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"From Fishing to Farmers Markets" & events, issues & ideas

Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Sardines in the Hatch but not at the Farmers Market
Sardines in the Hold: Captain Steve and crew have been catching sardines every day for over a week. The Northwest wind and swell make for difficult fishing conditions but they have succeeded nevertheless. Our packer however has added another boat to the mix and thinks it can handle 100 tons a day. So far we haven't seen them pack more than 40 tons in a 24 hr. period. Fur might fly. It is imperative for the boats to fish every day in order to meet expenses like fuel and spotter plane costs. The run between the sardine schools and the packer in Astoria, OR., can be as long as eight hours.
Sardines at the Markets: I have petitioned the King County Health Dept. to bring fresh sardines to the Farmers Market but was turned down. The reason given was the fear of scombroid poisoning. Have you heard of anyone having scombroid poisoning lately? Even the FDA has not printed the acceptable levels of histimine in sardines for consumption.
Mothers & Mercury: In the UK, a study among pregnant women and their infants examines the risk/benefit relationship in a population with fish consumption habits and mercury levels which are nearly the same as the US. This study was published in the July edition of the Journal of Epidemiology, July 2004 issue.  " Using standard tests of language, comprehension, motor & social skills to assess childhood development at 15 and 18 months, the study found a subtle but consistent link between eating fish during pregnancy and a child's early cognitive development, even after adjusting for factors such as the age and education of the mother, whether she breastfed, and the quality of the home environment." I will print out copies of this report for distribution at the Farmers Markets.
Lox:  A new addition to the market mix this coming weekend will be Albacore Lox in a Net Wt. 4 oz. package. It will be priced in the 6-8$ range.
See you there!

Friday, July 16, 2004
Unloading in Ilwaco
Steve, Marcus, and I helped unload 5 tons of albacore in Ilwaco today at Jessie's Ilwaco Fish Co.  We had to leave Astoria at 5 am to catch the big ebb tide going down the Columbia River and at times our speed over ground was 11 knots!  Steve and I used to load the F/V Papa George with 50 tons of albacore per trip in years past but now we are more of a sardine boat and less of a tuna troller. Half of our catch will be trucked up to Pelican Packers who will can it.

Tomorrow all the seine gear will be set up on deck and hopefully Steve and the gang will be out sardine seining on Sunday. Our spotter pilot is Brad and I am sure he is very capable of finding lots of sardines.

Sunday, July 11, 2004
Cape Blanco Scores and Farmers Market Soars
Last evening Steve heard his Nextel Direct Connect beep "on" so he called me with a tuna score. They had been pulling all day on and off and had put down 185 fish with a night bight yet to go. Both Steve and Marcus were dog tired from the tough pulling conditions. We used to have hydraulic gurdies which aided albacore catching considerably but with a seine skiff chained to the tilt stern, there is no stern to which pullers or gurdies may be attatched. So the fish must be pulled in hand over fist.
Needless to say, they will be nursing sore muscles today.

Our University Farmers Market at 50th & University was very busy yesterday. Our regular customers bought a lot and visitors to Seattle who stopped at our booth took home cans of albacore. We have received many requests for the "Tuna and White Bean Salad" recipe. If you scroll down to the previous post on this blog, you will find it.

Monday, July 05, 2004
F/V Papa George homeward bound to Washington
Captain Steve and Marcus the crew are steaming North against 30 kn NW winds and rough seas. Steve is out of phone range now but I know the weather is improving considerably and they should be outside of Crescent City, CA and be in Coos Bay/Charleston in 24 hours. Our code group is fueling up in Charleston because the price of fuel is forty cents a gallon cheaper there than in California. What is a code group? It is a group of fishermen who have the same VHF radio which has a special chip which distorts and garbles the sound to anyone else trying to listen in on the same frequency. In this way our small group of fishermen can share information about good fishing without attracting a crowd. We also use sideband radios for longer distances as well as inmarsat-C which is just like e-mail. It is secure also. Steve hopes to fish for albacore until our sardine plant is ready to receive fish in Astoria.
We have some wonderful folks in our code group. The boat names of a few are the Shamrock II, the Roggie, and the Misty R. More news on albacore trolling soon.

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