Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Freezer Boats

I  was planning on doing a post on something entirely different, but as sometimes happens in life, my plans were changed for me when the battery on my camera decided it was worn out and needed a recharge. That's ok though- I looked through the archives and pulled up some pictures that I took last year. I intended to do a post on this topic anyway, and as they say, there is no time like the present. I went down to the float last year when the F/V Kelsey Michelle was tied up. F/V stands for fishing vessel, just like M/V is motor vessel and USS is United States Ship- like a navy vessel. I just thought I would throw that out there; something from my vast storehouse of knowledge. I'll probably find out later that I was wrong about something. Just a word of caution, never use this blog as the final authority on any subject unless you want to appear foolish in front of your friends. You never know when you might be speaking to someone who knows a whole lot more than you do about something you profess to be an expert in. That being said, I will now expound on what little I know about freezer boats. As the name implies, the boat has a freezer on board. This particular boat is a relatively small operation run by two or three people. To the best of my knowledge, trollers and trawlers are the only two vessels who freeze their catch on board, although there may be some long-line operations who do. Lest there be any confusion, trollers catch their fish one at a time- one  hook for one fish. They can run multiple hooks at once down a wire, but they still come on board one by one. They can choose which fish to keep and which to return to the water. Trawlers use huge nets to bring fish aboard. While fishing for one species they might inadvertently catch another species. While they may or may not return unwanted or illegal species to the water, the chances of them being alive are slim, since they have been dragged around usually for several hours before being winched aboard and dumped with hundreds or thousands of other fish. Now,  back to the Kelsey Michelle. Once the fish is caught, it's gutted, headed and bled. On this boat they use a special needle attached to a small hose which forces water into all the the blood vessels and forces the blood out, thus providing a premium product. The fish are laid on trays and frozen. Freezer boats have the advantage of staying out fishing until they are full, unlike boats that utilize ice which have to come in every few days to sell and replenish their supply of ice. The disadvantage is that once they are full, they have to go through the process of boxing up the catch and storing it or shipping it off. The big guy holding the coho salmon is Aldwin Harder, he's the owner/ captain of the Kelsey Michelle. The way he's displaying that fish he could probably get a job working for the Price is Right, showing off the prizes. I hope that next time you're in a restaurant or the local market and order salmon, that first,you will insist on only wild caught salmon, none of that phony farm raised stuff, and next that you will keep in mind guys like Aldwin. The small, independent fishermen who risk their lives and their fortunes to bring a quality product to the public.




















4 comments:

  1. Liked the blog dad, informative! :) And, I"m not sure, who would that guy be, Bob Barker, or one of the ladies? The way he holds that fish, I would say go ahead and get him a blonde wig! :) Love you

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  2. He does seem to be saying "Isn't she pretty"

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  3. I don't know if blond would be the right color, but I never had Bob Barker enter my brain. He most certainly is striking a pose that would qualify him as a contestant if the Price is Right ever was in need of some new people to display the goodies.
    Hi Erika- it is quite a nice looking fish. I wish I had it right now myself. A nice fat coho for the BBQ would be a treat. I hope you guys have some salmon streams near your home, you're sure a long way from the ocean.

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  4. Never have been a big fan of salmon/coho/sockeye...etc....like it smoked or dried well enough..but that's about it. Is a nice looking fish though...and perhaps he'd be better off playing the part of Vana on Wheel of Fortune!

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