5 Reasons You Should Choose Wild-Caught Alaska Seafood For National Seafood Month
Choosing wild seafood is good for your body and helps protect vulnerable habitat.
October is National Seafood Month and there is no better time to explore the rich flavors of the sea. Regardless of whether you live by the ocean or are landlocked, Sitka Salmon Shares is your source for sustainable, wild-caught Alaska seafood processed in the USA and delivered direct to your door. Here are five compelling reasons to include wild Alaska seafood in your diet.
Wild seafood connects people through time and, thanks to modern trade networks, geography. Alaska’s indigenous communities have been stewarding wild seafood since time immemorial because it has provided a reliable source of protein for as long as we have records of human habitation. With just over 5 billion pounds of wild seafood harvested in Alaska in recent years, our connection to this tradition remains as strong as ever.
Whether you like the savory punch of smoked salmon or prefer the simplicity of raw preparations, cultures the world over have adopted salmon into their culinary traditions.
You should be eating more seafood, and here’s why. Fats found in fish help our bodies absorb key vitamins, acts as an energy source, and keeps our immune, circulatory, respiratory, and renal systems in optimal shape. The Omega-3 fatty acids abundant in wild fish are so important that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends eating at least 8 oz of seafood every week (and even more for pregnant and breastfeeding adults). Regardless of how you measure it, wild seafood is an excellent protein to fuel your body.
The best seafood money can buy isn’t on display at a market, but vacuum-sealed and flash frozen in a blast freezer. The fishermen who catch your fish for Sitka Salmon Shares ice their catch as soon as it’s plucked from the ocean and swiftly delivered to a processing facility in Alaska. Portioned fish is then flash frozen to ensure that the fish you thaw for dinner has the same pristine quality as the day it was caught.
One study found that “fresh” fish on display at markets and grocers had been sitting out for weeks. We think there is a better way to preserve quality and it starts with empowering you. At Sitka Salmon Shares, your subscription arrives packed in dry-ice so
Consumers are struggling to navigate a seafood marketplace full of confusing and outright misleading claims. The conservation nonprofit Oceana recently found that 18% of the seafood on sale at grocery stores throughout the US were mislabeled. Restaurants and sushi vendors are the worst offenders, where as much as 74% of the seafood for sale is mislabeled.
Rather than buy our seafood off the open market, Sitka Salmon Shares only sources from trusted partners with the strictest standards and our fleet of fishermen-owners who supply our own fish plant in Sitka, Alaska. We label each vacuum-sealed portion of seafood with the name of the fishing vessel or trusted partner who caught it.
Join our members-only Facebook group, Sitka Salmonsharsians to connect with our fishermen who love to see how members enjoy the product of their hard labor.
The best way to protect wild seafood is to eat it. At the close of a 25-year career at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Fisheries office, Laurel Bryant had some simple advice for eco-conscious consumers: “Buy US,” she says. “If it’s fished ...in the U.S., you are absolutely supporting the standards of responsible fishing and harvesting and you should not hesitate.” Yet, between 70 and 85 of all seafood consumed in the United States is imported, according to NOAA. That figure includes seafood caught in American waters, exported to overseas processors to save on labor costs, and re-imported after changing hands multiple times.
Buying domestically-caught and processed seafood is important because, according to NOAA, more than 90% of domestic fish stocks are not subject to overfishing. Buying wild-caught seafood also places value on the wild habitat critical to sustaining fish stocks. The Bristol Bay salmon run alone creates over $2.2 billion in economic activity and is responsible for 15,000 jobs.
No wonder fishing communities throughout Alaska are on the front lines of battles over habitat loss and climate change. Every wild fish purchased is a vote for the future of our domestic fishermen and the habitat that makes their way of life possible. After years of activism by Alaska’s fishermen, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently ruled against a proposed mine that would devastate the Bristol Bay salmon run and the Biden administration announced protections against logging in the Tongass National Forest, critical spawning ground for wild salmon in southeast Alaska. I sometimes wonder if these victories would have been possible without a strong market for wild salmon, which this year propelled the value of a single king salmon beyond the price of a barrel of oil.
Whether you want to feed your family one of the most nutritious proteins available or you care about supporting wild foods rooted to intact, wild ecosystems, subscribe to an American tradition this National Seafood Month.
Celebrate National Seafood Month by listening to the Fish Talk Podcast featuring our co-founder, Nic Mink, to better understand how fish gets to our plates.
Know Your Author
Dr. Jonathan Wlasiuk is the director of research and writing at Sitka Salmon Shares. He has taught at universities throughout the Great Lakes and writes about the social and ecological impact of business decisions.