January 5, 2016 — Patrons of farmers’ markets in Monmouth County and those who support the Grown in Monmouth campaign will be seeing a lot more of the Belford Seafood Co-Op in 2017.
The facility, nestled off Route 36 near the Sandy Hook Bay, has revamped its retail store and will be making efforts to make the organization more visible.
David Tauro is dock manager at Belford Seafood Co-Op, a group of about 20 commercial fishing companies that have been in business together since 1953.
Patrons of the retail store can find just about every kind of Atlantic coast seafood one can imagine, including flounder, cod, tuna, scallops, squid, crabs, lobster and numerous other products.
Scallops furnished by Belford Seafood Co-Op were recently included in a chef’s competition in Asbury Park organized by the Grown in Monmouth marketing initiative.
“We sell pretty much every kind of fish you can think of in the retail store and we also have a wholesale operation at which we sell all the fish caught in our local waters and out as far as 175 miles to the Hudson Canyon,” Tauro said in his office, near several huge walk-in freezer rooms.
The fish typically follow the Gulfstream, he said.
As water near the New Jersey coastline gets colder, whiting, fluke, bluefish, porgies and other fish swim with the warmer waters of the Gulfstream.
“The water can be 70 degrees out there. The canyon water is very deep and warmer and the fish follow it out as it gets colder here. You can be wearing a t-shirt out there in the middle of January,” said Tauro, an experienced commercial fisherman who has made many harvesting trips out to the Hudson Canyon.
He said it can take anywhere from 12 to 15 hours to get there, depending on the commercial vessel you’re on.