The Sikuliaq is tied up at pier 35, just across the wharf from the Honolulu Fish Auction. The Auction runs 6 days per week and as much as 100,000 pounds of fish can move through each day. Beginning at 0100 boats arrive and offload the catch that they are delivering for the days auction. At 0530 the auctioneer rings the brass bell to open the live auction and within a few moments fish are being sold.
Buyers from many different brokers, hotel restaurants,sushi bars, markets, etc. arrive and start inspecting the quality of the fish around 0430 and the live auction starts around 0530. As soon as the fish is purchased, a tag is placed on the fish to identify the buyer, the price per pound and a check is cut that day and sent to the fisherman.
All types of fish such as yellowfin tuna, bigeye tuna, mahi mahi, swordfish, wahoo, opah, and several bottomfish species such as paka paka , onaga are available to bid on.
Tours are available, or you can just come in and watch the action like I did. If you go, remember to wear closed toed shoes. Everyone is required to walk through a one half inch deep both of disinfectant as they enter. It’s also climate controlled inside so bring a light jacket.
The fish are offloaded from the boats using big trailers they tow around with forklifts and brought over to the building. They are weighed, sorted and tagged. Once they have been purchased, the fish move out the far side of the building and are loaded into the buyer’s trucks. Very efficient!
Above a tag shows the price paid was 2.40 per pound, the fish weighed 57 pounds and on the far right, almost out of the picture, shows who the buyer was.
Here’s another example:
Walking back to the ship, the skies opened up and we got a little wet. It has been stormy and not so nice here the last few days, but it is a warm rain.
Our ship is nearly loaded and we will be casting off sometime soon. Have a good week.