Keeping Afloat w/ PE & DD Seafood: Why Supporting Small, Local Commercial Fishermen is Important

Our VideosBy Liza de Guia on Dec 15, 2010
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Meet Phil Karlin, the founder and commercial fisherman behind PE & DD Seafood in Riverhead, Long Island. Phil’s passion is fishing. A passion you can only really understand if you’ve spent as much time on the water as he has. I met up with Phil a couple weeks ago to learn all about small, family-owned commercial fishing operations in the New York area. For 7 hours, I watched as Phil and his grandson Carl dragged for fish in the Long Island Sound. It’s a lot of manual labor for a 2-man operation…a lot of nets, gear, fish sorting, fish gutting and fish packing while exposing yourself to whatever elements Mother Nature decides to bring that day. Luckily, I had 60-degree weather, a light breeze, and sunshine (in early December no less!!).

PE & DD Seafood is one of a handful of local seafood companies that sell their catch to customers at the NYC Greenmarkets, supplying a variety of fin fish, lobsters, shellfish and conch. By supporting local fishermen, you can help keep these hard-working, small family-run fishing businesses alive; in addition, you are also supporting a form or fishing that Phil believes does minimal damage to the environment.

So I hope you enjoy this intimate peek into the life of Phil Karlin. It’s fascinating to see how fish are harvested on these small boats and the types of seafood coming into season. Unfortunately, striped bass season has come to an end (December 15th), but now’s a good time to start looking for local lobster, bluefish, butterfish, squid, fluke, herring, porgies and sea robins. Hope you come pay them a visit!

PE & DD Seafood Greenmarket Stands:

  • MONDAYS & SATURDAYS: Union Square Greenmarket
  • SATURDAYS: Abingdon Square Greenmarket (on Hudson & W 11th St.)

Thanks for watching food. curated. Happy Eating!

Comments

  1. Fantastic job on this video. I am always impressed by the quality of your work. Phil Karlin is a working class hero, and one hell of an interviewee. How did you find him?

  2. Fantastic job on this video. I am always impressed by the quality of your work. Phil Karlin is a working class hero, and one hell of an interviewee. How did you find him?

  3. Liz says:

    another great one, liza.

    thanks for opening my eyes to the complexities of the local fishing industry. it’s really not just a matter of what the sustainable fishing guides dictate, especially if local quota laws are as strict as phil says. and i appreciate the difference between long drag nets that get a lot of bycatch and the smaller ones he uses.

    oh, and really beautiful opening sequence, btw!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Liz – I was just totally blessed it wasn’t rough seas that day…otherwise my opening sequence would have been terrible!! ha ha. Anyhow, I did most of that shooting around 6am. It’s really peaceful out on the water at that time. You should come out!

  4. Liz says:

    another great one, liza.

    thanks for opening my eyes to the complexities of the local fishing industry. it’s really not just a matter of what the sustainable fishing guides dictate, especially if local quota laws are as strict as phil says. and i appreciate the difference between long drag nets that get a lot of bycatch and the smaller ones he uses.

    oh, and really beautiful opening sequence, btw!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Liz – I was just totally blessed it wasn’t rough seas that day…otherwise my opening sequence would have been terrible!! ha ha. Anyhow, I did most of that shooting around 6am. It’s really peaceful out on the water at that time. You should come out!

  5. soundbounder says:

    Very good piece! Glad I found your site

  6. soundbounder says:

    Very good piece! Glad I found your site

  7. crankbunny says:

    This is wonderful – I grew up fishing and my parents are fisherman // my dad could be Phil’s clone. People assume / are just not exposed to how (eating) fish is not without these huge issues (especially when you’re grabbing that big old frozen bag of seafood at the supermarket). Its just as complex as the meat industry.

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Such a complex industry. Which is why it’s important to get to know your local fishermen and seafood monger so they can help point you towards making better buying decisions that are good for the environment and respectful toward smaller seafood operations that value their product like Phil… Appreciate your insight!

  8. crankbunny says:

    This is wonderful – I grew up fishing and my parents are fisherman // my dad could be Phil’s clone. People assume / are just not exposed to how (eating) fish is not without these huge issues (especially when you’re grabbing that big old frozen bag of seafood at the supermarket). Its just as complex as the meat industry.

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Such a complex industry. Which is why it’s important to get to know your local fishermen and seafood monger so they can help point you towards making better buying decisions that are good for the environment and respectful toward smaller seafood operations that value their product like Phil… Appreciate your insight!

  9. Dominica says:

    Great job! I love watching the videos you make. They are always top-notch and a real eye opener.

  10. Dominica says:

    Great job! I love watching the videos you make. They are always top-notch and a real eye opener.

