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The vessels that have gone over toward Samoa now they are they've been three four five weeks with not too much face and the morale factor is very very strong these people are family people a family man and. And when their families don't hear from them for long periods of time they they become quite depressed and want to get on home. However they they do work very hard especially in the blue considering that they work day and night. They're working all day and all night and then. At the at the end of a couple of weeks I'll tell you there are real weird looking they are tired. So they have to take a couple of days off and just recuperate a little bit are as if the moon comes out so they can. Rest and I. Reckon at a time. The work of a fisherman whether he is on want to be ultra modern comfortable to live with. Problem having met by hand from an open boat off Africa or India is hard work hard work mixed with monotonous searching and waiting. And long days weeks even months away from home.
Yet fish and other forms of food from the sea continue to play an increasingly important role in the feeding of the bulging world population. What is involved in getting food from the sea to you the consumer. What exactly is aqua culture and just how much food is really in the sea. We'll attempt to answer these and other questions on this program in the series down to the sea. General Marks knows the sea and the fish of the sea. He knows the problems encountered in obtaining food from the sea as few other men do. Janice marks is fleet supervisor for West Gate California foods incorporated in San Diego where a breast of
chicken tuna and numerous other seafood products are canned. Ships serving this and other modern canneries have world ranging capability and it's important to maintain a communication link with them in every way to verify. Whether there is an important item for discussion during the shortwave radio conversations and reports of fish caught by other boats in the general area. For all involved want to find the fish catch them and bring them in in the shortest possible period of time from his desk. Marx talks to San Diego based on the Clippers that are searching the seas are South America Africa and other international fishing grounds. God.
The thousand timers are all going over in toward Africa and down through the canal and across and it takes from San Diego. There are about 30 to 36 days. We have five boats. Five five hundred ton of this air we have left to air a couple weeks ago and I was there on their way to Africa and we in turn will have that fish tranship to us. And then the second or third load which we hope they do are lucky enough to get they will bring it back to San Diego. You know all this fish is being caught with a purse a net. Which is all made of nylon and they're worth around. On the new nets from fifty to seventy thousand dollars apiece. So they're quite large in a way. They're all five to six hundred fathoms and of course a Fathom is six but so they're much over a half mile long and quite deep. Probably around.
Oh. Two hundred and sixty two three hundred twenty feet deep and they worked like I woman's old fashion press they pull in the price strings and the fish are corralled into that. And that's pretty much how they're they stay on the net. However it isn't. It's quite a tricky thing with a Bluefin fishery where the fishing to be smarter than in some fish but they get out of the net so rapidly that they lose quite a bit of it. The Elsinore are have been and now we came in Sunday. Sunday afternoon around 5 o'clock. And. Charge you with a skip around here carries about three. A hundred and ten tons of tuna. And question as a rule it takes about three days of this fish out because it's all dry.
After the fish. Is grinding and and then I am now in brine about 72 hours. They bring it down to a real code to create say around oh I can do 12 degree 15 maybe. And then pump the pump the water out and they just hold it with the coils. So consequently. When. When they when the fish arrives and what they have to bite. And redo. The process of which it was frozen in deep freezing and. So they have to have a sop to the seawater. And strike your way and usually the 48 to 72 hours how the vessel came in here this morning the only banana. Or shards of glass in the 72 hours of the fish was a little bit on the hard side. However we plan to unload about 160 time from him today. The noise that you hear in the background is the the engine is running for his. Power
takeoff on is when she has to get the fish up out of the hole. There's about. Eight man four on each side unloading their face well about three or four men on. Back. To our handle the buckets. Large buckets of fish are pulled by winch up from the halls of the tuna boats and the fish is dumping the plumes of swiftly flowing water. Which carry the fish the length of the pier conveyor belts then move the fish into the cutting room. These people working here are the pre-show cutters.
The rack or. The. Smell or. The. Retired operators. See the fish come families shoppers from outside the city. After being. Beatin. The fish. Just. As you can see it's raw. And it's not. The bees. The cuts are taken out of. The liver and they all the entrails take it out. And then they cook. Their steam caught in and your they they have a boil for their boil. Here we use Steam only. And after their cook. Then they're cool. And then they go into the plant. For canning. Now before they go on the table. Which we will see on the left we get into the packing department. The other women spread the fish open. And die and take the bar up there with the red meat. The scam. And they say one of the fish is left when they get through with it and that it was put in the big dance.
