According to the Marine Stewardship Council’s latest survey conducted in 22 countries, consumers globally are placing price above sustainability when making food choices. BUT the good news is, the UK was one of eight countries that ranked sustainability as the determining factor above price.
However, we know that sustainability means different things to different people.
Whilst we as Brits may grapple with the concept and debate its meaning, in Alaska it’s very black and white. Alaska seafood is sustainable.
Why? Because not only is the seafood sector of significant economic value, but more importantly because it is a legacy persevered by fishing families for the greater good of future generations.
“Every aspect of Alaska’s fisheries are strictly regulated, closely monitored, and rigidly enforced. Strict regulations and harvest policies set in place by the multiple management and policy agencies based on sound science ensure that seafood populations are managed for sustainability. Harvesters are dedicated to responsible catch methods and habitat protection initiatives to ensure they are not impacting the pristine Alaska environment,” comments Michael Kohan, Technical Program Director, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
Alaska has the largest wild sockeye salmon and flatfish fishery in the world, and is considered a model for sustainable fisheries management practices. Alaska fisheries are independently certified as sustainable fisheries by both the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management program and the Marine Stewardship Council.”
But what comes out of the big blue in Alaska?
Five different types of wild salmon – king (chinook), sockeye (red), coho (silver), keta (chum) and pink
Whitefish – Alaska pollock, halibut, pacific cod, black cod, sole and rockfish
Shellfish – king crab, snow crab, Dungeness crab and scallops
But here in the UK, salmon, Alaska pollock and to some extent black cod are the main seafood species. The lesser known types are:
Alaska sole is a lean, tender fish with a mild flavour that makes it widely appealing to consumers. It’s highly adaptable to lighter eating styles and ethnic favourites.
Yellowfin sole is one of the only sole species from Alaska available to UK consumers in the retail market as a value added product, as lemon and Dover sole from Atlantic waters dominate the market.
The five types of wild salmon species underpin Alaska’s ecosystem and it’s these same wild salmon species that produce some of the world’s finest roe. Often referred to as “Golden” or “Ruby” eggs, salmon roe is high in lean protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
In the UK, salmon roe is enjoyed as a rare delicacy served in small quantities to compliment a dish.