If you love fish, let us introduce you to Sitka Salmon Shares, a wild-caught Alaskan seafood delivery service.
Similar to a CSA—Community Supported Agriculture—which supports local farmers by prepaying for a set schedule of fruit and vegetable deliveries, Sitka Salmon Shares is a CSF—Community Supported Fishery.
The program supports small-boat family fishermen. You sign up in advance, and a box of magnificent, sustainanbly-caught fish appears on your doorstep monthly during the fishing season (April through December).
Sitka is a port city in southeastern Alaska, near Juneau, the state capital, which is inland.
Sitka sits on the west side of Baranof Island, on the Gulf of Alaska.
It’s there that a collective of local fishermen set out to sea, pull the catch into their boats and quickly bring it to port.
There, it’s filleted, blast frozen to -50°F and individually vacuum-sealed, locking in the fresh-caught flavor.
We received our first box of fish more than a year ago. It was so delicious that as soon as we had finished our catch, we signed up for membership.
We’re a very happy member. The fish is as good as it gets.
Now that it’s gifting time for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, consider it for gifting.
Don’t forget to gift yourself with a plan.
It’s a wonderful gift for anyone who:
Wants to eat more healthfully.
Wants to eat more wild-caught fish (as opposed to farmed fish).
Wants fish so good, it requires just the simplest cooking.
Appreciates a sustainable gift.
Wants to support family fishermen/women.
HOW GOOD IS IT?
Fish doesn’t get better than this.
Don’t worry for a second that the fish arrives frozen. Once you defrost and cook it, it tastes like it was just pulled out of the water.
We put two-thirds of our catch in the freezer, and one-third in the fridge, to slowly defrost.
The vacuum-packed seafood can sit in the fridge, defrosted for more than a week (we’ve had excellent results with salmon that spent two weeks in the fridge).
Sometimes we’ll eat our catch night after night, until it’s gone. We can’t stop eating it, and have seriously thought about adding a second membership so we can have even more fish.
The only thing that stops us is that we live in an apartment with one 42-inch refrigerator-freezer. We have not yet summoned up the strength to throw out all the ice cream, croissants, muffins and artisan breads to make way for the fish.
But we seriously consider it every time a new shipment arrives.
When we won’t be dining in for a week or so, some of the fish stays goes into the freezer for later in the month. It maintains its fresh taste without degrading.
If your freezer is 20 degrees below zero or colder, the fish stays fresh-tasting up up to 1 year without degradation.
If your freezer is warmer, the fish will last 2-3 months before its freshness starts to degrade.
You can likely keep the fish even longer than 3 months or a year; these are just the points at which the fish just starts to degrade.
HOW DO THE FISH TASTE?
The company’s motto is “from boat to doorstep.” The fish tastes like it was just pulled out of the water.
When we test fish or meat, we cook it simply, with no seasonings. The true test of flavor is how good they taste when they’re “naked.”
The Sitka Salmon Shares salmon and cod we tasted were so good, just steamed, that we had no need to add salt, pepper or lemon juice to the cooked fish. (We cooked it “medium rare.”)
We felt so good eating great fish for dinner, that we ordered a premium share in addition to our regular share.
WHAT YOU RECEIVE
You choose the species and quantity of fish for your monthly delivery, ranging from 3 to 9-month intervals (you can cancel at any time).
The 2020 catch is based on what’s seasonal and best in the sea. It typically includes:
Chatham Strait sablefish
Lingcod and Kodiak black rockfish (black bass)
Black cod, lingcod, Pacific cod
Copper River and Bristol Bay Sockeye Salmon
Sashimi-grade albacore tuna
Shellfish: Dungeness crab, spot prawns
Sitka king salmon
Spot shrimp (prawns)
A FEEL-GOOD PURCHASE