“We’re all hopeful that it’ll be a good year, especially now that the water temperatures are back to normal,” Hans said as he took a break from loading a van for a farmers market. The fish we’re sending to the markets look great, and we’ve got a lot of interest from our customers about the king salmon.” The official start of the season for “Kings” is May 1, and fisherman and fish lovers alike are hoping the drought didn’t wreak too much havoc on this year’s salmon run.
“The crab season is winding down and it went pretty well. Some of the sport fisherman are saying the king salmon are already hitting, so we’ve got our fingers crossed for sure.”
Haveman has been selling fish at the Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets for nearly two decades, which is both a testament to his fishing skills as well as the fine quality of fish he sells directly to consumers. As the designated “fish buyer” for the Santa Cruz harbor, Haveman gets first crack at the catches fisherman bring in to sell. “We really sort through the fish and hand select the best ones for the farmers market. Families rely on us to provide fresh fish, and that’s a responsibility we take very seriously.”
As the salmon season nears, Haveman is putting the finishing touches on his new seafood market, just below Johnny’s Harborside restaurant at the harbor. Visitors will be able to purchase fish either by the pound or ready to eat takeout, such as poke bowls and ceviche. Haveman smiled as he watched the construction workers, saying that he expects to have a “soft opening” around May 1. “We won’t be finished by the first, that’s for sure,” Haveman declared, quickly adding that the “real” grand opening will likely weeks later. “All of our fish and prepared dishes will be available for carry out only.”
As a former chef who once worked with Wolfgang Puck, Haveman and his staff can help market goers with recipe ideas and cooking suggestions for the fish they purchase and can recommend portions if you’re unsure about how much fish is needed to feed one or two people or a hungry crowd.