Via Youtube:

‘The geography of Alaska, the life cycle of the salmon, and the salmon industry. There is a view of the treaty between Russia and the United States that resulted in the purchase of Alaska. The commentator says that thousands of United States citizens protested this purchase, calling it “Seward’s folly.” Father Bernard Hubbard, the “glacier priest,” is shown and states that on his first trip through Alaska he thought it a worthless land, but that he now appreciates its true value. An animated map contrasts the size of the United States with Alaska. Father Hubbard says that Alaska is divided into three areas: (1) the Yukon Valley, (2) southeastern Alaska, and (3) the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands. A map indicates that the Yukon is on about the same line of latitude as Greenland. Views of snow and ice, dog teams, Eskimos, reindeer, and ice floes are accompanied by Father Hubbard’s remarks that these represent the popular conception of the whole of Alaska. Southeastern Alaska is shown to be in the same latitude as the British Isles. There follow scenes of Alaska’s “inside passage,” gold mines, government roads, dairy farms, waterfalls, and mountains that surround Juneau. Glaciers are shown at the sea’s edge, and Father Hubbard explains that tremendous pressure causes them to break off and fall into the sea and float away as icebergs. An unusual method of iceberg formation is shown as a huge mass of ice rises from the depths of the ocean. The third area, the Alaska Peninsula and the Aleutian Islands, is depicted as volcanic and mountainous. Steamy air moves across the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, which is devoid of plant and animal life. A view of a snow-covered mountain is followed by views of a smoking volcano. Father Hubbard observes that this is an unstable area and that the day is far off when it will be permanently formed. The film’s second section, the life cycle of the salmon, begins with an animated map tracing the route of the young salmon from Alaskan streams into the Gulf of Alaska where they vanish in the Pacific. A map indicates the route followed by the adult salmon in their return to their native streams. Salmon struggle upstream, their backs flashing in shallow water. Father Hubbard observes that in fresh water their color changes and that they are then unfit for human consumption. Mouths of the salmon develop curved jaws to facilitate digging in the gravel and mud where eggs are laid. Salmon are shown spawning and fanning mud over the eggs. The commentator explains that after spawning the adult salmon die. Hundreds of salmon are shown dead on the banks. The third section begins with the preparation for a salmon run. Men stretch nets on salmon traps built on pilings. When salmon begin to run they are caught in the nets. The fish are emptied from the nets, transferred to the holds of a tender, and taken to the cannery. The last section shows the processing of the fish after they arrive at the cannery. They are taken from the tender’s holds to a fishhouse by means of a conveyor. At the fishhouse they are cleaned and sorted. They are then floated in water troughs to the cannery. A short sequence indicates the methods used to assemble cans from partially manufactured stock. Sharp knives cut the fish into sections, which disappear into a filling machine to emerge later packed in open cans. From the filler the cans travel on belts to a clincher where they are hermetically sealed. They are placed on trays, wheeled to a retort, and cooked under high pressure. Later the cans are cooled, labeled, boxed, and loaded in ships’ holds to be carried to world markets…’ Public domain film from the Prelinger Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied. The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).……

Alaska did not always have healthy stocks of salmon. The salmon catch grew rapidly with the expansion of the cannery capacity through 1920. This led to over fishing, which resulted in such low salmon stocks that President Eisenhower declared Alaska a federal disaster area in 1953. In fact, in 1959, statewide harvests totaled only about 25 million salmon, which is less than 20% of current sustained production… the inexorable entry of more technological fishing gear coincided with further decline to record low levels in 1972. This decline helped promote the enclosure of the salmon fishery in 1973 under a limited entry permit system. Since then the catch has rebounded to near-record levels due to Alaska’s salmon management…


Written by JuneauTek

Commercial Fishing Along The Pacific West Coast

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