Why it’s Wild
With over 3 million lakes, 3,000 rivers and 34,000 miles of coastline, Alaska is one of the most bountiful fishing regions in the world, producing stocks known for their abundance and variety. Among them: five species of salmon, three types of crab, and several varieties of whitefish.
Swimming wild in these icy pure waters, and feeding on a natural diet Alaska Seafood develops a superior texture and unparalleled flavor prized by chefs and connoisseurs alike.
More recently, the state of Alaska has lent nature a hand: In order to protect Alaska’s wild fisheries from potential problems, salmon farming was banned by the Alaska legislature in 1990.
Benefits of Wild
Alaska’s unspoiled environment, cold climate, and pure waters create the perfect conditions for harvesting superior-quality seafood. Its taste and texture elevate the flavor of any recipe, and its versatility makes it easy to explore new menu possibilities.
Many studies conducted by both government and university scientists over the course of decades have repeatedly demonstrated that Alaska Seafood is pure and clean, with little to no traces of contaminants.
Effective, precise management assures Alaska’s fisheries are productive, sustainable, clean, and healthy as mandated by the Alaskan state government. Alaska is the only state that has written conservation laws into its Constitution.
In the case of Alaska Salmon, the season coincides with the return of salmon to their spawning streams; but before fishing is opened, state biologist make sure ample numbers have already passed upstream to lay eggs. On major rivers, state fishery workers stationed in towers above the water count individual salmon as they swim up current. When biologists ascertain that the quota for a particular run has moved past the tower, word goes out by radio to boats waiting beyond the river mouth. And so, in-season harvest decisions are made on each local river, by personnel who know the fishery best.
As for the whitefish industry, most vessels fishing for Alaska Pollock and Cod are required by the U.S. federal law to carry an independent scientific observer on board to record catch data and report back the National Marine Fisheries Service, which enforces federal fisheries regulations. Biological studies are performed to estimate future allowable harvest levels.
For Alaska Shellfish, the needs of the harvest are balanced with the needs of the ecosystem. Only prime males that meet a minimum size for their species are kept. Females and crabs too small are returned to the wild, assuring a future supply of these treasures of the sea.
Regardless of seafood being harvested, once the quota has been reached, the season is closed. Limits are precisely calculated to keep the world stocked with a continuous, ever-replenishing supply of seafood the way nature intended it from the wild of Alaska.
There are three harvesting methods for Alaska Salmon: trolling, gillnetting, and purse seining. Alaska Whitefish, on the other hand, are harvested using a trawl, a longline, or pots. As for Alaska Shellfish, they are harvested using steel traps or pots.
To learn more about harvesting Alaska Salmon click here: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/information/fisheries/pages/harvest-salmon.html
To learn more about harvesting Alaska Whitefish click here: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/information/fisheries/pages/harvest-whitefish.html
To learn more about Alaska Shellfish click here: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/information/fisheries/pages/harvest-crab.html
To ensure the freshest and highest quality seafood check out these basic tips on handling fresh and frozen Alaska Seafood at: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/foodservice/practices/index.html
In addition to providing an excellent source of high quality protein that’s low in saturated fat, Alaska Seafood is rich in many essential vitamins and minerals including E, C, D, A, zinc, iron, calcium, and selenium. Furthermore, Alaska Seafood contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven to substantially reduce the risk of coronary disease and have also proven to be beneficial in the treatment and prevention of many other diseases.
To learn more about the health benefits of including delicious Alaska Seafood in your diet check out the articles listed below by Dr. Joyce Nettleton or the following link: http://www.alaskaseafood.org/health/experts/index.html
Articles by Dr. Joyce Nettleton
- “Seafood: Weighing the Benefits and Risks”
- “Omega-3s: Are Fish and Plant Omega-3s the Same?”
- “Seafood Safety”
- “Heart Health Benefits from Eating Fish”
- “Staying Healthy by Eating Seafood Often”
- “Seafood Omega-3s and Mental Health”
- “Fish Omega-3s and the Immune System”
- “Seeing Clearly: Fish, Omega-3s and Vision”