Know where your fish comes from.
This picture of our friend Andrew Cummings, a Wellfleet shellfisherman who supplies a good many of our oysters, got me thinking about how we really ought to take on the seafood fraud problem in this country: Forget about whether your fillet has had a DNA test. What’s the chemistry between the people who harvest your fish and those who sell it to you?
We started buying fresh seafood directly from Cape Cod fishing families the day we opened our first fish market on Wellfleet's Town Pier in 1995. Buying local wasn't in style back then. It was just the only way we knew how.
We still believe there is no match for our local catch. That's what inspires our ultra-high standards of quality, traceability, and sustainability:
Our top priority is super-fresh seafood. Alex's focus is finding the best fish and shellfish out there. Mac's mission is to get it on your plate in perfect condition. If we ever disappoint you, please tell us, so we can make things right.
Our HACCP wholesale certification means that we track what we sell—starting with when and where each fish was caught (or trapped, or collected on flats) right up to the moment we select and fillet it in Eastham.
We're convinced only well-managed fisheries will survive for our children and grandchildren to enjoy. That's why we work closely with local fishermen who share our values. Buying this way keeps us smart about what's in season and on top of how each species is harvested.
We believe it is better to support inshore fishermen who work on a smaller scale, primarily bringing in their catch on hook and line, not large-scale dragging operations. And we are learning to work with the whole catch—though the cod out here is fantastic, so are less targeted species like pollock, hake, mackerel, and squid.
A few great seafood items, like Pacific salmon and wild Mexican shrimp, come to us from farther away. In those cases, the same rules we use locally apply: we look for superior quality, make sure the fishermen are people we can actually talk to directly, and support sustainable fishing methods.
Keep asking where your fish comes from. We do.