Tuna boats are in port along the entire Oregon coast, selling direct to the consumer

Tuna boats are in port along the entire Oregon coast, selling direct to the consumer

Posted 8/23/22 6:08 PM PST
By the staff of the Oregon Coast Beach Connection

(Garibaldi, Oregon) – As Oregon’s Tillamook Coast says, “What we’ve all been waiting for – tuna season has arrived.” (Above: Garibaldi, photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Announcing the opening of tuna season along the Oregon Coast is something not all seafood lovers are aware of: some boats sell you direct. Many seafood shops on or near these docks also offer the freshest produce possible, and there are plenty of deals. But your timing has to be right.

Nan Devlin, executive director of Explore Tillamook Coast, spread the word last week for Garibaldi, as the fleet began arriving last weekend.

“Fishing boats will arrive after setting sail with their holds full,” she said. “Catch your share of tuna at Garibaldi Harbor and other northern Oregon Coast fishing ports before the captains head back to the ocean.”

Indeed, this region is one of the hotspots for this in the whole country.

“The Oregon Coast is one of America’s premier seafood hubs, and catches from our part of the Pacific Ocean have many international customers,” Devlin said. “That’s why now is the time to stock up on tuna before the end of the season.”

Charleston, photo courtesy of Oregon’s Adventure Coast

Garibaldi isn’t the only place, though. According to Jamie Doyle of Oregon Sea Grant in Coos Bay, just about every port along the Oregon coast has someone selling their fish products on the street, selling directly from the boats.

“When the tuna arrives (mid-July through October, although this varies from year to year), most ports have off-the-boat sales,” she said. “Marinas will have signs for boats selling at the dock, with a phone number you can call (call ahead, as they may be fishing and only at the dock on certain days). You buy the whole fish, then you can fillet it for a few extra bucks.

Above Brookings: courtesy of Manuela Durson – see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

Oregon Sea Grant has an entire program dedicated to helping the public find the best way to purchase seafood right off the docks with Shop at the dock, which has grown steadily over the past few years. This year so far only Newport has the program, but it has been presented to Garibaldi and Warrenton in the past.

Doyle showed a Oregon Albacore Commission website that displays a wide range of exclusive information on who sells the boats as well as the seafood stores that ship the good stuff directly. You can see retailers that primarily sell local seafood on the Eat Oregon Seafood website: https://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/where-to-buy

At Garibaldi, Devlin said The Spot is a great hotspot for fresh tuna. Call 503-322-0800 ahead for availability as they are selling out. There is also the Garibaldi Cannery (503) 322-3344; Fishpeople Seafood Market at Garibaldi Landing (503) 360-7899; and Kenny Bushnell’s fish shop, www.saltydecks.com.

On the southern Oregon coast, there are several listed at Brookings, including the F/V Catalyst and the F/V Mary F. In Bandon, there is at least one, and in Charleston, there are has several, including the F/V Dragonet. Winchester Bay in Reedsport also offers a few. For Port Orford, Florence and Gold Beach, there are none at the moment but the site says to search the docks.

In Newport, there are at least three. Depoe Bay, Warrenton and Pacific City had no listings, but fishing boats can sell out if you go down to the area or the docks and check in in person. Astoria had at least one, the F/V Hawk at the Hammond docks. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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