With the summer coming to an end and Labor Day weekend approaching, we’ll still be fishing. The dock outside the Seafood Producers Cooperative processing plant is just about the realest place in the world. On a busy day, 50 or more boats might pull up to the dock, load up on ice, and then deliver fish that could be sold anywhere in the world. This is where hopes and dreams begin. This is where somebody can start out processing fish in the plant, work their way up, get a job as a deckhand, and then maybe, just maybe, work up to be the captain of his or her own boat. Take, for example, Mike Sutton (not pictured), captain of the Lady Jillian. He started processing fish in the SPC plant, worked his way up, and now is a salmon troller and one of the owner/members of Seafood Producers Cooperative who are catching fish to be sold on the Alaska Gold Seafood website and to be sold to quality-focused, ethically minded restaurants and retailers around the world.
Fishing is still one of those last refuges where you can be about as close as possible, at least in 2017, to a free and wild existence that truly demands just about everything, physically, mentally and spiritually.
Like a farmer, a fisherman has to be a generalist. A weatherman, a market watcher, a diesel mechanic, a naturalist, a chef, an electrical engineer, a navigator, a gastronomical “expert,” a captain, a boss of an extremely brutal business with slim margins most years. But many fishermen aren’t just generalists–they go deep in some or all of these areas. Working with a wild animal, the vagaries of depending on nature become even more challenging.
***SALE ENDS September 5th.