Submitted to: American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 25, 2005
Publication Date: September 27, 2005
Citation: Bower, C.K., Malemute, C.L. 2005. Utilization of salmon by-products in rural Alaska. American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting.
Marine fishing operations in Alaska may be discarding up to 60% of their landed weight as processing waste. Solutions to this problem may be found by examining traditional Alaskan methods for utilizing salmon by-products. This preliminary Salmon By-Product survey was conducted at the 2005 Yukon 800 Boat Race in Galena. Results indicated that all people surveyed ate the salmon fillets, roe, skin, and heads. Some villagers consumed the oil (47%) and a few ate the viscera (26%). Salmon were most often preserved by smoking, canning, or freezing, with about half of the respondents pickling or salting the fish instead. Approximately 25% of the salmon was fed to dogs, usually after cooking it. Fish bones and viscera were most often discarded back into the river as waste. Non-food uses for salmon by-products were less commonly reported. The results of this survey suggest that villages such as Galena, harbor a wealth of fish preservation knowledge, which may prove valuable for solving the by-product disposal problems currently found in larger fishing communities. The survey also uncovered potential small business opportunities for village-based salmon fisheries. It may be possible to utilize a greater percentage of each salmon, and at the same time increase village revenue by tapping into emerging markets such as fish oils and fish-leather.