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National Seafood Month SALE. Live smarter and healthier with Alaska Gold Seafood.

October is National Seafood Month, and we’d like to highlight our Alaska Gold Sablefish and our  Alaska Gold Keta Salmon, the healthy qualities of Alaska seafood, and the importance of family meals.

Our Alaska Gold Sablefish is rich, buttery and just loaded with omega-3s, the importance of which we’ll highlight in this and several other emails later this month.

Our Alaska Gold Keta Salmon is a family-friendly and affordable way to get wild-caught salmon in our diets. Mild in flavor and affordable for families on a budget, share a meal together with your family with our Alaska Gold Keta Salmon. Here’s a note from a customer about our Alaska Gold Keta Salmon: “I usually prepare the keta salmon in a little coconut oil, about 4 mins/side and serve with some mango salsa. (Mango, lime juice a little onion and cilantro, salt & pepper). Sometimes I serve it on a bed of lettuce. Works for breakfast, lunch or dinner […] This is the recipe my family and I enjoy. We like to taste the salmon and not hide it with too many other flavors.”

 This October with National Seafood Month we’d like to highlight the importance of eating smarter and healthier with seafood. 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are preventable through lifestyle and nutrition changes. One nutritional improvement we can make is including more heart and brain-healthy omega-3s to our diets by eating more seafood.

Seafood and brain health are closely connected, as eating seafood can help reduce anxiety, stress and headaches, and even protect against depression. In addition, eating 8-12 ounces of seafood per week when pregnant can improve future babies’ IQs, cognitive development and eye health. Seafood also supplies children with the nutrients essential for strong bones, brain development and a healthy immune system.

In addition to celebrating our Alaska Gold Sablefish and Alaska Gold Keta Salmon and the brain-healthy omega-3s in Alaska seafood, this National Seafood Month we’d like to celebrate the all-important family meal. We are a family-oriented company with many of our fishermen coming from multiple generations of fishing families who have been part of our cooperative over the 75 years since its formation. Community and family are extremely important to us as an organization. Community and family are also important at mealtimes. Children who grow up having family meals together tend to be healthier and on average consume about 130 fewer daily calories compared to people who eat out more often. Benefits to making a routine of having a family meal together at home include a 12% reduction in being overweight, a 35% reduction in disordered eating, and a 24% increase in likelihood to select healthier foods.

This is a great time to renew a commitment to serving meals that nourish you and your family members’ bodies, brains, and lives. The benefits of seafood for kids, big and small, are really important, too! Seafood, like wild salmon and sablefish, supply the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s essential for strong bones, brain development, and healthy heart and immune system. Studies show that for children eating seafood just twice a week leads to better attention span, better grades, and better sleep. The healthy fats found naturally in seafood, the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are essential to our health. Here’s a big bonus: Seafood has more vitamin B12 and vitamin D than any other type of food.

In addition, our Alaska Gold Seafood is a super-convenient family meal. The seafood portions we sell via our website can be cooked in 15 minutes or less. In a recent customer survey, over 95% of the respondents said that “Cooking with Alaska Gold Seafood is an easy weeknight meal. Super convenient!”

Enjoy our Alaska Gold Seafood in meals with family and friends and take advantage of savings on our our Alaska Gold Sablefish and our Alaska Gold Keta Salmon. Sales ends October 31st midnight PST.

Stay tuned for more highlights this month!

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Make premium-quality wild Alaska Seafood part of your regular routine with our Alaska Gold Loyalty Program

There are so many reasons to make wild Alaska seafood a regular part of your diet. 

Wild Alaska seafood…

* helps restore and maintain mental health

*relieves children’s asthma,

*and even helps us live longer and more productive lives.

Eating seafood two or three times per week can reduce risk of chronic disease. Making seafood a regular part of our diets not only lowers blood pressure, but can help potentially reduce risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer’s, and other chronic diseases.

