As many of you know the summer of 2014 brought a record breaking salmon run to the mouth of the Fraser River. Our fishmongers Frank & Steve from Organic Ocean have been working their tails off for the past 6 weeks.
The work they do is a little different than most. Frank and Steve catch the salmon using only a fishing rod, some line, and hooks with traditional bait – known as “hook & line”. In contrast, most boats you see out there are using nets thrown into the river where the fish are swimming – known as “gillnetting”. There is a massive difference in philosophy as well as the quality of the fish.
When fish are caught using hook & line, the salmon are on the bottom of the ocean still feeding; while salmon caught by gill nets are swimming out to sea using up precious energy, and feeding off their bodies to do so. Another major difference affecting quality is that hook & line fish are caught, cleaned and sold the very same day. Most salmon caught in nets can sit on ice for days before being purchased due to sheer volume that is to be sold. Gillnet salmon are sold whole resulting in what is called gut rot, and this affects the quality as well.
Finally, using the traditional method of hook & line you are given a quota for an opening; say 400 allowed for a specific time period, so you catch exactly 400. Gillnetting is the opposite, drop the nets and whatever is caught is caught – could be thousands. Not to mention when catching salmon using nets there can be a significant by-catch of turtles, birds, and other species of fish.
We are proud to serve the salmon we get from Organic Ocean and are very proud of our partners Frank and Steve.