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The Myth Behind the Fish

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The Myth Behind the Fish / May 25, 2005 / Pike Place Market


The Copper River, located off the Prince William Sound in Alaska, began its salmon season on May 16, 2005.  City Fish offered the first fish for sale in the Pike Place Market where at 8:30am it retailed for $24.99 /lb. for kings and $17.99/lb for sockeyes.  Is it a better fish than the others?


Kelli Bodenberger, 35, from Seattle driving to California for a big BBQ. “We just came by the Pike Place Market to get us a huge Copper River Salmon to put on the grill and its awesome, you know, and other seafood to go with it.  And its just beautiful, its awesome.  Its none of that farmed raised (laugh), color added, white fish (laugh) So its gonna be really awesome. Can’t wait to enjoy it.   The salmon alone was $100 or right around a hundred dollars.  The Copper River salmon is some of the best seafood you can eat.  Its so flavorful compared to the other salmon, Coho.”

Kaitlyn Boyd, 9, from Lake Young’s Elementary School in Kent,WA, “I like salmon.  It was at a low price and I only have $20 (of pretend money she spent buying Wild King while on a scavenger hunt with her third grade classmates)

Gabe Massey, 12, from Truman Middle School in Tacoma “I was watching them massage it.  It was funny. They got their heads cut off.”

Gioia Foa, 22, with friend Anton Gold, 29, both from Brooklyn “No, I haven’t heard of it.”

Laura Lockhart, 44, from Tacoma,Wash. “I got Copper River salmon, actually for my mother. That’s the purpose to buy it.  And its good. ” 

The Final Word

Jack Mathers, owner of Jack’s Fish Spot and Crab Pot in Pike Place Market

“We sell fish but we don’t sell enough fish because the Copper River Fish is now over-marketed, and its been over-hyped, and so there’s been a backlash, and they don’t quite get the message that people really don’t care. Now after the first week its starting to go down to where it’s a little more reasonable, but before this they basically over marketed the thing and its driven the excitement out of fish business on it and its ruining it.  So they say “No” that they’ve ruined it. (laugh) 

So now after a couple weeks after the season’s opened its starting to get more reasonable and people can afford it.  Now it will maybe start building.

It’s the same (fish) ..It’s just it goes up a longer river and so it stores more oil and then so its good.  Its mainly the first fish of the year and so they’ve taken that as kind of a hype.  I mean it’s a little bit better but it isn’t all that much better for what they’re getting for it. So they’re basically ruining the fish business by making it be designer fish where its supposed to be fun to eat everyday and they’re making it like it an occasion well it isn’t that much of an occasion.  They better get back to it being an everyday meal so people can afford it so that they can sell some.

Lets put it this way, we sold probably 5% of what we used to sell.  For what we would sell that stuff 5, 6 years ago before the hype started, we now sell 5% of what we used to.  And now we’ll start selling some as it gets more reasonable.

Jon Daniels, owner of City Fish in Pike Place Market

“The Copper River (fish) definitely gets the nod over other fish.”

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