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Any local San Diego Seafood?

Is there any true local San Diego seafood anymore?

It's no secret most of the seafood in our restaurants comes through one packer. And it's no secret that the tuna fleet is mostly gone. But does anyone know of a true local seafood product? Caught by local fisherpeople on local boats and brought in unfrozen to market/restaurant fresh?

What and where?


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  1. Uni, of course - about the best in the world.

    In the past, I have had local halibut and during some seasons even swordfish. Isn't the stuff called yellowtail in some of the fishmarkets local as well?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ed Dibble

      I know yellowtail and albacore is caught locally- I've caught some myself, but does that fish end up available at fish mongers or restaurants, or just hobby anglers?

      And lobster- forgot about the lobster.

    2. Sea Rocket Bistro serves local fish bought direct from local fisherman, including sea urchin, sardines, scallops, spiny lobster, and 'market fish' which lately has been swordfish, mahi mahi or halibut. Also bivalves from Carlsbad. Sometimes the fish are from Baja California. They source everything from as close as possible. One of my favorites. www.searocketbistro.com

      1. Local halibut, sea bass, lobster, sea urchin, yellowtail, swordfish caught by his own people and served at Rimels and Zenbu in La Jolla. Also same fish available (depending on the catch of the season) for take home cooking or simply grilled at El Pescador.

        1. Roseville also uses local.

          1. El Pescador for local lobster, pacific halibut PL Seafoods, swordfish and as far as pacific ocean ahi tuna.

            1. I know that Matt Rimel has his own boat and the Fish Market back in the day did too..
              I thought that most of the guys at El Pescador had deals with local guys that are out day boat fishing off the kelp beds..a seabass sandwich sounds really good about now.
              Good times south of wind 'n sea for ocean perch and rockfish..casting off the cliffs with a sixer..hee hee
              Most of the restaurants I see around town use Chesapeake Fish Company.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Beach Chick

                Pelly's in Carlsbad has local seafood from time to time. Call ahead.

                  1. re: Beach Chick


                    Pelly's Fish Market & Cafe
                    7110 Avenida Encinas # 101, Carlsbad, CA

              2. Slightly different, but American Tuna is a group of families out of San Diego that line-catch their tuna and can it. Really good canned Tuna that I know is a favorite of Tom Colicchio's.

                1. Point Loma Seafoods sells the regular packed fish but also buys fish from local fishermen. Just ask the fellow at the counter what is fresh and local.

                  1. In this thread and in conversations with friends, it seems that there is a distinct nostalgia for "mom and pop" fishing operations that harvest and sell their catch locally and unfrozen even though that business model has not worked for a few decades now, perhaps with the exception of sea urchin or local mussel harvesting. Kinda sad, I'll admit, but the only real way to eat local fish these days is to fish yourself- not the most economic way of getting your fillet, and not exactly carbon-friendly. Fortunately, larger scale fishing operations in this country and in Mexico are well monitored and practice more sustainable methods than they had to in the past- including on how they handle processing and refrigeration.

                    One pretty nasty side effect of "mom and pop" operations, a result of this nostalgia, can be mild to severe scromboid poisoning - smaller outfits often don't have the knowledge or wherewithal to properly chill or freeze their catch. Bacteria can build up VERY quickly in a fish and contrary to our common beliefs, there will be no fishy smell or change in color or texture to warn you that you are about to eat something that can make you very ill. In fact, it's really quite common and if you've ever eaten at a fish place outside during the day and felt like you've had too much sun later that night, you've probably had a mild case. Food items to avoid unless you have some connection to the kitchen are fish salads used to make "burgers," i.e. the tuna burger or the salmon burger. I wouldn't eat one if it there were no other choices and I was starving.

                    So give me a well-run factory ship that flash-freezes fish, and I'll feel pretty good about eating their catch. Freezing does not affect the quality of a good fish, but improper freezing really does. 90% of the items in the sushi case, even at great restaurants, has been frozen more than a few times.

                    But Blue Water sells some pretty great locally sourced stuff...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SaltyRaisins

                      Had to Google, seems only prevalent in certain species. Can't tell you how many times I had Tuna in a wet burlap sack for hours in the sun and brought it home and consumed mass quantities of it raw, with no ill effects. Lucky I guess, thanks for the info.

                      Scromboid poisoning occurs when tuna, mackerel, or bonito are caught, but not properly refrigerated before cooking and eating. If the fish is not kept alive or refrigerated bacterial spoilage of the fish will occur. The bacteria will multiply in the fish flesh and convert the histidines, naturally occurring chemicals in the flesh of the fish, to histamines.

                      When the fish is later eaten, the individual will essentially get an overdose of histamines.

                      Like the biotoxins, the histamines are heat-stable, so cooking does not offer protection.

                      1. Fish House Veracruz has a great fish market and restaurant.
                        Located in Carlsbad and San Marcos.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: pantani

                          I forgot to post about them. They do have some local stuff, depending on the season of course. They will tell you where their fish is from. In the restaurant, they have the source of the fish printed on the menu. Another good resource is
                          catalina offshore products down in the Morena district. They mainly wholesale but they do retail as well

                            1. re: Enorah

                              Was at El Pescador today in LJ (where I usually go) and they had beautiful freshly caught spot prawns. They were still moving and the guy said they were just caught off Scripps Canyon. I like their selection of local seafood and we'll be enjoying them this evening!