Friday, July 07, 2006

Is that really Wild Salmon?

The increase in information regarding the health benefits of Wild Salmon over farm raised salmon has become well known to consumers over the past few years. That’s the good news.

The bad news seems to be improperly or mislabeled salmon in many fish markets and grocery stores around the country. Since Wild Salmon is only available from Pacific Salmon Stocks, the various species that make up the Wild Salmon Market are unfamiliar to many people on the Atlantic Coast or Midwest. We have a complete description of each species on our website

Many times the fish is simply labeled “Salmon” or “Wild Salmon” at the store or fish market. Since true Wild Salmon sell for appreciably more than the farm raised salmon, opportunities abound for mischief!

Of the Six Species of Wild Salmon (including Steelhead), three are considered “premium” (Sockeye, Steelhead and King (Chinook) Salmon). One Species, Coho is considered a very good value although its oil content is somewhat lower and the meat color is somewhat lighter pink. Two species, Chum & Pink Salmon, when caught in the traditional fisheries close to shore are quite fragile and are usually canned or smoked.

Here are some tips to avoid common purchasing mistakes when buying salmon outside the Pacific Northwest and Alaska:
  1. If the Salmon is not identified by species…. Don’t buy it!
  2. “Fresh” Salmon can be up to a week old from time of catch to display in the store. Use you nose! Look carefully at the fish to make sure it is moist and has not begun to dry out.
  3. Look at the skin & spotting this will give you a good idea of the species, again check out our Wild Salmon descriptions at
  4. If the seafood counter person is the least bit evasive, go somewhere else.

Wild Salmon have a stronger flavor and have firmer meat than farm raised salmon. (Think Athlete vs. Couch Potato).

In the summer of 2005, The New York Times paid an independent laboratory to test “wild” salmon in New York City markets. Three-fourths of the stores had fraudulently labeled farmed salmon as wild, charging up to six times more than what it was worth. Farmed salmon can have high levels of PCBs, dyes and antibiotics. A chef in the story called buying authentic wild salmon “a crapshoot”. Link to the article.

In August 2006 edition of a “Leading Consumer Magazine” featuring “Dream Kitchens for Less” on the cover, there is an article on page 15 titled “The Salmon Scam – Wild often isn’t”. The secret shopping occurred from December 05 thru March 06. They found that out of 23 “Wild Salmon” samples purchased, only 10 were definitely caught in the wild! Link to the article.

What do you do as a consumer? There are many firms that offer exclusively Wild Salmon based in the Pacific Northwest. These companies stand by their reputations and have long standing commitments to the Wild Salmon Industry. As a group, we are both competitors and allies in providing genuine wild salmon & other wild seafood to consumers direct from our facilities. Most of these companies, along with ours, belong to the Seafood Choices Alliance and are committed to supporting sustainable fisheries worldwide.

Shipping seafood is expensive, so here is a tip about ordering: The best deals happen when you order 10lbs or more at a time. The total freight begins to decline at that point.

Example: 5lbs of Fish, with Gel Packs, Styro & Box weighs 8.5-10lbs and costs $36-$40 to ship. 10lbs of Fish weighs 14-15lbs shipping weight and costs $46-$54 to ship. In essence, the next 5lb of Fish costs $10-$15 dollars in freight!

Visit Our Online Store for Current Wild Salmon Availability.


Post a Comment

<< Home