Clover Leaf - Trace Your Catch

Species

Pink Salmon

The salmon in your product is pink salmon. Pink salmon are also known as Humpback Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha). They are the most common Pacific salmon, and account for about half of all salmon caught in Alaskan waters.

Size

Pink salmon are the smallest of the Pacific salmon, growing to be only 3-5 pounds (1.4 - 2.3 kg) at maturity. In the ocean, pink salmon are silver with blue-green backs and white bellies. When they are ready to spawn, they develop a hump on their backs, and change coloration to red with green blotches along their sides.

More Info

Alaska salmon spawn in thousands of freshwater rivers and lakes across the state. After incubation and hatching, the young migrate to the ocean swimming thousands of miles in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska as they mature to adulthood. After reaching adulthood, their instincts drive them to return to their exact place of birth to spawn, maintaining the same timing during the summer year after year. As salmon prepare to return to freshwater spawning ground, they build up reserves of fat and nutrients to carry them through their journey upstream. It is at this time, just prior to entering freshwater, that the salmon are harvested.

To learn even more about Pink salmon, visit the NOAA Fishwatch page.

SOCKEYE SALMON

The salmon in your product is sockeye salmon. Sockeye Salmon are commonly known as Red Salmon, or Blueback Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka).

Size

They grow to be 45 to 75 sm (1.5 to 2.5 feet) long, and weigh up to 7 kg (15 lbs). They get their names from their colors— in the ocean, they are silver with a dark blue-green back, but during spawning season when the salmon return to freshwater, their heads turn green and their bodies are bright red.

More Info

Sockeye are the most prized salmon species in the U.S., valued for their rich, orange-red meat as well as their roe, or eggs, which are used for salmon caviar. Alaska salmon spawn in thousands of freshwater rivers and lakes across the state. After incubation and hatching, the young migrate to the ocean swimming thousands of miles in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska as they mature to adulthood. After reaching adulthood, their instincts drive them to return to their exact place of birth to spawn, maintaining the same timing during the summer year after year. As salmon prepare to return to freshwater spawning ground, they build up reserves of fat and nutrients to carry them through their journey upstream. It is at this time, just prior to entering freshwater, that the salmon are harvested.


To learn even more about Sockeye Salmon, visit the NOAA Fishwatch page.

KETA SALMON

The salmon in your product is Keta salmon. Keta salmon (Oncorhynchus keta) are also known as Chum or Silverbite salmon. Keta Salmon have the largest range of all Pacific salmon species, and spend most of their life in the ocean.

Size

Keta salmon have leaner, less oily meat than other salmon species. They grow to be up to 3 ½ feet long,and the average weight is around 15 lbs, although they have been known to reach 35 lbs. Keta salmon are known for the changes males undergo during spawning—they develop dog-like fangs and their bodies take on a bold calico coloration pattern.

More Info

Alaska salmon spawn in thousands of freshwater rivers and lakes across the state. After incubation and hatching, the young migrate to the ocean swimming thousands of miles in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska as they mature to adulthood. After reaching adulthood, their instincts drive them to return to their exact place of birth to spawn, maintaining the same timing during the summer year after year. As salmon prepare to return to freshwater spawning ground, they build up reserves of fat and nutrients to carry them through their journey upstream. It is at this time, just prior to entering freshwater, that the salmon are harvested.

To learn even more about Keta salmon, visit the NOAA Fishwatch page.

COHO SALMON

The salmon in your product is farmed coho salmon. Coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) are also known as silver salmon.

ATLANTIC SALMON

The salmon in your product is farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo Salar). Almost all Atlantic salmon is farmed. The wild Atlantic salmon was the only salmon species native to the Atlantic Ocean but populations suffered in the industrialization and dam building in the northeast U.S. in the 1800’s.

Fishery Location

Alaskan Salmon Central Region

The salmon in your product was caught in the Central Region of Alaska.

The Central Region includes areas such as Bristol Bay, Cook Inlet and Prince William Sound. The vast majority of Alaska’s salmon is caught in this region with Bristol Bay being the major source for sockeye and Prince William Sound for pink salmon.

More Info

Managed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and by Pacific and North Pacific Fishery Management Councils, the Alaskan salmon fisheries are healthy and widely recognized as among the best managed fisheries in the world and a model of effective fishery conservation. A testament to the strong management structure of the fishery is the recognition by several third party sustainable seafood certifications.

Fisheries Management

Salmon are a complicated species to manage. Their lifestyle is complex—born in rivers and streams, Alaskan salmon spend much of their lives migrating far out into the Pacific Ocean to feed. When they are ready to spawn, they return to their native stream to complete their life cycle.

