Consumers catch a deal in record sockeye run
Published Friday, August 27, 2010 4:26PM PDT
With a record sockeye salmon run in B.C., and another opening next week, it's expected prices for prize fish will continue to drop, equalling a big catch for consumers.
The Pacific Salmon Commission said Friday more than 30 million of the fish are expected to return to the river this season – up five million from an already booming prediction earlier this week.
The boon of fresh fish is causing an oversupply that is a catch for consumers.
At public wharfs around Vancouver sockeye was selling for $20 each Friday, with independent fisherman trying to outdo each other with the best deal.
"A month ago, those fish were $50 to $60. Now they're $20, so they have come down a lot," commercial fisherman Stuart McDonald told CTV News.
But while the going rate is 20 fins a fish, the price is all highly subject, sometimes depending on your bartering skills.
And while the price may be low on the docks, some sockeye CTV News found in stores was still $15 a pound.
Salmon Shop owner Janice Kariotakis said she's waiting to see how many fish come in before the store changes its price.
"We have not bought yet this morning, so we're just waiting to see. I'm not really sure."
Some restaurants have already lowered their prices. The Sockeye City Grill in Steveston said it will be passing along some savings with daily specials.
"That's all we feature is fresh caught salmon, so right now we're in negotiation with a fisherman to get his catch and we'll take it from there," Ann-Marie Biggar said.
The reality is it is five to six times cheaper buying direct, especially if you're willing to do the cleaning yourself.
While gillnetters are offering good deals, troller fisherman like Frank Keitsch who catch their fish in the deep ocean are still commanding a great price.
"We're in the $5 to $6 a pound range for these things locally here," he said.
"The chefs are getting these literally hours out of the ocean -- the only complaint is that they are so fresh they're hard to cut."
Last year, the sockeye stocks were so depleted the federal government called an inquiry.
This year's run will be the largest in 97 years.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger