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  • Writer's pictureBen Martens

Halibut: A Boat-to-Plate Tale

Finding Maine fish is not always as easy as we would like it to be. In most instances, fish is sold at auction then bought and cut by processors. All of this fish gets mixed in with fish from a variety of boats from around the region and is then sold to the marketplace. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish fish landed in Maine from fish landed in other parts of New England.

On Thursday, May 12, Capt. Gerry Cushman, Port Clyde, landed three beautiful halibut ranging from 50-96 lbs. The 96 lbs. halibut was the largest Gerry had ever caught. Normally, these halibut are sold to dealers or the auction, but last week Gerry decided to try something different.

Gerry called MCFA and we got to work calling area restaurants and markets. Within just a couple of hours we had all of the halibut sold. Gerry and Monique, Seafood Program Director for MCFA, spent about an hour driving around Brunswick dropping off the fish and chatting with chefs and market owners about the product. Not only was it exciting for Gerry to see his product go directly from boat to market, but it was great for the chefs to talk with the fisherman who caught the fish they were planning to prepare--and for the chefs to know for sure how fresh the fish was!

I stopped by Frontier on Saturday evening already excited to try some of Gerry’s halibut. Even more exciting was that the server had lots of information about the fish, including pictures and a connection to our local Maine communities. For everyone involved, from the fisherman to the chef to the person holding the fork with an empty plate, the fish had a story to tell and that came from the knowledge of who caught that fish and the real impact that eating local had to a small business in Maine.

Take a look at some of the photos from the experience!

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