TRANSCRIPT - Ted Dunn
How are fish stocks, overall?
As of today,
I don't think there's a good assessment of the volume, the biomass
of blue fin tuna in the North Pacific. What I see that comes to
our coast every year, I believe there is a good body of fish. I
don't see it being depleted. This year we saw more fish that I have
in the last five or six years. On saying that, I also do believe
and I fully support research to determine as best we can, what the
mass of fish is that we are working-the stock assessment. I think
that's a very controversial thing to access. I think it's a difficult
thing to access, But I'm fully for it. I do believe that there will
be a quota on this fish in the near future, not hopefully because
it has been depleted but just strictly to sustain what we have for
Could you elaborate
Well, for fish
farming, you are limited to the holding capacity you have. And if
you go beyond, and push beyond what you have then you end up with
a poor quality product. With the world market of blue fin is a little
declining, the price in Japan is getting a little soft, there's
a lot of people in the world fishing this type of fish for the sushi
market, what will determine my profit is having quality fish. By
us working diligently at keeping track of what we have and taking
care of what we have, I think in the long run, we don't need the
quantity like the old days. We need the quality. That's what we
strive for. This year there is more fish, as I stated, this year
in the waters that we're working on, I've seen more in quite a few
years. There was a tremendous amount of one particular 2-year class
fish that we didn't fish at all.
We elected not to work on them and we stayed away from them. We
worked the fish in the three to four year class, five year class,
that have had a change to spawn in the past, and that's the fish
that we work on. We work on a size fish because it's better for
us for the market. But it's also better the body of the stock of
fish. And so, that was our goal. There still is today a lot of fish
in our waters we could be fishing. But if we went for that fish,
we would have to sell it to the cannery. There is a market, and
they will pay us for the fish at the cannery. Our company elects
not to do that and to target this fish and hopefully hold this fish
for the fresh fish market where we won't have to work on the stocks
and deplete the stocks. That's our intent.
How did you arrive at your stocking capacity?
We've come up
with a ratio: one kilo of fish to three cubic meters of water. Then,
I would say that's sort of a world standard, at least Australia
started using those figures. We feel as though if the pen is not
dense enough, it seems like the fish won't feed as good. If it's
over-dense, then you're going to start stressing the fish and then
you're going to lose the quality of the fish. So, we try to maintain
a certain density. Our pens are 40 meters in diameter and we try
to hold about 40 tons of fish.
Is there anything I should ask you about this kind of aquaculture?
Most of my fish
have gone into the can in the tuna business. I had a vision quite
a few years ago of something better. I think that personally we
need to look into the future and try different things to save our
resources. Also I think fish farming is the way. When I was a child,
I remember today, somebody telling me not to worry about the land
so much because we had the ocean to fall back on. We could harvest
the ocean and it's a never-ending supply. Well, I don't believe
that. I especially don't believe it today. So I think we do need
to take care of it. I think there are plenty of stocks there to
feed the world but I think it's something that is very precious
and needs to be very guarded. I firmly believe that the future is
in closed cycle fish farming and open fish farming like we do, as
long as you preserve the stocks of fish, as long as the stocks of
fish are preserved.
Do you enjoy this work?
Yes, as long
as I've been a captain of a boat since I was 18. I enjoy running
the boat. This summer I ran the tuna boat to catch the fish. I feel
as though I've been pretty successful with it, in my life. The only
way you can be successful is to enjoy it, to like it. It's a challenge.
Every trip's a challenge, everyday is a challenge, and that's how
I look at it. It's a very clean, enjoyable life.