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Worldly Destiny for Salmon Derby Fish
Published: 08/15/2013 14:40:00
This year's Golden North Salmon Derby is in the history books and was a rousing success. The Derby Chair, Mike Satre, provided us some of the final numbers.

"All told there were just over thirty thousand pounds of salmon that were caught and twenty seven thousand nine hundred and fifty pounds of that was Coho salmon, so it's an amazing silver salmon catch over three days. We're looking at forty three thousand dollars that was returned to the salmon derby for the fish that were turned in this year."

Everybody knows where the money goes, towards scholarships for local students, but what happens to all those fish that were caught by the derby participants? Well a lot more that you might think, first of all they're purchased by Alaska Glacier Seafoods where they're filleted and then shipped to west coast markets. Mike Erickson, the C.E.O. of Alaska Glacier Seafoods, knows firsthand how much those filets are in demand.

"We will fly these to their destination and we work with major retailers that seem to have an endless desire for Alaskan fish."

But there's a lot more on a fish than just the filets, and virtually none of it goes to waste. Mr. Erickson explained what happens to the rest of the fish after the filets are removed.

"Now we've got a frame that still has meat attached to it that's certainly very consumable and we have an area in the facility down here that we actually refer to as the spooning table, so we'll extract that meat and then it's packaged for sale into markets that use, in this particular case salmon, for fish patties, whatever they're going to do with it, make fish paste, they do a smoked fish paste, you name it there's all kinds of utilization for that product. Now what we do, we're taking those parts that we used to grind and discharge, now we're taking those parts, now we're grinding and packaging for a stock for pet food so we're getting up to ninety five plus percent on utilization of that product so nothing is really thrown away."

And there's still even more of the fish left, and that has a market as well.

"The caviar plays a big part of what we do here, so that roe is extracted, graded, processed here. That roe will go to Japan, it will go to Europe, it will go to Ukraine, pretty much all around the world. The bottom line is we're getting to a point here where it's just full utilization, you know we're not pitching anything back, but all these products are getting used in different ways and it's creating more jobs and it's just pretty neat stuff, that's what I think it's all about."

By: Rik Pruett -