My visit to Sitka, Alaska! Back in early June, I had the great honor and opportunity to visit Sitka, Alaska for the first time. I went with Isthmus to visit Sitka Salmon Shares and to shoot the very first episode of a brand new series called, Food For Thought.
All photos were taken by Paulius Musteikis
Food for Thought is a new Isthmus web series highlighting sustainable food systems throughout Wisconsin.
In the premiere episode of Food for Thought, host David Rodriguez, Chef Dan Fox and I traveled to Sitka, Alaska, to experience the sustainable fishing practices of Sitka Salmon Shares. Their community supported fishery model is making waves in the Midwest. Click here to watch the first episode.
Use code “FFT19” for $50 off any 2019 Sitka Salmon Share!!
In the second episode, we share what happens at the production plant and how their seafood travels and gets delivered to members.
Sitka Salmon Shares is a Community Supported Fishery (CSF) Seafood Delivery where members purchase their very own “shares” of their harvest before the fishing season begins. I’ve been a CSF member for almost 2 years.
Sustainable Seafood From Alaska
At Sitka Salmon Shares, they believe that sustainable food systems are built on the principles of accountability and transparency.
From the Sitka Salmon Shares Website:
“Many of our members come to us because they know our current seafood system is broken—filled with rampant fraud, poor-quality fish, and, frankly, deceit. Almost monthly, a new study appears that suggests that somewhere between 20 and 60 percent of U.S. fish is mislabeled. This is a moral and ethical failure, produced by an opaque system that seizes opportunities to put profits ahead of the health of consumers and fishermen alike. We don’t believe that this type of system is sustainable, which is why we commit ourselves to educating our members about the process of harvesting and distributing their fish. We most often do this through emails, social media, and newsletters, but we also bring our fishermen to the Midwest. Having our fishermen here allows our members to get even closer to the source of their food. This type of transparency makes our fishermen and our members more accountable to one another. Our members gain a better understanding of the challenges of small-boat fishing, and in turn, our fishing families produce the type of fish that can only come from knowing the end user.”
Sitka Salmon Shares
“At Sitka Salmon Shares, the fish you eat has been individually caught and processed by one of our fishermen-owners or partner fishermen (who we hope are on their way to ownership!). Our fishermen ownership program makes us distinct from the competition and intertwines the success of the company and our fishermen in important ways. They’re a key part of, not apart from, our business, and hold important leadership roles in the company. Our fishermen received an average of 10-30 percent more for their harvest, which can equate to $10,000 extra income in a given season. Many small-scale fishermen are often living on thin margins and fish for a living because of the way of life it affords them, not because they are getting rich! Our model helps create a more just system that values the hard work, high quality fish, and low-impact harvesting methods that help bring you some of the best protein on the planet.”
It was incredible for me to see how everything works firsthand. From meeting some of the actual fishermen, hearing their stories, learning why they do what they do, seeing what happens when the fish get to the plant and the care and attention of everything they do to deliver the best product possible to their members.
Become a CSF Member
I’ve been a Sitka Salmon Shares CSF member for over almost 2 years and can taste the difference. If you don’t have access to sustainable seafood where you live, definitely check them out. They can ship to you anywhere within the United States.
This was the trip of a lifetime for me! I had so much fun and learned so much! I am super thankful to Isthmus and Sitka Salmon Shares for this opportunity and was so honored to be a part of their brand new series, Food For Thought.
My Experience In Alaska
My experience in Alaska is one that I am extremely grateful for and one that I will never forget. Sitka is a quiet and very beautiful place. We got to hike, saw some bears, went fishing and I got to cook on top of a mountain with three very amazing individuals. Click here to read that post and see photos. This experience is one I will never forget and deserves it’s own post!
A huge thank you to Kori Feener, Drew Hartberg (these two did all of the work), Craig Bartlett, Lindsey Bushart, Marsh Skeele, Nic Mink, Taylor Mickelson, John Clarke, Dan Fox and David Rodriguez. What an amazing team and crew! What a blast! I will never forget this trip!