Sunday, October 17, 2010
What will a Bluegill Processing plant look like?
After touring the Blue Ribbon Fish farm processing plant, And coming from Homestead Trout farm, My first thought is that it would be rather small scale. One or two people running a machine and trimming the filet's. However, after a little research and visiting Superior Seafoods, I see I might be thinking too small! Take a look at some of these processing plants in Japan, Alaska, and Mississippi! My first thought is that the skill involved for filleting a small-ish fish like a bluegill would prove to be a hindrance for finding good labor. However, I do know ( from experience!) that after you clean about a hundred of them, you will get faster and better. I still think that a machine that could cut off the fillets would be a time saver. I'm pretty sure that you are required by law ( may be different in different states) to leave the skin on the fish so the shopper can identify the species and not get tricked into buying a cheaper fish at a higher price. ( example Some stores sold ocean perch ( $3.00/lbs) for red snapper ($7.00/lbs). With no skin on the fish to Identify it, the shopper was paying more for the cheaper fish and couldn't tell!) I have read that some people who recognize the demand for bluegills, are substituting tilapia filet's for them. (again...it's illegal!) ( If you can't tell....The Bluegill is on the right, tilapia on the left!) It's too bad because tilapia, although a great fish, does not taste as good as bluegills. Whatever the processing plant may look like, there will definitely be a requirement for a third party to handle it. It could be as simple as an existing fish processor retooling slightly and integrating the smaller fish into their offerings. As of right now, to the best of my knowledge, Blue Ribbon Fish farm is the only one currently doing it with farm raised bluegill.