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NHCS Newsletter, Week 3, Session 3, Monkfish

Posted 9/8/2015 12:04pm by Andrea Tomlinson.

NH Community Seafood 

Community Supported Fishery

Eat Fresher Fish.  Support Your Seacoast Fishing Community.



Hello Local Seafood Supporters,


We are already mid-Session 3 and continuing to provide you with fresh, locally caught NH and Gulf of Maine Seafood from our local boats to your plate.

Due to quotas on codfish having been drastically reduced over the past five years, other formerly" under utilized" fish are becoming the mainstay here in New England. Catching and selling fish that are locally plentiful and sustainable caught has proven effective for our fishermen. That's why we offer much more than just cod. We offer the delicious and comparably delightful under utilzed species through our CSF, in addition to well known fish like cod, haddock and flounder!

This week's Catch of the Week is the Monkfish. Formerly caught as by-catch in otter trawls and gillnets, monkfish have quickly become on of the world's most popular fish. In the west, usually just the tail meat is eaten, but in there is a large market for whole monkfish in Asian countries. Also known as "Poor Man's Lobster", monkfish tail meat has both the consistency and distinct taste of this famous crustacean. If you like lobster, you'll love monkfish! And if you don't like lobster, the firm, white fillet when cooked also tastes like a sweetened fish. The flesh is a purplish-brownish color when raw and turns white once cooked. 

Not at all attractive on the outside, monkfish should not be judged by their outward appearance! They are  brownish color mottled with white spots on top and  white on the underbelly. Their habitat spans from the Grand Banks and northern Gulf of St. Lawrence along the Atlantic shoreline south to Cape Hatteras, NC. Monkfish are voracious predators. They lurk on the sandy, muddy bottom and lure their prey with the spiny extension on their head. This "lure" attracts the prey, like bait on fishing line, bringing the victim close in for the lung of the monkfish. The wide, large mouth , adapted to swallow whole fish, shrimp and squid, is lined with layers of stubby white teeth. Once the jaw locks, it is difficult to pry open. I can personally attest to this!

Cook monkfish as you would any other fish, and remember the cardinal rule, 10 minutes an inch! The monkfish"fillets" are wide and thick, because they are the tail meat. Marinating the tails and seasoning before cooking adds to the flavor. My chef friend, Steve Broido, cooked monkfish for us for Mother's Day. Here is the preseasoned tail meat before and after it went on the grill:


 Or try it in a kebab, with herb marinated monktail:

Our Fishermen for this week are Rick Anderson of the F/V Bridget Leigh, Tommy Lyons from the F/Marion J, Jamie Hayward from the F/V Heidi Elisabeth and Jayson Driscoll from the F/V Sweet Misery. Both these fishermen are day boat fishing and landing their catch in Seabrook and Portsmouth, NH. Thanks for the great monkfish guys!

Here are some great recipe ideas for monkfish: https://www.pinterest.com/fishisthedish/monkfish-recipes/.


Your shares this Session will be labeled with our new color labels.  Full shares are 2lbs, Half shares are 1lb and Quarter shares are 1/2lb. If you are picking up at one of our self-serve locations, please be certain you are taking the correct amount according to the label on your share!


Need some extra fish one week for that family get together or your Labor Day barbeque? You asked for it and now you've got it! We now have an Additional Fish Feature on the Member Log In page. Just choose from our 1lb increments how much extra fish you would like, pay online and the fish will be delivered with your regular share!




Available every Friday, off the boat, until October:

Want to buy some local lobsters and Jonah crabs, right off the boat, the same day they were caught? Damon Frampton of the F/V Vivian Mae, and President for NHCS Board of Directors, is selling these delectable  crustaceans off the boat, at the Portsmouth Commercial Fishing Pier, on Peirce Island, next to Prescott Park. You will find them down on the docks between 3-6pm on Fridays for the rest of the season into October!







We will continue to offer our Gulf of Maine Lobster Ravioli, from Portsmouth Lobster Company, for Session 3 as a Shellfish Add-On.  We would also like to offer our NH caught live Lobsters as an Add-on next week as well, we are working out the feasibility of this right now! Look for an email announcement this week on this possibility.



 Labelling bags: We use at least 500 bags each week for our shares. Our bags now say "FRESH FISH", as opposed to the fish species name. So, if you would like to help label bags, something we need help with weekly, you could simply email or text me at the contact below and I could have bags and labels waiting for you at your pick up location. You can take them home, label at your leisure and return them the following week! We would appreciate any and all help we can get with this! Thanks to all our faithful CSF Member volunteers for help with last Session's labels!


Social Media: Like us on Facebook, invite your friends to view our page and  and recipes, we love to see them and so do other Members! We are on Twitter and Instagram too! Retweet our tweets and spread the word!


Handing out Shares: Some of our pick ups, like Farmer Dave's, Dover and Laconia are self serve pick ups. If you are willing to help hand out shares, it is helpful to have someone checking off names and ensuring you have the correct share size and Add ons. If you are interested in doing this, please let me know at the below email address.


Thank you for joining our movement to help offset the financial and political struggles our NH Fishing Community is experiencing this year. They need our support and we are doing that as NH's only Cooperatively owned CSF!

Thank you so much for your continued support!














Andrea Tomlinson

Manager, New Hampshire Community Seafood

(603) 767-7209

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LocalCatch.org is a community-of-practice made up of fisherman, organizers, researchers, and consumers from across North America that are committed to providing local, healthful, low-impact seafood via community supported fisheries and direct marketing arrangements in order to support healthy fisheries and the communities that depend on them.


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