Monday, February 15, 2010

How to be nicer to your salmon

Deckboss has spent enough time on Bristol Bay gillnet boats to have seen some pretty scary stuff when it comes to handling salmon.

I've seen beautiful sockeye kicked, stepped on and slammed hard to the metal deck, no doubt causing horrible bruising and other damage to what ultimately will become someone's dinner.

For years, thoughtful Bristol Bay fishermen and processors have pined for better treatment of the fish in what can be one of the most hectic of harvests.

Now, someone has invented a new piece of equipment designed to catch the salmon as they're picked from the net and then gently guide them toward the hold.

It's called the SalmonSlide, and you can get a look at it on YouTube.

I don't know what it costs, but the SalmonSlide looks like a pretty cool idea to me.

I learned about the invention from an e-mail I received today from the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association.

Here's the pertinent part of that e-mail:

Processors pony up for the SalmonSlide

You may know it as The Salmon Trampoline or The Flopper, but whatever you call it, Dave Hansen's innovative product has been attracting a lot of attention. The recently renamed SalmonSlide intercepts fish between the net and the deck as they are picked; slides them into a chute mounted immediately below and aft of the drum; then directs the fish toward port or starboard hatches (or both).

Last week, Hansen demonstrated the SalmonSlide for processors and a handful of interested fishermen in Bellingham. The demos took place on two vessels, Pete Biazavich's Lady Kate and Kari Toivola's Magnum. Attendees seemed unanimous in their praise of the SalmonSlide, noting its potential to prevent damage to fish and to reduce wear and tear on the crew.

In order to accelerate adoption of the SalmonSlide across the fleet, Hansen is currently nailing down bulk orders from several processors. The BBRSDA is not in the business of promoting individual businesses, but this innovation has potential to improve both quality and handling practices in the bay. We will provide occasional updates as Hansen and his processor-customers clarify their plans regarding supply and distribution.


Unknown said...

Good news! I used to have a retail fish mkt. and sold sockeye in season, fish were getting smaller so when they were badly bruised, a lot of the fish went to waste.

Good innovation, hope it catches on with the majority of fisherman, processors.

Anonymous said...


The demo took place in Seattle, Washington???

Not in Dillingham, Alaska???

I guess it should go to a vote by the BOF as a piece of equipment improvement, where it can be voted down as a forced regulatory change for voluntary adaptation that would only benefit out-of-state commercial fishermen instead of Alaskans, who can ill afford such equipment changes when they can't even feed their own families...

At least that was the testimony at the most recent BOF meeting...when the taboo subject of going beyond 32' for product quality came up as a proposal.

So given that we are left to only incrementally claw our way up to mediocrity in product quality, let's all CHEER!!! YEA!!!

For product quality, it is good to watch the video in terms of the future of product quality - fish with lots of net marks, fish in hold without being iced or bled, fish being kicked into the hold even with the handy dandy salmon slide.

Of course, none of those factor in product quality...

But if you want the best in terms of 2010 fish technology in "maximizing" product quality, so fish flow effortlessly from net to brailer,so that it is easier on your hands,keeping the vessel cleaner, easy to install and minimizing crew labor, the new POPEL get the fish in the hole with only a pocket wrench required for assembly, then this new and improved Salmon Slide is for you.

Only three easy payments of $29.95. Order before midnight and we will throw in not one but two dock mops made with ShamWoW German Technology.

Order in the next five minutes and we will throw in a second Salmon Slide, FREE!!!

Not sold in stores and not comparable to any similar sized tarps that are sold in stores.

Shipping and handling not included, especially to Alaska.

Hurry, order your new SalmonSlide today and be the envy of the fishing industry.

Unknown said...

Hey anonymous, I love it! If you will order today I will throw in a free hat.
Dave Hansen

Anonymous said...

S.S., RSW... VALUE ADDED...ALL BS tools so the processors can make fishermen produce a product that is higher in value with no return to the fishermen. NONE of these wonderful tools has made much of a difference to harvesters bottom line. But they are always hopeful it will pay off, it pays off alright but the payoff stops in the processors pocket, to um..keep in fishermen get to work harder..and keep the fish farms away.

Anonymous said...

What a whining, sniveling, negative, fisher. HMMMMM...not the same psycho that does nothing but research his own ideas/views all winter and gets so angry he drools and his eyes pop outta his head. It is what it is suck it up.