Make premium-quality wild Alaska Seafood part of your regular routine with our Alaska Gold Loyalty Program.  Sign up for an Alaska Gold Club Loyalty Program subscription and get delivery of the fish you select at a regularly discounted price. Our Alaska Gold Loyalty Program offers are on sale through September 30th.

With a subscription to the Alaska Gold Loyalty Program, you get a regularly discounted price on a recurring Alaska Gold seafood subscription order. You only enter your credit card information once. Stop delivery any time you want. See below for how it works:

Alaska Gold Club Wild King Salmon Portions

After your first order, the default is set for monthly recurring shipments. Your order will automatically renew in one month. So, if you ordered on October 5th, your order will automatically renew with your credit card charged on the 5th of November, and then ship out on the next available shipping date.

However, you can schedule with us and we can set other dates or a different order frequency. For example, some customers have their orders renew every 6 weeks. Others have their orders renew every 3 weeks. And still other customers sometimes have us pause their recurring order and call us to renew as needed.  

We can also switch up what items you receive in your order. Maybe in one order you receive our king salmon portions and in the next order we ship our halibut portions. Just contact us via email or phone and we’re happy to take care of you. There is no cost to join!

In addition, each frozen item you add to your subscription order will be 15% off. So, if you regularly receive our Alaska Gold Sablefish Portions, you can add a 5-pound box of our king salmon portions for 15% off the a la carte price. Or, design your own variety pack using our seafood offerings, and we’ll set a regularly discounted price. Just contact us via email or phone.

Unlike the local fish market, your supermarket, or many other online sources for wild-caught seafood, as a fishermen-owned co-op we actually produce wild-caught seafood, so we’re not middlemen. We are the fishermen who feed families around the country. Because we are the actual supplier, we will shine at producing premium-quality seafood for customers in bulk quantities.

Many of our customers see the cost savings in ordering 10, 20 or even 30-pound bulk boxes of our Alaska seafood. But not everybody has a freezer big enough to handle bulk orders of wild-caught seafood. We recommend sharing with friends to enjoy the cost savings. Or, sign up for one of our Alaska Gold Club Loyalty Program subscriptions and receive a regularly discounted price for premium-quality seafood delivered to your door.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re happy to walk you through any help you need deciding if our Alaska Gold Loyalty Program is for you.

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Seafood is brain food. Here is how wild Alaska Seafood can help restore and maintain mental health.

The impact of diet and lifestyle play a large role in our mental health. The most positive lifestyle changes that we can make to reduce risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and mental health disorders include increasing physical activity, building healthy social relationships, and eating a nutrient-dense diet. Studies are coming to a consensus that the inclusion of seafood in our diets is essential to maintaining mental health.

The brain is largely composed of omega-3 fatty acids. Seafood, particularly fatty fish like sablefish and wild salmon, is rich in vital long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3s), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), both of which contribute to brain health. These omega-3s also benefit heart health, the immune system, and other aspects of our health.

DHA, the dominant omega-3 in our brains is a critical component of every cell. DHA increases growth for new cells and protection for existing cells, in addition to increasing neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to connect one brain cell to the next. Omega-3 fatty acids also help to decrease inflammation in the brain, which can occur with traumatic brain injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s Disease or Multiple Sclerosis.

EPA and DPA from seafood help to protect, restore and rebuild the brain.

When it comes to prevention of depression and reducing symptoms of depression, diet is a well-known factor. Most commonly associated with reducing symptoms of depression is the Mediterranean diet, which includes fruits and vegetables, legumes and seafood. EPA, in particular, has neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effects that are suggestive to reduce depression.

Seafood is also an essential component for maintaining mental health for expecting mothers. Research that measures blood levels of omega-3s during pregnancy shows a clear link between low blood levels of omega-3s and increased rates of post-partum depression. Seafood is one of the best sources of Omega-3s; however, pregnant women tend to minimize their intake of seafood during pregnancy because of the mercury content in seafood. Yes, longer living predatory fish such as shark, mackerel and swordfish have higher levels of mercury and should be avoided by pregnant women. However, seafood such as wild salmon, have lower levels of mercury. In addition, wild salmon and sablefish have high levels of Omega-3s and selenium, the latter of which protects against mercury toxicity.

