Fish Summary – Species
Our family’s boats, the 42′ Lucky Dove and 58′ Stanley K, commercial fish year round for sockeye salmon, halibut, and cod as they migrate through the pristine, nutrient-rich waters surrounding the Aleutian Islands.
In June and July, sockeye salmon return from their journey to spawn in the rivers. We catch the salmon by gill-net near the small villages of False Pass and Port Moller on the Alaska Peninsula. For salmon season, Peter and Claire manage the deck work of the Lucky Dove, captained by Claire’s father, Buck.
August and September mean “longline” season for us – catching primarily halibut and some cod. These fish live deep on the ocean floor near ridges or rock piles. We set a continuous line of hooks on the bottom of the ocean, then haul up our line to catch one fish at a time. Halibut range in size from 10 to 400-plus pounds (ask Claire, she caught one). For this season, Claire’s sister Emma joins us on deck and we fish from False Pass to Dutch Harbor. These months are generally the nicest weather and we enjoy the lush, green scenery in the Aleutians.
Pacific cod are caught primarily in the fall and winter. Peter works on the Laukitis family’s larger boat, the 58′ Stanley K, using six-foot square “pots” or “traps” to catch the cod on the ocean bottom. The cod are generally between 7 and 10 pounds, but Peter will be glad to tell you about some of the big ones he has caught. The cod grounds stretch from False Pass to Adak–the westernmost village of the Aleutians. This is Peter’s favorite fishery, as he enjoys the steady pace and the workout involved in moving the big, heavy pots.
Your salmon, halibut, and cod are pulled from the cold, clean Bering Sea and immediately hand-bled and stored in refrigerated sea water or a slush ice bath on-board fishermens’ boats to ensure that the highest-quality product reaches your door.
Salmon are delivered daily to Alaska-based Peter Pan Seafoods, or to our Co-op, the Alaska Peninsula Fishermens’ Co-op, to be processed at sea daily by E&E Foods (a Marine Stewardship Council certified company). Our salmon fishermens’ cooperative is comprised of 30 gill-netters, a dedicated group of fishermen producing the highest quality salmon in Western Alaska. At-sea processing immediately upon harvest preserves the freshness, unique texture, and color of wild salmon.
Halibut and cod are processed immediately onboard, held in slush ice, and finally filleted and cut into portion-sized pieces at Peter Pan Seafoods. The flash-frozen product is then shipped to Seattle and held in cold storage until we have finished our season and are able to deliver your first share!
Our fishing grounds around the Aleutian Islands are very remote, which adds difficulty and additional transportation cost to our process. However, we believe the quality of the seafood from this region is unsurpassed and well worth the extra cost. Morshovi Bay Fish Company serves as a connection between you and premium fish from the Aleutian Islands that would otherwise be unavailable in the domestic marketplace.
Morshovi Bay’s fish come from the true “wild west” of Alaska’s fishing industry–the pristine Aleutian Islands. Because we are this far removed, often times fishing conditions are harsh and we have to work extra hard to catch your fish. But when it’s done, the extra effort rewards us with what we believe to be the highest-quality seafood in Alaska. The fishermen of the Aleutians are fiercely proud of the fish they catch and want the opportunity to share the bounty of this wild place with customers like you.
Images include Claire bating hooks while “longlining”, Buck bringing a halibut aboard the F/V Lucky Dove, and Peter showing off a fat cod he caught on the F/V Stanley K near Adak, AK.
Interested in learning more about commercial fishing and Alaska’s fish species? Check out Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s resources on the different fishing seasons, gear types, and species life-cycles.