Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What type of seafood species will get delivered/what are groundfish?
A: The seafood we deliver will be from the Gulf of Maine and other locations. The shares will be primarily groundfish. Groundfish swim on or near the bottom of the seafloor—the ground to fishermen. For the most part the groundfish we deliver will be hake, haddock, pollock, red fish, monk, cod, cusk and whiting and the flatfishes like yellowtail flounder and grey sole.
Q: Will the Whole Fish share be gutted and scaled?
A: Whether a species in the Whole Fish share is gutted, gilled or scaled depends on that species. The "roundfish" like cod, pollock and haddock have their guts and gills removed. Hake and monk will be headless and gutless. The "small fish", whiting and redfish, and the "flatfish"—the goofy looking ones with both eyes on the same side—will be wholly intact but redfish will be scaled.
Q: What happens to my share if I miss the pickup? Can I get some kind of reimbursement?
A: Any remaining shares at the end of a delivery day are donated to local food pantries or food banks. Because the fish is ordered on a daily basis, if you do not pick it up, we still have to pay for it. Due to this fact, we can not reimburse you if you miss a delivery. Please arrange for substitutes--family, friends, neighbors--to pick up your shares if you can't make a delivery. If you call us the day before...we can change your delivery, but it must be before 6 pm.
Q: When will new delivery sites become available?
A: There are no statewide regulations regarding the approval process of our distribution model. In other words, each town is different and the manner with which the application process is handled differs dramatically from town to town. In some locales we've gotten approval relatively quickly. In others the process has been much much slower
Q: When and if the new sites become available within a current season, can we transfer?
A: For new sites, we will allow you to transfer from an existing location to a new one if it's within the same season.
Q: Can I add to my order during the season?
A: Yes! You can add to your order at any point during the season. We ask that you get your "add-on" orders in by 2:30 pm the day before your delivery/pick-up at the latest.
Q: What's the best way to freeze shrimp?
A: The best way to freeze shrimp is to remove their heads before freezing and try to get out as much air out of the freezer bag as possible. If you have a vacuum bag sealer use it to contain the shrimp for freezing. Otherwise, you can use a neat trick to replicate the vacuum sealer bags. Place the shrimp in a zip lock bag and seal the zipper lock leaving a half inch un-locked. Submerge the bag in a large bowl of water forcing the air out of the bag, just until the water line reaches the unzipped chunk of seal. Seal the opening with as little air in the zip lock bag as possible.
Q: Is the fish we get through CAFC CSF sustainably caught?
A: All the seafood shares we deliver are sustainably caught. In regards to sustainability, according to fisheries managers and scientists under the U.S. Dept of Commerce. In fact, according to the most recent stock assessment, it is George’s Bank cod that you hear about not reaching biomass targets, not the Gulf of Maine (where the boats that supply the CAFC fish.)
In summary, our CAFC fishermen are subject to strict regulations formulated by the Department of Commerce and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). These regulations are aimed at rebuilding all fish stocks and establishing enduring, healthy ecosystems in the waters they fish. CAFC offers consumers the opportunity to support a small diversified fleet who have a strong personal connection to the sea and are driven by the incentive to protect the ocean environment for future generations. If you have more questions regarding sustainability, please refer to our previous newsletters and/or don’t hesitate to contact the CAFC Staff.
Q: Do I need to remove the membrane from Monk Fish?
A: Underneath monkfish's skin lies a thin, purple, iridescent membrane you have to remove before cooking. The membrane adheres snugly to the flesh and shrinks during cooking, constricting the monkish fillet and misshaping it. If your fillet still has a membrane it's very easy to remove. Using your fingers grasp the membrane and pull it away from the fish. In most cases the membrane can be removed in one piece. There are videos available online that may be helpful.
Q: Why are there sometimes worms in the seafood?
A: Worms are a natural occurrence in fish, just as insects are to fruits and vegetables. You don't see them on fish you get from supermarkets, etc. because by the time they get there they've either already been removed or the freezing and storage process has killed the worms. So in an odd way, the worms are a sign that you are getting fresh fish - much like the worms on the broccoli we pick from our gardens or the poop on farm fresh eggs. We do deworm our fillets before packing but may miss one or two on occasion.
Fish become affected when they eat some small crustaceans. Thorough cooking of fish (to an internal temperature or 140’F- fish will flake when poked with a fork and has lost it’s translucent color) renders these parasites totally harmless. Other methods to do this include hard-salting fish (curing) or freezing for 24 hours.
If you want to remove worms prior to cooking, start by holding your fillet up to a light source (sun, light bulb.) This is called candling. In cod or monkfish worms will look like dark round spots, size of 1/4" button. In flat fish they appear as white spots.
To remove, insert the point of knife at the spot and dig out the worm. Chefs often keep a pair of needle nose pliers in the kitchen for this purpose. Most worms tend to reside around the stomach part of the fillet.
Q: I want 3 weeks of scallops but 1 of the weeks I have not paid for home delivery, how do I add home delivery for 1 week?
A: You need to add these as separate items to the cart. For the first item you would select "I want scallops for 2 weeks this season" then you would select "I've already paid for home delivery", select your 2 weeks, then add to cart. Then go back to the scallops select "I want scallops for 1 week this season" then you would select "I need to pay for home delivery", select your week and add to cart.
Q: What if I want 2 pounds of scallops for 3 weeks, how do I add more pounds to my order?
A: If you want exactly the same thing and you chose either pick up or I've paid for home delivery you can simply increase your quantity in your cart. Then hit the update total button at the bottom of the cart. If you selected "I need to pay for home delivery" you will need add additional pounds as a separate item in your cart. Go back to the scallop page and add the additional pound this time selecting "I've paid for home delivery".
Q: I don't think my cart is totaling correctly, what is wrong?
A: Please check the very bottom of the cart where the total "add-ons" and the base pricing adds together to make the total. This is the final price. If that is still not correct you can also click the update button. If that doesn't work we recommend that you remove the items from your cart and restart the process. The reason this happens is you may have started an order and not finished it, or hit add to cart multiple times by accident and the system is confused. Don't worry after your first time with the process it get easier :)