Speaking of staying in touch, we were talking about how many times we handle our salmon while we were offloading yesterday, and the total number of touches came to 12. That’s a lot!
- First contact with the fish at the stern
- Cutting the gills to begin bleeding
- Transferring fish from checker to cleaning table
- Transferring cleaned fish to hatch for final rinse
- Handing fish down into the freezer
- Placing the fish on the freezing plates
- Transferring frozen fish into freezer bin
- Removing fish from bin for first glaze dip
- Second glaze dip
- Returning fish to bins after glazing
- Removing fish from bin to offload
- …and finally placing fish in the tote for shipping
It’s especially a lot if you imagine that it’s just the two of us completing each of those steps. It’s easy to understand why traceability becomes such an important issue - if you have 12 different people completing each of those steps, at multiple facilities, possibly in different countries (with different approaches to sanitation and labor practices) there is plenty of room for concern. Add filleting, portioning, smoking, seasoning and/or breading to the mix and the opportunity for issues grows.
Buying as direct from the fisherman as possible helps you feel confident that each of those steps was done with care. Keep the chain of custody as limited as possible!
We’ll be out on this trip 2 or 3 weeks, depending on how fast we can load the boat. Here’s hoping we have good weather and better fishing.