- Step 1
- dressing and icing our harvest—perfectly.
At Sitka Salmon Shares, we harvest every fish individually, using hook-and-line methods that are virtually unheard of in a system dominated by factory ships that indiscriminately catch most of the world’s harvest in large nets.
This individual attention is the first step in producing perfect fish. Every fish is bled, dressed, and iced on board the vessel to prevent flesh decomposition and ensure premium quality. The labor involved isn’t always the easiest, but such care produces a fundamentally different product than what you’d find at your grocery store.
- Step 2
- Taking Shorter Trips and Collapsing the Supply Chain
By shortening our trips and delivering directly to shore, we are guaranteeing that our fish are fresher than the rest. Our vessels cap their trips at four days. This may not sound like much, but it represents a 20 percent shorter trip than those taken by most other vessels in the fleet. (Most of the time our trips are three days or fewer.) Furthermore, our fishermen all deliver their harvest directly to our shore-based facility, unlike many others who take their harvest to larger boats called “tenders.” These tenders consolidate all of the fish they receive, which makes it easier for them to operate but also adds a few more days to the typical supply chain.
- Step 3
- Flash Freezing
A perfectly handled salmon—one that’s bled, dressed, and iced properly—goes through two significant stages of decline. The first stage of decline happens by about day 5 or 6, with the second stage occurring at day 10 or thereabouts. By day 18, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would declare this fish “bad.” Sure, you might get a great piece of salmon from your fresh fish counter here in the Midwest, but based on the conversations we’ve had with many a Midwestern fishmonger, much of that “fresh” fish is about 14 days old—well past its prime.
At Sitka Salmon Shares, we think that fish that has been properly flash-frozen in small batches immediately after harvest is the way to go. We’re locking in a “fresher” fish by ensuring that the degradation of its flesh stops the moment the fish hits the blast freezer.