Five Oceans Fish Market opens in Carmel Valley

Five Oceans opened in Carmel Valley earlier this year.

Two restaurateurs opened Five Oceans Fish Market in Carmel Valley to bridge what they saw as a gap between local demand for high-quality fish versus access.

“If you look around, there aren’t that many high-quality fish markets or even fish restaurants,” said co-founder Brian Kelley, who relocated to California from the east coast about 30 years ago and always wanted to start a fish market. “So we saw an opportunity and decided to pursue that.”

“We also have an appetite for it,” Kelley added, referring to the San Diego area. “We’re known for the fish taco for god’s sake.”

Five Oceans opened on Sept. 8 in the Village at Pacific Highlands Ranch next to Trader Joe’s right off Highway 56 after a “long, drawn-out process.” It has a menu that includes sandwiches, salads, lobster rolls and poke bowls. It also sells fresh fish such as ahi and bluefin tuna, swordfish, Faroe Island and New Zealand King Salmon, monkfish, branzino, local and Alaskan halibut, and Icelandic haddock

“The best way to describe it is the Tokyo fish market meets a New England clam bake,” Kelley said. “That’s sort of our quiet tagline.”

One of his goals moving forward is to expand the menu and ultimately expand the business throughout the region, including distribution channels with local restaurants.

“The goal really is to bring high-quality fresh fish from around the globe right to the doorsteps of the consumer, featuring local fish when we can,” Kelley said.

Grocery stores have served the community’s seafood needs, but, Kelly added, “They don’t have the knowledge, they don’t have the variety” of a dedicated fish market.

“We’re bringing something to the Carmel Valley community that they have to otherwise drive for,” he said.

Another one of the market’s goals is to stay seasonal and provide enough variety for local shoppers.

“We are thrilled to support the region’s fishing industry and make the freshest and most sustainable seafood options available to our local customers,” co-founder Steven Auerbach said in a news statement.

For more information, visit Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday.