Local Squid Suppliers in Rhode Island
How seafood processors harvest, clean and sell squid.
Local Squid Supplier: Town Dock
Since the Town Dock was founded in Wickford in 1980, the family-owned company has grown to be one of the largest suppliers of calamari in the United States. Now located in the Port of Galilee in Point Judith, the Town Dock harvests wild-caught squid through local fishermen who follow strict catch methods to ensure high quality seafood and low environmental impact. Founder Noah Clark got his start in Rhode Island’s seafood industry in 1965 as a fish cutter in Point Judith. In the forty years since he opened the Town Dock, Clark’s company has used environmentally responsible practices while fishing for North Atlantic Loligo squid and Illex squid, the only two species of calamari that are certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council — meaning that the harvesting methods will prevent overfishing and the depletion of the ocean’s natural resources. The Town Dock manages calamari processing, from catching, unloading and cleaning to distribution to food service operators and retail and grocery stores. Find where to buy Town Dock calamari and recipes at towndock.com. —Carmen Russo
Local Squid Supplier: Seafreeze
Seafreeze was founded in 1984 and it all started with harvesting butterfish. But once calamari came into popularity, it expanded into fishing for squid. “Twenty-five years ago, you wouldn’t have seen squid on the menu of restaurants,” says the former co-owner of Seafreeze Glenn Goodwin. “Two big local fish houses, Sea Fresh and Town Dock, were instrumental in getting it into the industry. When that happened, they realized they needed most of the infrastructure for squid fishing built into Point Judith rather than overseas.” Seafreeze’s high-capacity freezer trawlers, F/V Relentless and F/V Persistence, now sustainably fish and freeze about 110 metric tons of wild seafood per day, harvesting fish and squid from the Western Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, including Illex and Loligo squid, and Atlantic butterfish, mackerel and herring. “Wastewater was such an issue that the process for cleaning moved to North Kingstown or Johnston because the Narragansett water treatment plant couldn’t handle that water then and still can’t now,” Goodwin says. That’s the reason some of the squid that’s caught on the East Coast is sent to China to be cleaned, then shipped back. “It’s because of water waste issues,” he says. seafreezeltd.com –Jamie Coelho