display Auction
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction With Paul Vitale Part II
Gloucester Dragger Angela Rose Gets Offloaded at The Gloucester Seafood Display Auction
Gloucester Seafood Display Auction-Hake

View From The Western Venture Wheelhouse

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction-Hake

Pictured below is hake.  Hake is commonly used in fish cakes.  It’s a good white meat fish.

Back when we used to handle fish an old time fisherman- Leo the Flounder would hang out in the mornings and tell old waterfront stories.  He spent a good part of the last ten years of his life down the dock, sipping coffee and keeping us informed on what was happening around town.  He was a character a real waterfront character and I miss him.

Anyway, about twice a year Leo would make a big pan of (poopieties) – not the right spelling but sounds exactly the way it is spelled.  Poopieties were hake fish cakes fried up in the good Italian olive oil.

When we had a big trip of hake we would give Leo a couple of steakers (large hake) and he would fry up a batch.  The thing I loved about them and I’ll never forget was the amount of garlic he would use.  He’d try to kill you with the garlic.  We would normally be working so hard that we would pound down a ridiculous number of poopieties and then as the day went on and you were sweating you could smell it coming out your pores.

Good times-  I miss you Flounder.

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Monkfish Tails

About ten years or so ago there was a big push in the culinary world to brand monkfish as “poor man’s lobster”.  It’s quite a stretch if you ask me.  Monkfish doesn’t have half the taste and is way more chewy.  Don’t fall for the ploy.

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction- Market Cod

Gloucester At Dawn-

This morning at 4:40AM I swung by the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction to show you guys what happens before the auction actually takes place.  There were 3 fish buying representatives going through each lot of fish and grading it for quality.  I spoke with old friend of the family and good guy Louie Linquata who works for North Coast Seafoods.  I did an interview with him that is uploading as we speak.

We used to sell a good portion of the fish that came over our docks to North Coast Seafoods.  Norm and Jim Stavis, the owners of North Coast Seafood in Boston were demanding but fair fish buyers. They wanted the best and treated us well as our fleet consisted of mainly day boat fishermen.  Then the Auction came to town and as highly efficient a way to unload and distribute it is – it made our operation and many of the other offloading facilities around the harbor obsolete.

Here are some freshly caught codfish that will be auctioned off by about 7AM this morning and on trucks to Boston or New York to be processed and distributed.

Video interview with Louie Linquata from inside the auction this morning will be up at 10AM

Gloucester Seafood Display Auction

image_1, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Here is a link to the Gloucester Seafood Display Auction’s Website

It is such an efficient way to move fish that a great majority of the product that was unloaded at docks such as ours, Mortillaro’s, Old Port Seafood, John B Wright and other piers no longer unload fish at those piers.

With the consolidation in the fishing industry it is a good thing that the industry is for the most part based out of the auction so that it can prosper well into the future. The folks that run the auction say they can handle ten times the amount of fish that is currently being landed. So IF fish ever come back in greater numbers and IF the government allows boats to catch an unsustainable amount of landings in the future then the Auction will be there and able to handle those fish. A good thing.

What needs to be preserved around the harbor is places for fishermen to tie boats. The way to make sure those boats have good places to tie their boats while their fish gets unloaded at the auction is by giving waterfront property owners financially viable alternative options for the upland portions of their property that would allow them to make enough money to reinvest in their piers where they tie up commercial fishermen.

In the old days you would tie up commecial boats at your dock for reduced rents because they unloaded fish with you at your dock. Now the Auction unloads a majority of the fish that comes into Gloucester and the City and State charge below market dockage prices at places like The State Fish Pier, Saint Peter’s Park and I4-C2 (rates that wouldn’t pay our taxes never mind upkeep or a simple profit) but those public facilities are publicly subsidized. So this is the failure with the current zoning.