One might say that Catalina Offshore Products put sea
urchins on the map in California. Or maybe sea urchins put Catalina on the map?
Either way, the spiny creatures and their prized roe, known as uni, have been
at the core of Catalina's success.
It all started in 1977 when Catalina Offshore Products
owner Dave Rudie spent his days diving for sea urchins and seaweed and his
nights processing the harvest in his garage. With the help of family members he
would make fresh deliveries the following day. While once exclusively a sea
urchin/uni wholesaler in both domestic sales and exports to Asia, today we are
one of California's premier seafood purveyors and San Diego's only exporter of
sea urchins, selling around 95 percent of all urchins harvested locally. In
fact our California gold uni is world famous, having been featured on the
Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern as well as in
numerous local and national magazines. Many people consider our California uni
the best in the world. The edible roe comes from sea urchins
hand-harvested by local divers who deliver it fresh daily. We then process it
within 24 hours to ensure the highest freshness and quality.
In addition to uni, our product line offers a wide range
of high quality fresh and frozen seafood including yellowtail, California
halibut, white seabass, King salmon, Pacific bluefin, Mexican white shrimp,
spot prawns, abalone, scallops, spiny lobster and more. Much of the seafood we
sell is sushi grade and nearly 75 percent of it is sustainable. We also offer
sushi-making supplies so you can enjoy the pleasure of sushi in your own home!
The majority of our seafood is sourced from the pristine
waters of Southern California and Baja California. Most fishing is done with
hand lines to save the environment and maintain our natural resources. We buy
our fresh seafood directly from reputable fishermen whom we have trained in the
strict handling procedures necessary to preserve exceptional freshness and
optimum quality. Every boat contains chill tanks to ensure exceptional
freshness, and we pick up our fish as soon as it comes to the harbor or beach.
All of our sushi grade offerings are extremely high-quality products that are
used in sushi bars - some as far away as Japan! Our fresh-frozen seafood is
kept in -20 degrees coolers until it is ordered. Our 25,000 square foot
processing plant is HACCP compliant, and all of our products and procedures are
In 2012, Catalina Offshore Products expanded by opening
our Seafood Education and Nutrition Center. Led by fishmonger Tommy Gomes, it
features a walk-in fish market as well as food demos and special events with
guest chefs. In San Diego? Stop by and see us sometime!