Prior to each fishing season, fisheries managers use the latest available scientific research to establish the numbers of fish that can be caught without damaging the health of the individual species or their habitat. The salmon fishing season is not opened until local fisheries managers determine that enough fish have passed upstream to lay eggs (known as escapement) to sustain the stock. After sufficient numbers of fish have escaped capture, managers will radio to the waiting boats that they can begin catching fish. The fishery is closed when the established total allowable catch is met.

Fishery managers also prepare both a Salmon Review, to assess the previous season, and a Salmon Forecast to help predict future catches in Alaska.

Alaskan Salmon Westward Region

The salmon in your product was caught in the Westward Region of Alaska.

The Westward Region includes areas such as Kodiak Island, the Alaska Peninsula and Chignik. This region is a source of both sockeye and pink salmon.

More Info

Managed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and by Pacific and North Pacific Fishery Management Councils, the Alaskan salmon fisheries are healthy and widely recognized as among the best managed fisheries in the world and a model of effective fishery conservation. A testament to the strong management structure of the fishery is the recognition by several third party sustainable seafood certifications.

Fisheries Management

Salmon are a complicated species to manage. Their lifestyle is complex—born in rivers and streams, Alaskan salmon spend much of their lives migrating far out into the Pacific Ocean to feed. When they are ready to spawn, they return to their native stream to complete their life cycle.

Prior to each fishing season, fisheries managers use the latest available scientific research to establish the numbers of fish that can be caught without damaging the health of the individual species or their habitat. The salmon fishing season is not opened until local fisheries managers determine that enough fish have passed upstream to lay eggs (known as escapement) to sustain the stock. After sufficient numbers of fish have escaped capture, managers will radio to the waiting boats that they can begin catching fish. The fishery is closed when the established total allowable catch is met.

Fishery managers also prepare both a Salmon Review, to assess the previous season, and a Salmon Forecast to help predict future catches in Alaska.

Alaskan Salmon Southeast Region

The salmon in your product was caught in the Southeast Region of Alaska.

The Southeast Region includes areas such as Ketchikan and Petersburg. This region is a source primarily of pink and keta salmon.

More Info

Managed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and by Pacific and North Pacific Fishery Management Councils, the Alaskan salmon fisheries are healthy and widely recognized as among the best managed fisheries in the world and a model of effective fishery conservation. A testament to the strong management structure of the fishery is the recognition by several third party sustainable seafood certifications.

Fisheries Management

Salmon are a complicated species to manage. Their lifestyle is complex—born in rivers and streams, Alaskan salmon spend much of their lives migrating far out into the Pacific Ocean to feed. When they are ready to spawn, they return to their native stream to complete their life cycle.

Prior to each fishing season, fisheries managers use the latest available scientific research to establish the numbers of fish that can be caught without damaging the health of the individual species or their habitat. The salmon fishing season is not opened until local fisheries managers determine that enough fish have passed upstream to lay eggs (known as escapement) to sustain the stock. After sufficient numbers of fish have escaped capture, managers will radio to the waiting boats that they can begin catching fish. The fishery is closed when the established total allowable catch is met.

Fishery managers also prepare both a Salmon Review, to assess the previous season, and a Salmon Forecast to help predict future catches in Alaska.

Alaskan Salmon

The salmon in your product was caught in the Alaska Salmon fishery.

The major regions for salmon in Alaska are the Central, Southeast, and Westward Regions. Bristol Bay is the largest source of sockeye and Prince William Sound the largest source of pink salmon in Alaska.

More Info

Managed by Alaska Department of Fish and Game, NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service, and by Pacific and North Pacific Fishery Management Councils, the Alaskan salmon fisheries are healthy and widely recognized as among the best managed fisheries in the world and a model of effective fishery conservation. A testament to the strong management structure of the fishery is the recognition by several third party sustainable seafood certifications.

Fisheries Management

Salmon are a complicated species to manage. Their lifestyle is complex—born in rivers and streams, Alaskan salmon spend much of their lives migrating far out into the Pacific Ocean to feed. When they are ready to spawn, they return to their native stream to complete their life cycle.'

Prior to each fishing season, fisheries managers use the latest available scientific research to establish the numbers of fish that can be caught without damaging the health of the individual species or their habitat. The salmon fishing season is not opened until local fisheries managers determine that enough fish have passed upstream to lay eggs (known as escapement) to sustain the stock. After sufficient numbers of fish have escaped capture, managers will radio to the waiting boats that they can begin catching fish. The fishery is closed when the established total allowable catch is met.

Fishery managers also prepare both a Salmon Review, to assess the previous season, and a Salmon Forecast to help predict future catches in Alaska.

Farmed Chile

The salmon in your product was farmed in the coastal waters of Chile.

Fishing Method

Purse Seine/gillnet Fishing

Most pink salmon are caught via the purse seine fishing method. Most sockeye and keta salmon are caught using the gillnet fishing method. See more info tabs for details. As salmon prepare to return to freshwater spawning ground, they build up reserves of fat and nutrients to carry them through their journey upstream. It is at this time, just prior to entering freshwater, that the salmon are harvested. The salmon harvest is seasonal lasting from about May through September for the species we source.

