Where to Find Sustainable, Healthy Salmon
“To take care of ourselves, we must take care of our natural resources and the world around us.” – Elizabeth Herendeen
Salmon, benefits your eyes, skin, heart, brain, immune system, and more, because of its beneficial fatty acids.
But how do we enjoy healthy seafood while also ensuring that there is enough of them for our future?
Why should we care about the health of salmon and the ecosystem in which they live – does this really impact human health?
Where do we find seafood that’s healthy enough to eat?
And what are some delicious salmon recipes?
Salmon, as well as other fish, face a lot of threats from environmental damage, dam-construction, poisoned waters, and over-fishing. But you can help ensure salmon are healthy to eat and are available for future generations by voting with your dollars.
Loss of habitat, river, streams reduces fish re-population (dams, urban development, agriculture) by reducing salmon runs.
Alaska gives the opportunity to really learn these lessons with pristine, untouched salmon habitat. Bristol Bay is last best place with high-functioning watersheds.
Bristol Bay produces over 50% of the world’s sockeye and is the most valuable commercial salmon fishery on earth.
It sees 38 million fish seen each summer. But there are threats to these wild salmon, which will impact food for generations. You could line them head to tail and they would stretch to Alaska and back!
In this podcast, you’ll hear Elizabeth Herendeen share what she’s learned while working to protect our nation’s wild salmon fisheries since 2003. Below, I’ve outlined a recap of our conversation, where Elizabeth shared compelling information about sustainable salmon.
What are some of the bigger issues facing salmon today? How would these adverse impacts effect our food supply?
- There is an open pit pebble mine that may be built in Bristol Bay. It would certainly effect the salmon and the local ecosystem. It is very large and the scale is difficult to evaluate the impact of the massive infrastructure.
- Mining contaminants in salmon are a big deal for health of consumers as much as it is for the ecosystem. Salmon location is in critical and productive habitat, and the chemicals/toxins from the industrial mine would be easily transported into their habitat and food supply.
- The type of mine (copper) can impair salmon’s ability to smell back to their spawning site. This would impact their ability to repopulate.
Where is the hope for our future?
Seeing the momentum build & the relationships form between fishermen & chefs, sports fishermen and Native Elders, has been uplifting. People have hope through their connection to salmon. The power of people gives so much hope for the future.
It is possible to effectively co-exist with salmon and our human drive for development and energy, but our approach must change. We must consider value the environment as an essential part of our future. We can’t continue to destroy the environment in an endless quest for money. If the environment isn’t well, humans won’t be well.
What to look for in sustainable seafood:
There are many ways and many reasons to help ensure that salmon are healthy and available for today, and for future generations. Seek out Alaska-wild salmon because they are managed sustainable and from intact watersheds. Seek out Bristol Bay salmon. Seek out the stories of the food you’re purchasing to understand if it is truly healthy, sustainable, and fair.
Sustainable seafood resources: SeafoodWatch.org
Connect with Bristol Bay Sockeye
How-to videos on cooking salmon
Delicious salmon recipes
- Meyer lemon Beurre Blanc Over Salmon
- Asian Ginger Salmon
- Cilantro Salmon
- Grilled Salmon topped with Fresh Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
- Balsamic Braised Salmon
- Other Salmon Recipes
If this subject moves you, please be sure to share it on social media or email. Thanks for your support.
About our guest: Elizabeth Herendeen has been working to protect our nation’s wild salmon fisheries since 2003. She has a lot of experience in fish conservation issues. She’s also worked with Trout Unlimited, where she helped found the Why Wild Program as a way to educate and engage salmon consumers in today’s biggest salmon conservation issues. Elizabeth started the national Savor Bristol Bay campaign, and worked for the Southeast Alaska’s Regional Seafood Development Association and for the Alaskans Own Community Supported Fishery. In January 2014 Elizabeth joined the BBRSDA as its Marketing Director.