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Our Sustainability Stance
4/26/2010
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All Vital Choice seafood is sustainably wild-harvested.

We limit our offerings to fish and shellfish from fisheries that are either certified sustainable, or considered clearly sustainable by experts in the field.
  • The independent Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certifies as sustainable the fisheries that provide our Alaskan Salmon, Alaskan Sablefish, Alaskan Halibut, Alaskan Cod, and troll-caught Pacific Albacore Tuna.
  • The MSC certifies that specific Vital Choice Salmon products come from sustainable Alaskan fisheries: Wild Red™ canned Alaskan Salmon*, Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil, Pouched Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, Silver and King Salmon portions, whole Alaskan Sockeye Salmon fillet, Smoked Alaskan Sockeye and King Salmon.
  • The State of Alaska certifies the sustainability of the fisheries that provide our Alaskan Salmon, Alaskan Sablefish, Alaskan Halibut, Alaskan Cod, Weathervane Scallops, Red King Crab, and Spot Prawns.
  • The Sockeye Salmon that goes into 8 out of our 11 Wild Red™ canned offerings come from British Columbian fisheries in western Canada that are undergoing the MSC assessment process.
  • The Portuguese fishery that supply our premium canned Sardines is certified sustainable by MSC, and the fishery that supplies our Portuguese Chub Mackerel is universally considered bountiful and sustainable.
*Three Wild Red™ canned products contain Alaskan Sockeye: Traditional 7.5 oz, Smoked 5.5. oz, and Skinless-Boneless Pouched 6 oz.

Vital Choice seafood ranked high for sustainability
The Monterey Bay Aquarium rates the sustainability of wild and farmed seafood from various locales. You can look up our offerings using the Web version of their SeafoodWATCH guide. The results of your search should prove reassuring!

Several of our offerings also appear on the “Super Green” list compiled by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program:
  • Wild Alaskan Salmon (All)
  • Troll-Caught North Pacific Albacore Tuna
  • British Columbia Spot Prawns
  • Farmed Mussels
  • Alaskan Cod*
To attain Super Green status, seafood must be rich in omega-3s (at least 250mg per serving), low in contaminants, and sustainably produced.

(*Alaskan Cod appears on the MBA's "Other Healthy 'Best Choices'" list, as it is a bit lower in omega-3s compared with seafood on the Super Green list.)

Wild Alaskan Salmon: A model of sustainability
The wild Alaskan Salmon runs that supply all of our flash-frozen Salmon fillets and smoked Salmon—and much of our canned Wild Red™ Sockeye Salmon—are among the healthiest on earth.

The Wild Alaskan Salmon fishery was the first U.S fishery to be certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), and the British Columbia Sockeye Salmon fishery that supplies part of our canned Wild Red™ line is undergoing assessment by the MSC.

Every year, tens of millions of Alaskan Salmon return to spawn in their natal rivers. When their journeys end, the nutrients they provide feed the people, animals, soils, and plants surrounding each of these hundreds of migratory rivers. (Some call this delicate web of life “Salmon nation.”)

In addition to the MSC, leading environmental organizations agree that the wild Alaskan Salmon fishery is thriving and fully sustainable:

World Wildlife Fund
“The world's seas have sustained and nurtured humanity for millennia... But today we are plundering the blue planet in a manner one observer has likened to the last buffalo hunt. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) was founded in 1997 to promote responsible fishing practices worldwide. Alaska’s Salmon fishery was the first in the U.S. to meet the MSC’s environmental standard.”

Blue Ocean Institute
“Alaska Salmon are abundant, management is good, and their habitat is fairly healthy. In contrast, most Pacific Northwest salmon have problems with serious depletion and degraded habitat from dams and logging.”

Seafood Choices Alliance
“90% of Salmon caught in the U.S. comes from Alaska where numbers have remained abundant because fisheries have been well-managed and their spawning rivers and streams have been largely preserved.”

Monterey Bay Aquarium
“We believe wild Salmon from a well-regulated fishery is the most environmentally sound choice. Alaska's wild salmon fishery is healthy and well-regulated”.

ENature
"You might be surprised to learn that it's more ecologically sound to eat certain stocks of wild Salmon than it is to eat the ubiquitous farmed variety. Salmon farming is doing more to threaten our native salmon populations than well-regulated harvests from the wild."

Oceans Alive/Environmental Defense
"Salmon caught in Alaska (chinook/king, chum, coho, pink, sockeye) are among the better-managed fish stocks in the United States. Alaskan Salmon populations are mostly healthy, and fish are caught with gear that does little damage to the environment."

Farmed Salmon: Aquaculture gone wrong
Fish and shellfish farming can be done sustainably, and is being operated sustainably in some places, especially with regard to certain (not all) shellfish farms and fresh water fish farms.

In fact, sustainable aquaculture is needed to help provide the world's people with healthy protein and fats. But to date, the multi-billion dollar, mostly Norwegian-owned farmed salmon industry has left a trail of environmental damage.

Salmon farming has too often decimated nearby wild salmon stocks and damaged critical seafloor ecosystems that form one key foundation of the ocean food chain.

For example, research published in peer-reviewed journals such as Science provides strong evidence that salmon farms in coastal British Columbia generate swarms of sea lice that kill migrating young salmon in very large numbers.

Most independent experts... even the former CEO of the world's biggest salmon farming firm... call for removal of salmon farms from salmon migration routes and salmon river outlets.

For a brief introduction to salmon farm issues, we recommend a short video from FarmedSalmonExposed.org. For more information on British Columbia's farmed salmon problems, see the videos found at CallingfromtheCoast.com.

Wild salmon beats farmed for nutritional quality
Few consumers are aware of the nutritional inferiority of farmed salmon.

While farmed salmon has about as much omega-3 fat as wild salmon does, farmed salmon are also (unlike wild salmon) high in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fats, derived from the grains and vegetable oils they are fed.

This matters both because omega-3 and omega-6 fats compete for absorption into our cells, and because the average American's diet is already extremely high in omega-6 fats, excess consumption of which has been linked to cancer risk and a range of health disorders.

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