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Salmon fishery opens, but docks sell more than sockeye

John Gedak was selling albacore tuna and octopus at Steveston Landing on Monday morning, while the commercial salmon fleet was out during the 24-hour opening that began at 8 a.m. - Martin van den Hemel photo
John Gedak was selling albacore tuna and octopus at Steveston Landing on Monday morning, while the commercial salmon fleet was out during the 24-hour opening that began at 8 a.m.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel photo

Monday morning's opening of the 24-hour commercial salmon fishery meant much of Steveston's salmon fishing fleet was out on the water.

The opening started at 8 a.m. and continues to 8 a.m. Tuesday, when boats will be returning to Steveston Landing to begin a frenzy of week-long sales.

John Gedak was among those selling something other than simply sockeye on the fishing village docks Monday morning.

He was selling flash frozen albacore tuna, which he claims is much healthier than its larger cousin—which can tip the scales at  hundreds of pounds—because they are smaller as they live for only four years, and consequently there's less mercury accumulation in it.

There was also sockeye being sold there Monday, but Gedak explained they were the line caught variety, rather than those that are currently being netted in the Fraser River.

The majority of the netted sockeye are at the tail end of their lives, returning to the Fraser River to spawn and then die.

The line caught salmon are full of vitality and are still eating, and have a higher quality taste and which can command higher prices per pound than the netted variety, Gedak said.

He's also selling giant pacific octopus, which he happened to scoop up while catching prawn. There is no fishery on octopus, and you can't get a licence for it, but if it happens to be caught as part of a bycatch (species unintentionally harvested), it is legal to sell them.

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