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THE EFFECT OF OPA'S MPR-507 ON FRESH FISH PRICES, by Richard A. Kahn
BAY MUSSELS, by William A. Martinek
Fish located with sounding devices ...
Sets used barrel prices ...
Ration point values changed for April ...
Purchases $5,107,830 in fishery products during February
Import controls on certain fishery products removed
Fisheries of Washington and Oregon
Contents continued on page 50
ISSUED BY THE
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
HAROLD L. ICKES, Secretary
FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE
IRA N. GABRIELSON, Director
FISHERY MARKET NEWS
A REVIEW OF CONDITIONS AND TRENDS OF THE COMMERCIAL FISHERIES
A. W. Anderson, Editor
C. R. Lucas, Associate Editor
W. H. Dumont MARKET NEWS
R. A. Kahn
Applications for FISHERY MARKET NEWS, which is mailed free to members of the fishery industry and allied interests, should be addressed
to the Director, Fish and Wildlife Service, United States Department of the Interior, Washington 25, D. C.
Measuring the actual effect of any price regulation is a difficult problem. There are so many reasons and causes which may affect prices that a final answer hardly can be given to the question, whether a certain price or a certain price movement was influenced solely by a particular maximum price regulation, In the case of Office of Price Administration's Maximum Price Regulation 507 controlling fresh fish prices at retail, we are fortunate enough in having some figures, collected by the Office of the Coordinator of Fisheries, which by selecting pertinent dates, cities, and types of fish stores, have eliminated some of the problems which otherwise might arise in estimating the effects of price control on retail prices. Fresh fish prices were collected as of January 11 and 25, and February 25, 1946, in five types of stores: Chain, independent large and small specialized, and large and small combined stores.
The dates mentioned fall in a season of normal catches of fish. January 11 is 2 days before MPR-507 on fresh fish prices was announced, and the data collected reflect the unregulated fresh fish retail prices.
January 25 was two days before MPR-507 became effective (January 27, 1944), but 12 days after it was announced to the public and the trade.
February 15 concludes a period of 20 days of enforcement or attempted enforcement.
All dates are Tuesdays, which represent quiet and normal days of the week, as compared with the extraordinarily quiet Mondays or the extraordinarily heavy Fridays. The five types of stores investigated present a cross section of the retail fish trade.
The cities studied were Boston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, and Baltimore. One can see that port cities as well as inland cities, lake ports as well as sea ports, have been included.
The results of the study are interesting. In general, it may be stated that MPR-507 was, and is, effective. The number of price decreases on February 15, as compared with January 11, 1944, in all cities was 158 out of 307 comparisons, while the number of increases was 50. This means that 52 percent of the compared prices have decreased, 16 percent have increased, while 32 percent remained unchanged. The number of decreases either equal (Boston and New York) or exceed the increases; in addition they exceed the number of prices which remained unchanged in all cities but New York, Boston, Cincinnati, and Columbus.
The study further reveals that the number of decreases exceeding increases on February 15, as compared with January 11, range from 0.81 percent to 16 percent, while increases exceeding decreases in some cities range from 0.12 percent to 11.81 percent. On * Chief, Economic Facilities Branch, Office of the Coordinator of Fisheries,
several dozen anglerfish each time the traps are lifted. On a number of occasions, the author of this report has noted trap operators shaking the anglerfish by the tail to remove more valuable species from its enormous mouth,
The potential quantities of this species available for food are difficult to estimate but there are indications that about 10 million pounds could be caught in waters adjacent to New England and New York, The largest single catch ever reported was 10,000 pounds in one set of the otter trawl by Captain Iver Carlson on the trawler Wave, October 10, 1940. Bigelow and Welch in Fishes of the Gulf of Maine mention 3,000,000 pounds landed by English and Scottish vessels in 1904, and statistics published by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of England for 1936 give the following figures: 7,104,272 pounds valued at 69,431 pounds sterling.