  11. Dawn says:

    Wow, what a great video!!! Phil Karlin is definitely my hero, he not only appreciates the way of life but he respects the sea and the sustainability for the future of the sea and for people to have the luxury of healthy, fresh fish. I admire the entire message and beautiful way it was presented on this video. Cheers to Phil and his handsome first mate and to you Liz for taking the precious time to share this wonderful way of life:) I love fish!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Dawn…Carl was so kind and sweet to me the entire day. I will say Phil definitely works his butt off, but they have such a admirable respect for each other and relationship on the boat. It was lovely to see for myself. I also saw Carl gut some skate for the first time. You couldn’t even tell :)

  12. Dawn says:

    Wow, what a great video!!! Phil Karlin is definitely my hero, he not only appreciates the way of life but he respects the sea and the sustainability for the future of the sea and for people to have the luxury of healthy, fresh fish. I admire the entire message and beautiful way it was presented on this video. Cheers to Phil and his handsome first mate and to you Liz for taking the precious time to share this wonderful way of life:) I love fish!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      Dawn…Carl was so kind and sweet to me the entire day. I will say Phil definitely works his butt off, but they have such a admirable respect for each other and relationship on the boat. It was lovely to see for myself. I also saw Carl gut some skate for the first time. You couldn’t even tell :)

  13. George Held says:

    This is a terrific documentary, well scripted and photographed and nicely performed by Phil. As a regular customer, I can tell you that Phil and his grandson Carl and the rest of his team are first-class people and honest businessmen & women. I love their seafood. Go, Phil!

  14. George Held says:

    This is a terrific documentary, well scripted and photographed and nicely performed by Phil. As a regular customer, I can tell you that Phil and his grandson Carl and the rest of his team are first-class people and honest businessmen & women. I love their seafood. Go, Phil!

  15. Jonathan Archer says:

    Wonderful story – a true depiction of a Commerical Fisherman and his family’s passion for this fragile industry- phil is a true pioneer and a vital ambassador for the ever changing fishing climate! I actually envy this man, he is doing what he loves to do – god bless him

  16. Jonathan Archer says:

    Wonderful story – a true depiction of a Commerical Fisherman and his family’s passion for this fragile industry- phil is a true pioneer and a vital ambassador for the ever changing fishing climate! I actually envy this man, he is doing what he loves to do – god bless him

  17. I really need to get to the Green Markets more. Great video Liza, it’s nice to see a company that actually cares!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      You know Northern Spy Food gets some of their seafood from Phil. Have you eaten there? It’s amazing. If you see it on the menu, try the calamari appetizer…

  18. I really need to get to the Green Markets more. Great video Liza, it’s nice to see a company that actually cares!

    • Liza de Guia says:

      You know Northern Spy Food gets some of their seafood from Phil. Have you eaten there? It’s amazing. If you see it on the menu, try the calamari appetizer…

  19. Cecile Wren says:

    Phil’s seafood is excellent! It is a wonderful treat to be able to buy fresh fish practically around the corner. And a real bonus are the cooked lobsters and wonderful salads. What a find! Cecile Wren

  20. Cecile Wren says:

    Phil’s seafood is excellent! It is a wonderful treat to be able to buy fresh fish practically around the corner. And a real bonus are the cooked lobsters and wonderful salads. What a find! Cecile Wren

  21. Joan Curtin says:

    I enjoyed the video very much – it was very refreshing to see how clean everything could be and therefore, I will continue to buy my fresh fish from Phil. His fish is extremely fresh and delicious – we enjoy it every time.

  22. Joan Curtin says:

    I enjoyed the video very much – it was very refreshing to see how clean everything could be and therefore, I will continue to buy my fresh fish from Phil. His fish is extremely fresh and delicious – we enjoy it every time.

  23. TJ says:

    Phil was a great interview and very knowledgable (duh!) about the ins and outs of fishing. It would be great to see more about how the work he does on the boat then translates to the selling of the fish at the markets.

  24. TJ says:

    Phil was a great interview and very knowledgable (duh!) about the ins and outs of fishing. It would be great to see more about how the work he does on the boat then translates to the selling of the fish at the markets.

  25. Noel says:

    We need to keep supporting hard-working, local, family fishermen like Phil Karlin! Keep up the great work!

  26. Noel says:

    We need to keep supporting hard-working, local, family fishermen like Phil Karlin! Keep up the great work!

  27. Love the Truth says:

    Dear Philly… You know that very soon there will be a world full of lobsters, fish and a true paradise; with a promise of the real life. You are in my prayers. I’d love to see you fishing forever; wouldn’t that be a gift. Enjoy! Your friend

  28. Young Delorenzo says:

    Great information :)

  29. Everything is very open with a really clear
    description of the challenges. It was really informative.
    Your website is very helpful. Thank you for sharing!

  30. Cornwall says:

    When I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify
    me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a
    comment is added I recieve 4 emails with the same comment.
    Perhaps there is a means you are able to remove me from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

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