Fish filleting fillip

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on August 16, 2019

ALBANY fisherman Bryn Westerberg hopes a new filleting machine will help his family’s business expand beyond the bait industry and compete in the supermarket trade and restaurant market.

Albany Seafoods received a $175,000 grant from the State Government this year to help subsidise the purchase of an automatic filleting machine, bread crumbing machine and high-volume vacuum packing machine totalling just under half a million dollars.

Albany Seafoods placed the equipment into full operation mode on Monday and Mr Westerberg said everything was running smoothly.

He explained the equipment was designed for blue mackerel and could fillet up to 300 fish in one minute – that’s about 600kg of fish in one hour.

“We’re trying to get into value-adding with food,” Mr Westerberg said.

“We’ve seen an increase in demand for sardines for consumption and that’s the way of the future; people want to eat clean, green fish.

“It’s very healthy for you.”

Member for Albany Peter Watson believed the equipment upgrade would allow Albany Seafoods to target new food markets nationally and expand into exporting.

“We are keen to support better utilisation of our fisheries resources and processing of this type is adding value to what we catch here in WA,” he said.