ComFish Salutes Skills of Cannery Workers in Kodiak

Wind, rain and temperatures hovering in the low 40s, but
feeling a lot colder, set the stage in Kodiak on April 19 for an outdoor fish
filleting contest honoring the skills of the men and women on the Alaska
island’s cannery row.
Under a canopy provided by the local Lions Club, in an event
organized by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Arturo Fangorila of Pacific Seafoods
filleted four baskets full of Pacific cod, Arrowtooth flounder, rex sole and
rock sole to win a round trip ticket to Anchorage on Alaska Airlines donated by
the Alaska Groundfish Data Bank.
Fangorila and eight other cannery workers were judged on
their speed in filleting, cutting and trimming skills, and got points deducted
for any blemishes, bones, ragged edges and other improper cut or trimmed
Jeff Stephan of the United Fishermen’s Marketing Association
in Kodiak, was the master of ceremonies for the event, which drew a crowd of
cannery workers and participants in Kodiak’s annual ComFish fishery forums and
trade show.
They were there, said Stephan, to celebrate the processor
workforce, a group of people not much seen by the public, but very key to the
success of seafood processing in Alaska.
While filleting contestants worked under the watchful eyes
of judges, the crowd stood in their rain gear outside the protection of the
canopy, cheering the contestants on. Participants in addition to Fangorila,
represented Westward Seafoods, Trident Seafoods, Global Seafoods, Alaska
Pacific Seafoods and Ocean Beauty Seafoods.

The fillet competition, a first for ComFish, was
organized by Tony Olazabal, production manager for Ocean Beauty Seafoods in