Wild Caught Fish at Good Earth
Good Earth only sells sustainably caught wild fish, favoring catch methods such as hook and line, handline, or trolling. Contrary to what farmed fisheries claim, overwhelming evidence has shown that farm raised fish are not relieving any pressure on wild fisheries, but instead creating more pollution that goes into our rivers and oceans. Additionally, farmed fisheries typically use antibiotics to control the spreading of disease in their crowded pens. Farm raised fish also have been shown to have high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which come from the fishmeal they are fed – the feed is designed to have high amounts of fish oil, and PCBs concentrate in oils and fat. PCBs are cancer-causing chemicals that have been banned since 1976 in the U.S. Read on to see why wild salmon is a perfect example as to why it’s so important to support wild caught fish.
The Incredible Changing Lives of Wild Salmon
At least 127 species rely on the nutrient rich wild salmon, making them a keystone species. Salmon are a critical food source for orcas, sea lions, harbor seals, sharks and many other marine species. They are also critical for land mammals like bears, raccoons, and mink. Thousands of fisherman in the Pacific Northwest and Marin County depend on salmon for their income as well.
The annual migration of salmon is miraculous and may remain one of the most incredible phenomena in nature. Salmon eggs begin their lives in the riparian habitat of rivers, or in hatcheries. The loss of their riparian habitat is one of the most serious threats to wild salmon, which is why many salmon are being born in hatcheries, including most of the salmon caught here in Marin County. Lake Sonoma has become a salmon fish hatchery, which has been channeled into many of the surrounding rivers, from where young salmon can find their way into the ocean. The young salmon are born, released into the hatchery into long lanes of water, where they can swim safely without danger from predators. Once they can survive, they are released into the surrounding rivers.
Scientists have discovered salmon have a sensory system that allows them to find their way to the ocean, by sensing the earth’s magnetic field. Salmon spend 1 – 3 years in the salt water, preparing for the most difficult part of their journey – returning home. The salmon travel upstream, through the same estuaries and rivers that they swam years ago, to reach their original birthplace. They eat nothing on their journey back, using the energy stored from their time in the ocean, and return to the exact stream or hatchery where they were born to lay eggs.
Some scientists believe they can smell the water, which helps them find the specific estuary or river they traveled before, and others believe that they have an internal compass that guides them. This challenging swim can be made even more challenging by humans building new damns or increased pollution, which is why hatcheries have been essential for the survival of wild salmon. After laying eggs, the salmon typically die within a week, their bodies creating a nutrient rich environment for their offspring and other fish, as well as surrounding soil landscapes.
Wild salmon are much more nutrient dense, containing more calcium, iron, potassium, and zinc than their farmed counterparts. Additionally, wild salmon have substantially less saturated fat when compared to farmed salmon, and less than half the sodium. Soy and corn (most likely containing GMO’s) are commonly fed to farmed salmon, as well as most other farmed fish, which is obviously not a part of their diets in the wild. Many scientists believe this is one of the many reasons for the nutritional differences, and one of the primary reasons Good Earth supports wild caught salmon exclusively.
Salmon remains one of the best sources of omega 3’s, which are just as important to children as they are for adults. While we may not automatically think of fish as a kid-friendly food, that doesn’t mean children will not enjoy it. Try seasoning kid-friendly salmon similarly to other proteins your children fancy.
Wild Salmon season begins August 1st in Marin!