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Catching Crab in Alaska

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June 29, 2014 / Seafood / By
Rachael

"Each day I'm out here I see something different." So said the captain on the Aleutian Ballad as we prepared to set sail. I had seen the TV documentary, Deadliest Catch, and so an opportunity to see life on an Alaskan fishing boat was just too much to miss whilst on vacation in Alaska. This was the fishing boat that capsized on the TV show but today it takes tourists out to the waters of Southern Alaska to learn more about the world of fishermen and the sea creatures living there. Fishing is one of the most deadly professions in the world and yet we rely on these people for abundant supplies of seafood. Many of us have little appreciation for the dangers faced by fishing crews aiming to supply the finest seafood restaurants in the world. Today the waters were nothing like those faced in the Bering Sea, but were calm and sheltered.

As the boat sailed through the quiet waters of Ketchikan Harbour there were bald eagles perched in tall pine trees, and seals resting on rocks. The crew began by showing how their massive crab pots worked and were hauled on and off the boat. Hooks on buckets were shown and the special techniques used for catching halibut demonstrated.

The huge crab cages were lowered off the side of the boat and as the fishermen began to tell stories of life at sea I wondered what would emerge. As the cages were raised the huge claws of red king crab were visible. One was placed in a viewing tank and it was incredible to get up close to this beautiful creature. Popular in seafood restaurants, king crab is common in waters off Alaska and especially the Bering Sea.

This was an incredible experience to get up close to the sea creatures that are popular in restaurants and to see the hard work that goes into providing them on the table. But there was more to come as another cage revealed a huge octopus lurking. The creature slithered out of the cage with the help of a fisherman and was a massive quivering jelly like being with long tentacles. I had never been so close to one so large. Learning about the habitats here was fascinating and to observe the respect for the sea creatures from the fishing crew was enlightening.

The crew worked as a team to show how the various fish were caught ready for the markets on the West Coast of the USA and beyond. King crab and octopus are really popular seafood dishes and in demand around the world. Just spending time with this crew was a fascinating insight into where food comes from and how important it is for conservation in the oceans. Without them and without supplies of fish life would be very different. I just spent a short time with the fishing crew but it was an unusual and very interesting tour and I felt very privileged to get a glimpse of their working day.


N/A

Country: United States

Province/State: Alaska

City: Ketchikan

Address: N/A

Zip/Post Code: N/A

Location Tips: N/A

Phone: N/A

Website:http://alaskacrabtour.com...

Price Guide:N/A (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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