Summer swell of fish is good news for poke lovers

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Call it a feeding frenzy at the United Fishing Agency auction.

“It’s a busy week actually, Jai. We’ve seen a lot of fish since Monday. Over 100,000 pounds each day and got about 80,000 today,” United Fishing Agency Assistant General Manager Brooks Takenaka said.

How does that compare to a below or average week?

“Low end maybe 20,000, maybe 30,000. Sort of an average day might be 50, 60, 70. When you’re talking about 100,000, we’re seeing a lot of fish,” Takenaka said.

We’re talking hundreds and hundreds of fish, which brings excitement to those buying.

“I love this because I have a selection. I can choose and pick the boats I want, pick the fish I want. I don’t have to scramble. I can just take my time and get the deals,” Tamashiro Market Manager Guy Tamashiro said.

And that could mean lower prices for the public.

There’s nothing like looking into a poke display and seeing low prices.

“I like to keep the cost of poke low, but still the quality of the fish has to be consistent. Consistency is the key to everything,” Alicia’s Market Store Manager Leonard Kam said.

Back at the fish auction, it’s not just local folks who get to enjoy these gems from the sea.

“I start at 3 a.m. actually. The east coast it’s 9 a.m. already and they know what they want so they pre-order from me, and so they pre-order and I try and fulfill their order. Telling them about how much poundage is out here on the floor,” John’s Fresh Fish Owner John Hernandez said.

Right now, there’s lots of poundage.

“By all means, it is seasonal. There are other times of the year where the bite is slow. Prices are much, much higher. So, it is indeed a matter of a seasonal reality,” Takenaka said.

“Well, it helps a lot because the prices are a lot more reasonable. And it’s great for everybody. Because for me, I can sell more when the prices are cheaper. So, I like it when it’s cheaper,” Tamashiro said.

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