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Tuna Boats are in Port Along All of Oregon Coast, Selling Straight to Consumer

Published 08/23/22 at 6:08 PM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Tuna Boats are in Port Along All of Oregon Coast, Selling Straight to Consumer

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(Garibaldi, Oregon) – As Oregon's Tillamook Coast put it: “What we've all been waiting for – tuna season is here.” (Above: Garibaldi, photo Oregon Coast Beach Connection)

Heralding the opening of tuna season along the Oregon coast is an aspect not all seafood fans are aware of: some of the boats sell straight to you. Numerous seafood shops either on or near those docks are also featuring the freshest stuff possible, and there are deals galore. But your timing has to be right.

Nan Devlin, executive director of Explore Tillamook Coast, put out the word last week for Garibaldi, as the fleet started coming in over this past weekend.

“Fishing boats will arrive after being out to sea with their cargo holds full,” she said. “Catch your share of tuna at Port of Garibaldi and other fishing ports on Oregon's north coast before captains steer back to the ocean.”

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

“The Oregon coast is one of the premier seafood centers of the U.S., and the catch from our part of the Pacific Ocean has many international customers,” Devlin said. “That's why now is the time to stock up on tuna before the season ends.”


Charleston, photo courtesy Oregon's Adventure Coast

Garibaldi isn't the only place, however. According to Jamie Doyle with Oregon Sea Grant in Coos Bay, just about every port along Oregon's coastline has got someone hawking their fishy wares, selling right off the boats.

“When there is tuna coming in (mid-July to October, though it varies by the year), most ports have off-the-boat sales,” she said. “Marinas will have signs for boats that are selling off the dock, with a phone number you can call (call in advance, since they may be out fishing and only at the dock on certain days). You buy the whole fish, and then can have it filleted for you for a few dollars more.”


Above Brookings: courtesy Manuela Durson - see Manuela Durson Fine Arts for more

Oregon Sea Grant has an entire program devoted to helping the public figure out the best way to buy seafood right off the docks with Shop at the Dock, which has grown steadily over the last several years. This year, so far only Newport has the program, but it's been featured in Garibaldi and Warrenton in the past.

Doyle pointed to an Oregon Albacore Commission website that shows a vast array of exclusive information on who is selling off the boats as well as seafood shops getting the good stuff funneled straight in. You can see retailers that mostly carry local seafood on the Eat Oregon Seafood website: https://seagrant.oregonstate.edu/where-to-buy

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

On the southern Oregon coast, there's several listed in Brookings, including F/V Catalyst and the F/V Mary F. In Bandon there's at least one, and in Charleston there are several onhand, including F/V Dragonet. Winchester Bay at Reedsport features a few as well. For Port Orford, Florence and Gold Beach, there are none listed at the moment but the site said to search the docks.

In Newport, there's at least three. Depoe Bay, Warrenton and Pacific City didn't have any listings but fishing boats may be selling if you hop down to the area or docks and check in person. Astoria had at least one, the F/V Hawk at the Hammond docks. MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Andre' GW Hagestedt is editor, owner and primary photographer / videographer of Oregon Coast Beach Connection, an online publication that sees nearly 1 million pageviews per month. He is also author of several books about the coast.

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