Below is our most recent journal entry – from Week 3. To read all of our daily experiences, thoughts and photos from the Great Alaskan Adventure, check out our Weekly Journals. ME & JMS
July 16, 2019. The Haines Packing Company – Take 2
On Tuesday Mary Ellen remembered that yesterday (Monday, July 15th) while at the “Some Things Fishy” gift shop we did not buy one of their handmade litter bags for inside our car. And as everyone knows having an “in the car” litter bag is essential while driving on long trips. Accordingly we made a run out to STF to get a litter bag.
Since I have the credit card we are using for the trip ME stayed in the car. The gift shop is on the same property as the Haines Packing Company. I said I wanted to check to see if the packing plant was running Halibut again or Salmon.
Haines Packing Company has a cute logo. It is a Yosemite Sam look alike holding a fish up in each hand while saying “Feed ‘em Fish.” As I walked toward the gift shop I first went around the packing plant to the boardwalk and peered into the windows. To my delight they were running Salmon. What a difference. The salmon are fork lift driven into the plant in large pallet bins with lids. The lid is pulled and the bin is dumped into a stainless-steel hopper. The fish flow by gravity out of this hopper onto a table where 2 women place them on a conveyer. They are laid flat between 3 pins. 2 pins are on the low side under the belly and the third pin is at the top of the back. The heads stick out to the left. The conveyer takes the fish into a machine and each fish stops for the guillotine to chop off the head. The heads all fall into a grinder. My guess is this is one of the sources of that wonderful snooty cat food. You know “Made with fresh Salmon.”
Then it is onto a table where each fish is placed belly up in a stainless “V” sheet metal tray. A worker with a fillet knife goes in the bung hole and slits the belly skin up to about an inch from where the head used to be. Next 2 guys are pulling out the roe and putting it into a big bin for further processing. Then they pull the rest of the guts out and place that into a slot that washes them into the grinder. The next guy has a curved metal scrapper about an inch wide and he scraps out any remain guts. This is followed by a wash by a worker with a hose and a special nozzle. Then all fish are onto a conveyer where one guy sorts them into several bins. I guess the sorting is by both size and species.
After working in a Kraft Foods factory, a chewing guy factory, a fiberglass factory, a still factory, a soldering iron factory, and a ballast factory, I love seeing how different products are made/processed.
Next it was off to Some Things Fishy to buy not one but 2 litter bag holders. One for each of our trucks….. Mine is cuter.