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How Alaska Fresh is addressing climate change

Updated: Feb 29

There is no denying that our planet is undergoing intense change due to a rise human activity and population growth since the Industrial Revolution. Rising global temperatures make the ocean more acidic which affect the size of salmon and their ability to deeply bury eggs for successful reproduction, affecting future harvest volume. Active wild fires and extreme high temperatures cause shipping delays, along with power outages that cause runs on our local dry ice suppliers. At Alaska Fresh, we aim to be as intentional as possible when deciding exactly what resources to use in our business processes.

Here is a list of ways we aim to address climate change:

  1. Bundled shipping to all customers on one dedicated day of the week limits our carbon footprint in the realm of transportation.

  2. Eco-friendly packaging - we started out with styrofoam and felt terrible about the waste going into landfills. We offered a recycling credit to our local customers but that did not address our nationwide shipments. Then we switched to cardboard boxes with insulated liners made of recycled denim, then to recycled cotton. The recycling aspect was great but it still didn't address the waste of the denim liners if customers did not reuse them. By the end of the year we will offer a styrofoam alternative insulation that dissolves in water, creating less waste in the landfill. We still offer a package recycling program to our local customers who receive deliveries in boxes. Customers can return the packaging in reusable condition for a credit towards their next online order.

  3. Eat all parts of the fish. Most countries regularly serve a whole fish (bones, eyes and all) for a meal. Not so much in the United States and we are missing out! We encourage all of our customers to consume the wild salmon skin and layer of nutritious gray fat alongside the flesh. You do not want salmon without the skin because you are missing out on multitudes of omega-3 fatty acids nestled in the skin and gray fat layer. It's also a waste for the processor to remove the skin and toss it. We also sell minced salmon (locally known in Alaska as "salmon scrape") which is delectable meat scraped off of the bones.

  4. The port where our fish are processed runs a fishing web (net) recycling program. Alaskans use about 800,000 to one million pounds of fishing web in their nets per year. Most old web gets dumped in community landfills, shortening a landfill’s useful life and adding expense to municipal operations. Salmon gillnets and seines are made from nylon, which can be re-processed to manufacture new products like telephones, computer parts, toothbrushes, carpeting and bicycle seats, among others.

  5. We are proud supporters of the Prince William Sound Science Center and Copper River Watershed Project. A portion of your purchase funds these important science research institutions based in Cordova, Alaska, that study and support the health of the watersheds where our fish are born, travel, spawn and regenerate.

  6. Food accessibility. We believe that climate justice includes racial justice. Wild protein should be available to everyone at an affordable price point which is why we offer smoked salmon and wild Alaskan pink salmon as affordable alternatives to Copper River sockeye.

  7. We only source from two sustainable fisheries: the Prince William Sound and Copper River fishing districts. What does this mean?

    • Both districts are certified by the Marine Stewardship Council as sustainable

    • Our fish are responsibly caught with a gill-net (salmon) or longline (halibut) versus a trawler boat which combs the bottom of the ocean floor taking up whatever marine life is in it's path.

    • There are a limited number of commercial fishing permits. These are heavily regulated by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This means that no one can willy-nilly go out to the sea and over-harvest fish like we are seeing in the Chesapeake Bay area, Florida and China. When you source from Alaska Fresh, you can rest easy knowing that what you make in your kitchen, put on to your plate and into your body is not causing environmental and societal degradation in coastal communities across the globe.

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