Quality trump$ quantity...
"Let every angler who loves to fish think what it would mean to him to find the fish were gone."
The KeenEye MD
fishNphysician, nice to post this as this is a major issue for UCI fishers and management. The conflict is that if you wait for the fish to come to the beach then you overload the processors, fish sit in totes longer than necessary, the number of fish iced goes down, and the quality goes down from fish being packed in holes or the bottom of skiffs or run through the sand if beach nets (most fisherman are very good to try and not do this but sometimes when the net is plugged it happens).
Here is a good example. The drift fleet fishes 12 hours. So after the first set the fish if the net is not plugged can be bled and iced ( a few years back about 50% of the drift fleet did this - it is probably higher now). The boats come in after 12-14 hours and iced fish are in good shape. However, along comes a big day and time is not there to bleed and ice the fish. So they go into the hold and packed (even with ice bruising can happen and even cooling does not take place). Then because of escapement issues the period is extended 3-4 hours in the corridor. The boats stay out that extra time. With iced fish not so much of an issue. With fish that are not iced a major issue. So how is a manager suppose to react to these conflicting goals - harvest fish and have good quality?
One option is to fish more and keep the big days down to a minimum. But that runs right into the chinook/sockeye ratio on the beach and the Northern District allocation and stock of yield issues. It is really tough to balance all of this.
One way is to make the price difference for iced fish be high enough that staying out for the extra four hours is not cost effective. Some processors are doing that. But that means more fishing time to meet goals. It is also driven by market forces. Putting quotas on fisherman is another option but again that means more fishing time.
There are no easy answers here but I thought I would share some of the thoughts managers have every year in the UCI commercial fishery.
Thanks . . .
Thanks for posting that, fishNphysician, good news indeed.
Writers like Michael Pollan and chefs like Jacques Pepin and Anthony Bourdain are slowly but surely educating the American public about the inferiority of farmed salmon with its chemically-colored, antibiotic-laden, and inferior tasting meat and the superiority of wild, Alaskan salmon.
Nice to know the market is adapting to the public's willingness to pay for quality.