Skip to comments.In Maine, Last Sardine Cannery in the U.S. Is Clattering Out
Posted on 04/03/2010 9:14:00 PM PDT by pissant
PROSPECT HARBOR, Me. The women in their smudged aprons here at the sardine cannery work together in mesmerizing synchronization. Their hands flying, they fill the empty tins that clatter along the conveyer belt, packing in pieces of cut herring like, well, so many sardines.
On April 18, the clanking will cease. The bells and buzzers that regulate the pace of packing will fall silent. The old plant, the last sardine cannery in the United States, is shutting down.
Once a thriving national industry and the backdrop of John Steinbecks gritty Cannery Row sardine canneries have been dwindling for the last half-century. They have fallen victim to global competition, corporate consolidations and a general lack of appetite, at least in the United States, for sardines, despite their nutritional value and attempts by chefs to give them an image makeover.
Bumble Bee Foods, which has owned the plant here since 2004, attributed the closing to federal regulations that have reduced the amount of Atlantic herring, sardines before processing, that can be hauled from the sea. (Although Bumble Bee is the owner, the cannery is still known as the Stinson plant, after the founding family.)
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
I usually eat King Oscar sardines. I didn’t know a U.S. sardine plant even existed.
Yeah, same here. We prefer the little sardines, the ‘Tiny Tots’.
I always read the label. Beach Cliff was one of the US brands I was buying. No more, it appears.
Not for union workers.
I wasn’t aware that one could even get US sardines anymore.
Does Canada still can them?
But I bet the regulatory morons who killed off the industry are gov’t union workers.
It sure seems that way.
I visited Maine sardine canneries on two occasions. Fascinating places. They told us how they packed sardines for 40 different labels. One of them also packed larger herring
Sad, frankly. The rest of the world will still be packing sardines, yet the regulatory commie a**holes have killed off our domestic industry.
I'm not sure if it was a regulatory agency that killed off the sardine industry... it seems like it was overfishing and the actual dwindling of fish stocks that did it...
The following is a section of an article about California and sardines (although the above article is about Maine). Take a look at that graph of fishstocks... it doesn't look good.
The article is titled ...
In the mid-20th century, the sardine fishery off the Monterey coast seemed bottomless, resulting in a network of canneries along the waterfront (Cannery Row, a place made famous by the John Steinbeck novel of the same name, and now a top tourist destination of Monterey). At their peak, they processed millions of pounds of fish each year while providing jobs to thousands*. In the 1940s, the Pacific coast sardine catch accounted for around 25% of the total seafood catch in the U.S., making it a key part of the war effort. But it was not to last. By the mid-1940s, the fish were gone, the canneries closing, as the chart below shows (it is from another post on sardines at Mental Masala). The current thinking is that a combination of overfishing, pollution, and the natural cycle of the sardine contributed to the rapid decline in the late 1940s.
***I always read the label. Beach Cliff was one of the US brands I was buying. No more, it appears.***
NO! NO! Not Beach cliff! My favorite! I still like sardines!
I like the little ones too = but the bigger ones, mashed, taste the same - and a lot cheaper. I hate the thoughts of another industry gone from Maine. The shoe factories are gone. The chicken industry went south - DOWN south.
If the lobsters. clams and mussels go - I'm running away/
No more sardines, pandy. America is dying.
This was just one snippet from a much larger paper...
After 50 years of fishing for the Pacific sardine, Sardinops sagax (Jenyns), a moratorium on landings was imposed by the California Legislature in 1967, thus bringing to an end yet another act of one of the more emotionally charged fisheries exploitation-conservation controversies of the 20th century.
By the time the moratorium was imposed, however, the sardine fishery in southern California had already collapsed. The sardine fisheries in the northwest had long since ceased to exist with sardines last landed in British Columbia in the 1947-1948 season, in Oregon and Washington in the 1948-1949 season, and in San Francisco Bay in the 1951-1952 season (Table 1).
Even before the productivity and exploitation of the fishery peaked, researchers from the (then) California Division of Fish and Game issued warnings that the commercial exploitation of the fishery could not increase without limits, and recommended that an annual sardine quota be established to keep the population from being overfished.
Such recommendations were, of course, opposed by the fishing industry which was able to identify scientists who would state, officially or otherwise, that it was virtually impossible to overfish a pelagic species. This debate permeated the philosophies, research activities, and conclusions of the scientists working in this field at that time. The debate conformed to the basic charters (or ruisons dtrre) of each agency involved and persists today, long after the United States Pacific sardine fishery has ceased to exist. As a result of deep-rooted social and political feelings concerning the collapse of the Pacific sardine off California, many conflicting hypotheses have arisen, in spite of the completion of a vast amount of research.
And again, I'm talking about some information from the West Coast, while this particular article above was about the East Coast. I haven't gotten over to the East Coast, yet ... :-)
When the Marxist’s finally bring about the Great Crash in the USA then Americans will be starving, and unable to take care of themselves.
NO! NO! Not Beach cliff! My favorite! I still like sardines!
Same for me... I usually buy them at Walmart and they're pretty cheap there. I like sardines. I guess I'm gonna have to look for some foreign brand... I wonder how the Chinese are doing for sardines? ... LOL ...
[ Heck! Everything else I see in the stores is from China, so might as well be the sardines, too... :-) ...]
Sigh. I just read this. Damn I refuse to buy any sardines or oysters from China. I get tired of reading labels. Seems I spend more time reading where my food came from & what is in it then I do actual shopping time. I am going to have to make a list of acceptable food so I can breeze in & out of the supermarket.
The tuna fleet left San Diego. Shortly after, we lost our source of tuna for the cannery. It was converted into a dry goods canning facility.
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