On Thursday morning, we took an excursion to the United Fishing Agency (UFA) at Pier 38 to see the fish auction. UFA is one of the places on our company’s hit list of things you must see and experience, so we took some of the new managers that have recently joined our team. This was my fifth visit to the auction, and I am still amazed at the amount of fish that goes through the auction, 25 to 28 million pounds of fish every year, of which less than 3% goes to international destinations. Each time I go, there seems to be new challenges that the UFA is facing, and I am always impressed at how they take on the challenges and make the right decisions for what is the best for the fish population, the environment, and other sea life like the turtles, false killer whales, and most of all, the consumer of all the fish that pass their docks. From the Federal observers that ride the fishing vessels that fish for Big Eye Tuna and Swordfish, the changing of the Swordfish bait from squid to fish and the use of circular hooks vs j hooks to protect the turtles, the new food safety procedures that are set in place like having the vessels gut and gill the fish at sea to keep the fish fresher, to taking temperatures from the fish at entry to exit of the auction, to the use of ozone water to disinfect the fish and the TSA certified packing of the fish for travel.
The success of the UFA and how it is able to keep their employees and the local fishermen accountable for all the new regulationsand challenges of today to help make the seafood industry in Hawaii sustainable for the generations to come. I equate what they are able to do to the standards that we hold our employees at Alan Wong’s Restaurants to, and that our success will be to also face the challenges of today and make sure that we hold every employee accountable for their actions in order to help make the restaurant a better place to work, each employee into a better person during their time with us, and every guest experience a memorable one.
~Kathy Kawashige, Director of Restaurant Operataions