We toured two plants here today. One in Akureyri and
another in a small town of about 1500 people 20 miles
or so from here. Both are modern plants, highly
mechanised. One plant was doing shrimp and the other
cod. In both places, the raw product comes in one end
and a finished product comes out the other end, ready
for market. Very clean, and the workforce looked
dedicated. Pay here is about 13 dollars/hour, similar
to wages paid in the Danvers plant we toured near
Boston, and well below Alaska processing wages.
The plant was not large, but very sophisticated, with
computerized machinery. At the cod plant, fillets
come down a line to a row of women workers, who slice
the fillets into several different cuts. The women
are paid a premium for fast, quality cutting, and some
make an extra 3 to 4 dollars an hour, according to the
The weather was sunny and warmer today with less wind.
After the tour, I took a hard nap, still adjusting
from the 9 hour time change from Alaska. I then took
a walk around town. I ate at Greiffins Restaurant. I
wanted to try something local, so I had the salt cod.
It was steamed, on top of moussed potatoes, and the
that was surrounded by a red wine sauce which
contained some fresh bell peppers. Very, very good.
And service is wonderful here.
Tomorrow, instead of taking the plane back to
Rekyavik, I´m taking the bus. 6 hours through the
countryside that will be spectacular if today´s
Prices are somewhat higher here for goods. Although
it sounds like heating (all geothermal) and
electricity (all hydro) are not expensive. Would be
interesting to see what the total cost of living is,
not just comparing the price of a beer here vs.
Juneau. Lots of land with not lots of people, either,
so I wonder what housing costs are.
Mark Stopha and Sara Hannan
Alaska Wild Salmon Company
Wild Salmon and Salmon Pet Treats
4455 N. Douglas Hwy
Juneau, AK 99801