The sound of a never ending stream of empty cans being fed into the cannon machine itself. Dancer Peck Ian is a chemist with Westgate. We used almost every part of the fish. One of the first grade is there. The meat that would cause you to turn up and what's left of this part because and some of the scale some of the things there and heads they all are grounded and they got to their head. And what's left from this some bones and some of this sort of the fish that they saw all dried on the ground there and they got it for the fish we had planned then there you is that fertilizer and you also separate the liquids and it's all that process and so on that level. And also we separate the
oil from the tuna and it's all that you know. So there's absolutely no waste no nothing is thrown away every part of the fish is you with today is highly mechanized fishing fleets there is a very real possibility of overfishing in certain areas. No one is more aware of this problem than the men in the seafood industry in the past three years. There's a database of forethought and stuff. Hundred twenty thousand pounds are in this bag. Lots of my father depends on the amount of fish having a phone. This is an experiment I think they don't know much if there is they don't want to over fish in the sand and they don't want it on their face and this hundred twenty pounds wasn't on this is just the limit. But at the moment it's an expanded meant nothing. And because of this caught everybody tries to get the fish as soon as they can. So they are getting more and more a fish and then this year the flock that was always in three months. That's why they
like to go abroad and get that space like in the west corner of Africa and the fees and any place that they can get. For example last year if I am correct the quota for yellowfin tuna production in the eastern tropical Pacific was one hundred and twenty thousand short tons. Dr. Glenn Flickinger formerly with the Bureau of Fisheries Oceanography Center and now head of the newly formed Marine Sciences Department at San Diego State College. The fishing community which includes Mexico Costa Rica Panama Peru Ecuador Chile among others and the United States produced the entire 1969 quota by approximately mid April. That meant that as soon as the quota total was being approached all boats were being then restricted by common agreement between the countries
from the eastern tropical Pacific economic impact of this total quota limitation is substantial. The average price of a new tuna vessel in San Diego is in excess of the million and a half dollars the morgage that a tuna vessel operator carries is extremely large. The tonnage of tuna the much must catch to pay off his mortgage and to make a reasonable profit on his investment is also very large. The consequence of the early application of the yellowfin tuna quota in the eastern tropical Pacific has been to cause these vessels to move into new regions to attempt to explore new resources. One of these areas has been the Gulf of Guinea in the. Central and South Atlantic region. One other area being investigated actively at this very time this year is the US Trust Territory. And the Samoa island
region. The stakes are high in this gamble. The fishermen really do not know when they set out to these new areas whether or not they're even going to fill their vessels and make the voyage profitable. It is a very interesting time in that the fisherman finds himself in a position where he may be pressing the productivity of the world tuna stocks to a point a maximum point beyond which if he proceeds much further he may place the stocks in jeopardy in terms of sustaining the resources. We have yet to provide very accurate numbers estimates of the total size of these stocks. And it's a matter of federal government concerned to get as active as accurate numbers as is possible. This requires a great deal of international cooperation which is now coming into being. The
Japanese have a high seas tuna fish free which has operated successfully since the early one thousand fifty a period all over the seven seas. They too have a very large economic capital investment and in terms of ships and people and shore side processing facilities they also are very dependent upon the tuna as a commodity. Not only in their own marketplace but as a source of export revenue. The real concern then is one man beginning to exploit the high seas resources to a level at which we then must consider very seriously appropriate conservation programs. These will necessarily have to be international in scope especially in the case of the tuna because of the fact that the stocks literally roam the oceans the world over.