Avoiding seafood entirely makes for diets insufficient in omega-3 fatty acids and can place women at risk for developing perinatal depression. Studies recommend that pregnant women should consume 4 ounces of fatty fish per week, twice a week as recommended by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Especially important is to include seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury, such as wild salmon and sablefish.

Still under the radar is just how important vitamin D is to our overall health and how good a source of vitamin D that seafood is. Sablefish and wild salmon are especially good sources of vitamin D3. A 6-ounce sablefish portion has 90% of the daily value for vitamin D, as does coho salmon, while a 6-ounce sockeye salmon portion has 100% of the daily recommended value of vitamin D.  Vitamin D plays a role in neuromuscular function and influences cellular growth. It also enhances the secretion of insulin. Low levels of vitamin D are found in people who suffer from depression, anxiety and are associated with cognitive decline. Due to modern lifestyles, people spend less time outdoors in the sun and are deficient in this key ingredient. Dietary vitamin D coming from seafood, one of the best natural dietary sources of vitamin D (particularly wild salmon and sablefish ) can help reduce There is also increasing evidence that vitamin D can help reduce the risk of dying from cancer, particularly the vitamin D3 in seafood.

With all of the health benefits illustrated here, there are great reasons to make seafood a regular part of your diet. Eat seafood and be happy. It’s truly brain food.

Sources

Zhang Y et al. “Intakes of fish and polyunsaturated fatty acids and mild-to-severe cognitive impairment risks: a dose-response meta-analysis of 21 cohort studies.” Am J Clin Nutrition. 2016; 103(2): 330-340

Grimm et al. “Omega-3 fatty acids, lipids, and apoE lipidation in Alzheimer’s disease: a rationale for multi-nutrient dementia preventia.” Journal of Lipid Research 2017; 58(11):2083- 2101

Klimova, Blanka and Valis, Martin. “Nutritional Interventions as Beneficial Strategies to Delay Cognitive Decline in Healthy Older Individuals.” Nutrients 2018.

Cutuili, Debora. “Functional and Structural Benefits Induced by Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids During Aging.” Current Neuropharmacology 2017: 15(4): 534- 542

Li Y. et al. “Dietary patterns and depression risk: A meta-analysis.” Psychiatry Res. 2017;253:373–382. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2017.04.020

Bountziouka V et al. J “Long-term fish intake is associated with less severe depressive symptoms among elderly men and women: the MEDIS (Mediterranean Islands Elderly) epidemiological study.” Aging Health 2009 Sep;21(6):864- 80. doi: 10.1177/0898264309340693. Epub 2009 Jul 8.

Berk, Sanders, et al. “Vitamin D deficiency may play a role in depression.” Med Hypotheses 2007; 69(6): 1316-9. Epub 2007 May 11

Cole G. et al. “Omega-3 fatty acids and dementia.” Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids 2009 Aug-Sep; 81(0): 213-221

Golding J, Steer C, et al. “High levels of depressive symptoms in pregnancy with low omega-3 fatty acid intake from fish.” Epidemiology 2009: 20: 598-603

Sontrop J, Avison, W.R., et al “Depressive symptoms during pregnancy in relation to fish consumption and intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids.” Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology 2008: 22(4): 389-399

Sontrop J, et al. “High levels of depressive symptoms in pregnancy with low omega-3 fatty acid intake from fish.” Epidemiology 2009: 20(4); 598-603

Patrick R., Ames B. “Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior.” FASEB 2015 (29): 2207-2222

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Savory Easy Salmon Hand Pies Quick Recipe

Hand pie made with wild salmon burger meat.

Easy Salmon Hand Pies Recipe Idea…

There are plenty of opportunities to create a wild salmon hand pie to your liking, so we are not posting a recipe here but a recipe idea to get you started creating fun Easy Salmon Hand Pies.

