How to Buy Tuna Directly from a Commercial Fisherman

Oregon Sea Grant created this video about how to buy high-quality Albacore tune directly from a fisherman. There are a few thinks you’ll want to bring along with you when you head down to the dock and also some important tips for getting the best quality tuna.

Oregon Sea Grant also hosts “Shop at the Dock” tours. These tours teach people what seafood can be sourced locally and how to find it. As you can see, they are a valuable source of information and we wanted to share with you!

For the freshest and healthiest seafood possible, buy directly from a fisherman. Buy seafood from knowledgeable dealers who you know and trust.

Fishing vessels need a special license called a limited sellers permit in order to sell their products directly to consumers.
You can request a list of vessels that have this permit from ODFW, but it is probably easier to just look for signs around the port or ask at the port office.

Most of these signs will have F/V (which stands for fishing vessel) and then a vessel name and often a phone number, which you can use to find out when that vessel will be in port and selling product.

If a seafood counter or freezer case smells fishy, shop somewhere else. Fresh, quality seafood should smell like the ocean, not sour or fishy. Look for seafood that is properly iced and refrigerated or frozen.

The very best-quality albacore tuna will be less than 3 days old and iced or refrigerated. You might be better off buying frozen tuna if you don’t plan to use it the same day you buy it. Fresh is not necessarily better than frozen since fresh can mean up to 5 or 6 days old at the time of sale. Frozen tuna can be almost as good as the best unfrozen fish.

What to Bring to the Dock

You’ll want to bring cash and cooler with ice along with you to purchase your tuna. You can buy the fish whole or they will fillet it for you, but you will need to purchase the whole fish.

For more helpful tips and information on preparing your Albacore tuna you can download this free pdf guide by clicking here.

Click to download this free pdf guide.
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