The accompanying sketch shows the portion of the anglerfish that is removed to form the "tail portion" or "Monk tail." A diagrammatic sketch of the cutting of fillets or steaks is also presented,
A STUDY OF THE NUTRITIVE VALUE OF THE PROTEIN OF COOKED ANGLERFISH, RAJAFISH, AND BAY MUSSELS
By William A. Martinek*
Some of the most productive fisheries of the continental United States are in the waters off the New England states. The catch landed in these states normally totals over 600,000,000 pounds. The bulk of the supply of fresh and frozen seafoods marketed on the densely populated Eastern Seaboard, and much of that sold in the Middle West is taken from the rich fishing grounds lying off New England and Nova Scotia.
Surprisingly enough, of 80 species of fish and shellfish which are available in the se wa ters, 10 only are responsible for four-fifths of the total commercial catch. The remaining species are caught in limited quantities, or discarded on the fishing grounds. With wartime demands for high protein foods exceeding current supplies, increased use of underutilized species not only would help to meet this demand but would lessen the danger of overfishing the more popular varieties.
To promote their use, the Service, in cooperation with the fishing industry and interested state agencies, is experimenting with new and better methods of handling and processing these seafoods, in developing recipes for their preparation to guide the consumers, and in evaluating their quality and nutritive value as protein foods.
In connection with this last point, studies were made at the Service's Technological Laboratory, College Park, Maryland, to determine the nutritive value of the protein of cooked anglerfish, also called monkfish (Lophius piscatorius); rajafish or skate (Raja species); and bay mussels (Mytilus edulis).
Preparation of Samples--To have an adequate supply of seafoods on hand during the course of the experiments, ample quantities were prepared at one time, frozen, and so held until used. That seafoods can be frozen and held in storage without material change in their nutritive value was demonstrated in studies on the nutritive value of fresh and frozen cod, wherein the frozen fish was found equal to the fresh in the growth-promoting value of its protein.1/
The fish were bought in New England markets and shipped in ice to the laboratory at College Park. After being dressed, the fish were divided into pieces of convenient size and simmered at 1850 F. until cooked. The cooked pieces were drained, compressed into blocks, wrapped tightly in cellophane to prevent dehydration, frozen at 40 F., and stored in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator. During subsequent feeding experiments, the amount needed was sliced from the frozen blocks.
Fresh bay mussels, shipped from New York, were washed and then steamed for 20 minutes at 212° F. in a horizontal retort. This treatment opened the shells and cooked the flesh. After removal from the shells, the cooked mussels were handled in the same manner as the cooked fish.
Chemist, Fishery Technological Laboratory, College Park, Md. 1/Louise A. Marks (1943), "The Effect of Certain Cooking and Holding Me thods on the Nutritive Value of
the Protein and Vitamins of Cod and Oysters," M. S. thesis, University of Maryland,
Feeding Esperiments--Young albino rats were allotted to test at initial live-weights of 49 to 55 grams. They were assembled into groups of ten, equally divided between sexes, and housed in individual wire cages over wire screens. Gains in weight and food intakes were recorded weekly for an eight-week period.
Each day, the animals were fed weighed portions of the cooked seafood, calculated to give equal amounts of protein to each animal on the basis of the analysis shown in Table 1.
Table I--Analysis of Cooked Seafoods
Per cent by We i sht Moisture
Protein Ether Mineral
(Nx6.25) Extract Matter 74.3
26.3 0.67 0.90 72,2 17.9 3.10
During the first two weeks 0.5 gram of protein per day was supplied to each rat; 0.85 gram daily for the next three weeks; 1.20 grams daily for the remainder of the test period. amounts were selected as a result of unpublished experiments of this laboratory which demonstrated that when fish protein is fed at the se levels, growth is largely a function of the quality of the protein,
Water and a ba sal diet were fed ad libitum. Except for protein, all food elements needed for normal growth were provided by the basal diet. It consisted of cornstarch, 80; Wilson's powdered liver concentrate, 0.5; lard, 10; cod liver oil, 2; dried brewer's yeast, 1.5; wheat germ embryo, 2; and U. S. P. salt mixture No. 2, 4 parts by weight. As the mixed diet contained 1.6 percent protein, subsequent calculations involving food intakes were corrected for this additional protein.
Experimental Results--Since the principal methods of cooking, including simmering have been found to show no adverse effect on the nutritive value of the protein of cod, that method was used in this experiment. Besides being extremely simple, simmering involves the addition of no ingredient other than water.
