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The new products will range from salmon pepperoni and hot dogs to salmon bacon and hamburgers.
All will be 100 percent pure salmon, approved for human consumption by the federal Food and Drug Administration and state agencies and “absolutely delicious,” said Fawn Sharp, Quinault tribal president.
The Quinault received word this week that they would get the grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration to help upgrade the fish processing facility, a 4,500-square-foot building that was completed in October 2013.
Sharp expects that at least 30 full-time jobs will be created for tribal members as well as non-tribal members, ranging from fishermen to workers in the plant itself.
The new products are expected to be made by next spring.
“And we fully anticipate that the products will be so popular and profitable that they will sell on the local, national and even the international market,” Sharp said.
“The future of this project looks very, very bright,” she added.
Sharp said fishermen who harvest chum and pink salmon often have had to settle for meager payment for their catch, often as low as 50 cents a pound.
“This processing plant will produce value-added products” that also will include dog and cat treats, she said.
“This concept will be very good for the environment, making very valuable use of fish that have previously been marketable only for their eggs,” Sharp said.
She thanked the Obama administration “for its foresight.”
In awarding the grant, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said, “The Obama administration is committed to supporting tribal communities through economic development.”
Sharp also thanked Norm Baker, president of Development Research Group Inc., and Jim Sellers of the Quinault Tribal Council, “without whom this project would not have been possible.”