As we continued our conversation with Dr. Glenn where a leading authority
on food from the sea. We asked him to tell us just what in the way of food we are actually getting from the sea and in what quantities. At the present time we are have a sting and estimated 60 to 70 million metric tons of protein from the high seas. The majority of these products are so-called fin fish as opposed to shellfish are crustaceans for example lobsters shrimp and crab. A small portion of the 60 to 70 million metric tons of produce from the sea consists of algae specific varieties of seaweed. These are primarily harvested in the Orient and in the northeast Atlantic communities. The term aqua culture or Merrick culture whichever term you might prefer
applies to the development of techniques similar to those that are practiced in agriculture. That is to say man is going to have to begin to manipulate these marine resources in a variety of ways. As a matter of fact we are already doing it in a couple of highly specialized circumstances. The rainbow trout which one catches out of one of the Southern California Lakes for example does not resemble his wild predecessors in any way. He is the end result of from 30 to 50 years of hatchery development work in which the growth rate the size the shape of the rainbow trout has been changed by manipulation of feed of environmental conditions and ultimately the gene pool of the stock. Now we do have another example in the Columbia River. We are now producing a sizeable percentage of the salmon which return to the Columbia river to
spawn each year in hatcheries. In these hatcheries where able to select the breeding stock. The salmon you will recall die after spawning in the salmon hatcheries the fish culturist have practiced selection to the point now where they are beginning to manipulate the gene pools indirectly of the salmon stocks. In doing so they are selecting for rapid growth greater size and in one specific instance a shortened life cycle. But these are two examples which man has been able to literally lay his hands on the animals in a relatively convenient hatchery type situation. These are the exception and not the rule. For example if one might consider manipulating the gene pool of high seas to inner resources any given species will immediately be beset by a variety of problems which are associated with the life history of the tune itself. Most of the
tuna are literally world Wanderers merely to enclose them in any kind of a situation where you could get your hands on them and work with them. It would be an extremely difficult technological task. At the present time the prospects of our ability are developing the ability that is to manipulate the gene pools of say the tunas for example are very dmn. Instead though we are beginning to recognize that the Shore's own species especially as the shellfish species are readily accessible to man relatively sedentary that is they live in one place more or less. Those are the ones that are most amenable to manipulation. It is in this area that we are going to make our first and most noteworthy achievements. I personally believe that the existing fisheries the existing technology which we now have available to us in the world fishing community can harvest perhaps up
to 200 million metric tons of fin fish and other products from the high seas. Any harvest over that level will require us to go to other resources which are presently either unknown or poorly mapped in terms of total quantity and distribution of marine ecosystems themselves are very fragile systems. When man begins to tamper with the marine ecosystems he then induces instability to certain of these populations. So we must recognize that we are working with a system which is far more difficult to control. Then for example terrestrial agriculture in dressed real agriculture we can control light. We can control the application of water and our fertilizer we can manipulate the populations either cattle or poultry or plants through breeding techniques in a way so far in the sea where only
harvesting whale stocks for the most part Dr. flipper in terms of our aspirations for the future are we depending too much on the ocean. I believe we are. I believe that we are in a situation where we expect on the basis of present speculation. Far too much from the sea. I believe that we are going to be extremely dependent upon the seas for a major portion of our total world protein requirement. But indeed it is limited the number the finite number which we are going to have to deal with is still a subject of considerable speculation. And we are concerned that we get as reasonable in this statement as is practical. As soon as possible. I think that the forthcoming international decade of ocean exploration may assist us in getting better estimates of what resources are available
and what the potential total productivity of the high seas can really be on a sustained yield basis. But despite these. UNKNOWN I think one must recognize that this season indeed are not going to be the ultimate panacea. We are going to have to be concerned with conservation of stocks so that we can keep these stocks producing in perpetuity. Mankind indeed is going to have to come to reckon with the limited capacity of not only the terrestrial environment but the marine environment as well as his atmospheric environment. On the programs in the series we've taken a look at the work of modern oceanographers and
many areas from underwater archaeology and deep sea drilling to the creation of undersea parks. The problems of pollution at sea and the sounds made by the denizens of the deep and honest final program a brief look at food from the sea. These programs were produced by public radio station KQED s FM at San Diego State College. The series was conceived written and produced by your host Tom McManus with the assistance of Ken Kramer. Traditional music of the sea it was arranged and performed by Sam Hinton and selected poetic and narrative passages were read by Cliff Kirk. We hope you have enjoyed these ventures into the sea around us through the use of sounds words and music and other programs are brought to the surface at least some of the challenges opportunities and problems that man must face as he goes down to the sea. I must go down to the seas again to the lonely sea and the sky
and all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by. And the wheels kick in the wind song and the white sails shaking and a grey mist on the sea's place and the grey dawn breaking. I must go down to the seas again for the call of the running tide is a wild call and the clear call. That may not be denied. And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying and the flung spray and the blown Spielman the sea gulls crying I must go down to the seas again to the vagrant gypsy life to the gulls way and the whales way where the wind's like a knife. And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow Rover and quiet sleep and a sweet dream. When the long tricks over. This is the national educational radio network.
Down to the sea
Episode Number
Food From the Sea
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Identifier: 71-1-13 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Chicago: “Down to the sea; 13; Food From the Sea,” 1971-00-00, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2023,
MLA: “Down to the sea; 13; Food From the Sea.” 1971-00-00. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2023. <>.
APA: Down to the sea; 13; Food From the Sea. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from