Data on the weekly live-weights for all groups showed that the rats fed anglerfish grew faster during the first three weeks. However, at the end of the eight-week period there were no statistically significant differences in the average gains in weight for the three groups. Apparently all of the seafoods under study were of equal growth-promoting value among themselves and in comparison with cooked cod.
The data for simmered cod, included in Table 2 for comparison, are taken from the work of Marks, in which the level of protein in the diet was 12 percent. (The average gain in Weight for the eight-week period of the rats fed simmered cod was comparable to the gains made by rats fed cod cooked in other ways.)
Table II --Average Gain in Weight and Protein Intake Per Group for an Eight-week Period Source
Number Average Coefficient Average
protein Standard Protein
rats weight variation intake error
Grams Percent Grams Grams Anglerfish
57.0 0.28 Rajafish (skates)
0.16 Bay mussels
11 118.0 18.0
61.4 2.50 Data of Marks, op. cit.
Although fed ad libitum, the total amount of basal diet consumed was recorded in order to calculate the level of protein in the complete diet. For all groups except that fed anglerfish, the level of protein in the diet was 12 percent. That group ate more liberally of the diet, lowering the protein level to il percent. No trouble was encountered in feeding the seafoods, and scattering of both basal diet and seafoods was negligible. Data for one rat in the skate group were not obtained since an abnormally-shaped tooth prevented it from eating properly and it was discarded early in the experiment. 1 Marks, op. cit.
The proteins of cooked anglerfish, rajafish, and bay mussels were compared at a level of ll or 12 percent in the diet.
All of the proteins were of good quality and of equal growth-promoting value. sults indicate, therefore, that these fishery products have food value comparable with that of other, more widely-utilized fishery items.
1946 ALASKA SALMON CONCENTRATION ORDER ISSUED MARCH 3
The new concentration order under which the Alaska salmon industry will operate during the 1944 season was announced March 3 by Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. The order becomes effective immediately and will be administered by the Office of the Coordinator of Fisheries, which directed a similar plan last year.
The Alaska salmon fisheries, the most important industry in the Territory, normally produce nearly 90 percent of the United States' supply of canned salmon and the concentration orders have been issued to insure the maximum production possible under wartime conditions. While continuing the plan of concentrating the canning of salmon in the most efficient plants, this year's order is somewhat more liberal than that of 1943 in that it authorizes the operation of 89 out of a total of 119 plants, compared with 77 authorized last year. Important changes in the manpower quotas for the various canneries, which have been established by the War Manpower Commission, are specified in the order. Also new this year is the requirement that all persons, companies, and corporations authorized under the terms of the order to engage in salmon canning must obtain a license from the Fishery Coordinator. The licenses will, however, be issued automatically to all canners named in the order as being authorized to can salmon.
The concentration plan, under which the Alaska salmon industry operated last year for the first time, was made necessary because of wartime difficulties of operation. Being definitely seasonal, the industry must import most of its labor, materials, and equipment from the States. With serious shortages of both manpower and equipment, it was no longer feasible to operate the smaller or less efficient plants. By rationing, the available facilities, the industry was able last year to increase the pack to 5,412,000 cases, compared with 5,076,000 cases in 1942, with the use of a minimum amount of critical materials, manpower, and shipping facilities.
The Alaska salmon canning industry was virtually unanimous in requesting the Fishery Coordinator to repeat the concentration plan during the 1944 season.
1944 ALASKA FISHERY REGULATIONS ISSUED MARCH 20
New regulations for the protection of the commercial fisheries of Alaska in 1944 were promulgated March 20, by Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes. Among changes of major importance are the following:
Regulations have been modified in the Bristol Bay area to permit the resumption of commercial fishing for salmon in the Egegik district which was closed to fishing in 1942 and 1943.
Longer and deeper purse seines will be permitted in the southeastern Alaska salmon fishery during 1944. The new maximum size for purse seines is 300 fathoms in length and 400 meshes in depth. Purse seines previously authorized were 200 fathoms in length and 350 meshes in depth.
Herring quotas have been increased substantially in all of the major producing areas. The new quotas will permit taking of approximately 80,000,000 more pounds of herring than last year. An increase of 100,000 barrels in the Kodiak area will permit a total take of 300,000 barrels in quota waters during the open season from July 1 to October 15.