National Fisherman


IT’S THE ODOR of fresh raw fish you notice first. At 5:30 a.m. in the morning, it’s a jolt to the senses.

Rows of primarily bigeye tuna and broadbill swordfish fill the warehouse at the end of Pier 38 – a scene straight out of any ahi lover’s dreams.

With the ring of a bell, the auction is under way and a crowd gathers around an auctioneer who begins rattling off numbers that steadily increase with each bid until the first fish is sold. The groups move systematically down the line, bidding and buying fish at varying costs. When one pallet of fish is sold, it is removed and replaced with another bearing more fish, while buyers continue throughout the warehouse until each fish has been sold. 

It’s a lively process that repeats itself six days a week.

From all outward appearances, it seems relatively simple. But Honolulu Fish Auction is not all that meets the eye.

“Suffice to say, there’s a lot going on,” says Brooks Takenaka, United Fishing Agency, LTD. assistant general manager.

UFA began Honolulu Fish Auction in 1952. Annually, the facility sells between 26 million and 28 million pounds of seafood; less than 3 percent reaches foreign soil. 

Preparations for each auction begin around midnight, sometimes even earlier, as the first few boats begin unloading. Fish are then cleaned with ozonated water to eliminate bacteria, weighed and processed. After the fish is set up for the auction, it is treated for a second time with ozonated water.

Read the full story at the Midweek>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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