More Info on Purse Seine

Purse seine fishing boats are limited by Alaskan law to be less than 58 feet long. Fishermen using the purse seine fishing method locate large schools of salmon. This net has floats on the top, weights on the bottom, and a line running through the bottom of the net. A small boat is launched from the main vessel, pulling the net around the school of fish.

Once the fish are surrounded, the line running through the bottom of the net is pulled closed with a hydraulic power block. The fish are then lifted into the refrigerated hold of the vessel, and transported to the processing facility.

This method has very little negative impact on the environment, as the nets don’t disturb the bottom. Bycatch levels are low, and are usually made up of other salmon species.

More Info on Gillnet

Gillnet vessels are usually 30 to 40 feet in length. The gillnets they set have floats at the top and weights at the bottom, and are set perpendicularly to the direction the fish are traveling. Salmon are caught as they travel along the coast back towards their native streams to spawn.

The size of the mesh openings in the net is set to target the large males, and allows the smaller females to swim through the net and spawn successfully. Fish are handpicked out of the net when brought aboard, and refrigerated for transport to the processing facility.

Farmed

The salmon in your product was raised in an open net pen aquaculture system off the coast of Chile.

How does it work?

Farmed salmon start their life by being fertilized and incubated in a freshwater hatchery, where the water temperature and conditions in the facility are closely controlled.

More Info

After about a year and a half, the salmon reach about five inches in length and become smolts, and are ready to be moved into saltwater. At this stage, the smolts are moved into open net pens in the ocean off the coast of Chile. The fish are fed and harvested once they reach about ten pounds.

Cannery

USA

Your product was canned in Bellingham, United States of America

The salmon are delivered to the canning facility on a tender, and are sorted according to size and species.

More Info

First, the eggs are removed for use in salmon caviar products. Next the fish are thoroughly washed, cleaned, and then cut into steaks for canning. An automatic filling machine adds a salmon steak and a salt tablet to each can. The lids are attached to the cans, stamped with production codes, sealed, and vacuumed. The sealed cans are washed, inspected and then cooked in retort ovens to sterilize the salmon. After retorting, the cans are cooled and then packed on pallets for labeling and shipping, after which they are ready to be distributed to markets across North America.

TRACE COMPLETE Find Salmon Recipes

Thailand

Your product was canned in Thailand but underwent initial processing in Alaska.

The salmon are delivered to the processing facility on a tender, and are sorted according to size and species.

More Info

The fish are headed and gutted and then frozen. They are shipped to Thailand where they are thawed and pre-cooked so that the skin and bones can be easily removed. The skinless and boneless filets are placed into cans or pouches. The sealed cans or pouches are washed, inspected and then cooked in retort ovens to sterilize the salmon. After retorting, the cans are cooled and then packed on pallets for labeling and shipping, after which they are ready to be distributed to markets across North America.

TRACE COMPLETE Find Salmon Recipes

Thailand

Your product was canned in Thailand by underwent initial processing in Chile.

The salmon was harvested from farms in Chile.

More Info

The fish are headed and gutted and then frozen. They are shipped to Thailand where they are thawed and pre-cooked so that the skin and bones can be easily removed. The skinless and boneless filets are placed into cans or pouches. The sealed cans or pouches are washed, inspected and then cooked in retort ovens to sterilize the salmon. After retorting, the cans are cooled and then packed on pallets for labeling and shipping, after which they are ready to be distributed to markets across North America.

TRACE COMPLETE Find Salmon Recipes

Chile

Your product was canned in Chile after the salmon was harvested from the farm there.

More Info

The salmon is harvested from open net pens in the ocean to the processing facility. The fish are headed and gutted, skinned and boned. The skinless and boneless filets are placed into cans or pouches. The sealed cans or pouches are washed, inspected and then cooked in retort ovens to sterilize the salmon. After retorting, the cans are cooled and then packed on pallets for labeling and shipping, after which they are ready to be distributed to markets across North America.

TRACE COMPLETE Find Salmon Recipes

China

Your product was canned in China but underwent initial processing in Alaska.

The salmon are delivered to the processing facility on a tender, and are sorted according to size and species.

More Info

The fish are headed and gutted and then frozen. They are shipped to China where they are thawed and pre-cooked so that the skin and bones can be easily removed. The skinless and boneless filets are placed into cans or pouches. The sealed cans or pouches are washed, inspected and then cooked in retort ovens to sterilize the salmon. After retorting, the cans are cooled and then packed on pallets for labeling and shipping, after which they are ready to be distributed to markets across North America.

TRACE COMPLETE Find Salmon Recipes