June 24, 2014
Despite the name, don't confuse the Pinbone Wizard with the classic The Who song about a pinball phenom.
Although, once you see the machine in action, quickly and efficiently pulling tiny pin bones out of a salmon filet without wrecking the meat, it's hard not to walk away with the descending chord progression of the classic rock 'n roll song stuck in your head.
After more than 20 years in the making, a Juneau-based manufacturer recently bought the patent licenses for the "Pinbone Wizard" with the hopes of building and selling the machine, which is designed to do exactly what its name suggests: Pull pin bones out of fish.
Numerous prototypes and versions later, the machine is ready for market, according to designers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They have hopes to market the machine to fishermen and small fish processing facilities across Alaska.
Larry Kozycki at the UAF Geophysical Institute Machine Shop first developed the machine in the mid-1990s. The idea was spurred by a call from then-Gov. Tony Knowles, who, in an effort to combat farmed salmon, was encouraging Alaskans to come up with innovative ways to add value to Alaska fish.