Issue Winter 10
There’s plenty of fish in the sea, and that’s a good thing, because British Columbia-based Port Fish processes more than 55 million pounds of fresh fish every year. As a member of the Leader Group of Companies, Port Fish strives to uphold the standards of excellence and sustainability set forth by its parent company as it catches, packages and sells fresh and frozen fish around the world.
Before it was acquired by the Leader Group in 1997, Port Fish specialized in the production of surimi made from Pacific hake. Surimi is a refined protein paste used by food manufacturers to make imitation crab meat and other seafood analogues, as well as fish cakes and soups. However, after the acquisition Port Fish was expanded to include processing capabilities such as fillets, mince, and headed and gutted fish. Today, Port Fish processes arrowtooth flounder, Pacific perch, rougheye rockfish and pollock in addition to Pacific hake.
The company’s processing plant is located at the head of the Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island, which the company says is adjacent to some of the most richly sustained fishing territory on the West Coast. It says fish are processed there within hours of being caught to ensure freshness no matter how they are processed.
Port Fish stresses the importance of its modern technology as a major component of its success. Inside its processing facility, Port Fish is equipped with modern surimi equipment, filleting machines, gutting machines, vertical plate freezers, blast freezers and a tunnel freezer. “Our fishing fleet delivers fresh chilled fish daily, which is unloaded, graded, weight and re-iced into insulated totes at our dock to retain freshness prior to processing,” the company says.
“At Port Fish, we use advanced systems that yield optimum meat recoveries necessary to compete in the world protein market,” the company continues. “Port Fish pioneered the use of surimi decanter technology, increasing yields by more than 30 percent. Our factory-trained technicians maintain our equipment and continually devise efficient innovations to our process lines, giving increased value to our production.”
Port Fish’s commitment to technology extends to its newest factory trawler, the Viking Enterprise, which processes frozen-at-sea fish for freshness and quality. “It uses state-of-the-art equipment to process, size grade, plate freeze and pack fish in woven poly bags before stowing in low-temperature storage,” the company says.
“Quality is our corporate cornerstone, evidenced by satisfied customers worldwide,” the company adds.
Leading by Example
Port Fish’s commitment to quality seafood is in line with the principles of its parent company, the Leader Group. “We provide high-quality fish products for human consumption to international markets, in a responsible manner,” The Leader Group says. “We continue the family tradition to fish and process efficiently, so that future generations may do so as well.”
The Leader Group says one of the main keys to its success is its devotion to the concept of sustainability, which means harvesting fish without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs in the years to come. “We have held this vision for generations as we supply world markets with fish protein,” the company says. “By making decisions with our eyes focused on the long term, we’ve applied this principle to our business practices and our interactions with the environment.
“Our corporate leadership is highly involved in government and industry initiatives,” the company continues. “Our research teams work hard to develop systems for higher yields in our efforts combine to net maximum product for minimal cost and environmental impact. The result is that we are able to offer premium fish protein to world customers at fair prices.”