Easy Salmon Savory Hand Pies Recipe Idea: Mix uncooked Alaska Gold Easy Salmon Burger Meat with sauteed onion and celery, fresh tarragon, cream, and bread crumbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Roll out 6″ rounds of whole wheat pastry dough and fill with salmon mixture. Seal, egg wash, and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

The picture and recipe idea come to us from Beth Short-Rhoads and her Sitka, Alaska Fireweed Dinner Delivery Service.
#mealdelivery #handpies #SitkaAlaska #EasySalmon #WildSalmon #AlaskaGoldSalmon #WildAlaskaSeafood #nourishingmeals

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Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon with Compound Butter Recipe

Grilled Sockeye Salmon Recipe.
Alaska Sockeye Salmon with Compound Butter Recipe. Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

Ingredients

4 portions Alaska Gold Sockeye Salmon portions
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Cooking spray
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper

Remove thawed Alaska Gold Sockeye Salmon portions from refrigerator 15 minutes before cooking.  Heat grill to 375°F.  

Cut 2 pieces of wide, heavy-duty aluminum foil about 6-inches longer than the salmon side.  Stack the foil pieces (shiny side down) on a baking sheet and spray generously with cooking spray.  Place the salmon, skin side down, in the middle of the foil.  Fold the foil sides and ends up (1 to 2-inches) to make a shallow pan around the salmon, leaving at least a 1-inch margin around the fish.  Season salmon with salt and pepper.  

Carefully transfer the foil pan to the center of the preheated grill.  Do not cover the salmon with foil or close the foil over the salmon.  Close grill cover and cook for 10 to 13 minutes, cooking just until fish is lightly translucent in the center – it will finish cooking from retained heat.  Remove from the grill and let rest a few minutes before serving.

Variation: Roast in an oven preheated to 375°F, cooking 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly translucent in the center.  Be sure to let the salmon rest a few minutes before serving.

Directions

Fresh Herb, Shallot and Lemon Butter:
1-1/2 cups finely chopped shallots or green onions
1 pound unsalted butter, divided
1/4 cup Chardonnay
1/4 cup chopped mixed fresh leafy herbs, such as thyme, tarragon, dill, parsley, or basil
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Sauté the shallots in 3 tablespoons of the butter until soft but not brown.  Add the wine and continue to cook until all of the liquid is evaporated.  Cool completely.

Soften the remaining butter with an electric mixer or by hand and stir in the shallot mixture, herbs, lemon zest and juice.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or roll into logs, wrap tightly in aluminum foil and freeze for later use.

To serve, cut and place thick coin-sized pieces of compound butter on top of hot fish and let it melt.  If using frozen butters, soften them just a bit before placing them on top of your grilled foods so that they can begin to melt as you bring them to the table.

Photo and recipe courtesy of Alaska Seafood.

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The Best Niçoise Tuna Salad is made with the Best Tuna

Have you ever had our SPC Gourmet Canned Tuna? This meal inspiration comes from Beth Short-Rhoads who operates Fireweed Dinner Service in Sitka, Alaska. Sitka is where most of our wild salmon, halibut and sablefish are landed. Our Sitka fishermen take great pride in producing superior quality seafood. In addition to producing, they also appreciate enjoying high-quality seafood. Which is why many of our finicky fishermen carry our SPC Gourmet Canned Tuna on their boats. The people of Sitka love this canned tuna, too–it’s just so good that many of us eat it straight out of the can. Which is why it makes so much sense for Beth to use it for her delicious dinner delivery service in Sitka. But this Niçoise Salad from Beth is just a wonderful way to prepare our tuna for a full well-balanced meal, too.

Here is how Beth prepares her Niçoise salad: Take chunks of our Gourmet Canned Tuna and put together with olives, cucumber slices, and tomato wedges on crisp romaine lettuce. The dressing is made from parsley, fresh rosemary, capers, lemon juice, olive oil, and as little bit of mayonnaise. Garnish with thinly sliced radish, purple cabbage ribbons, and rosemary sprigs. 

Enjoy!

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Celebrate the people behind our Alaska Gold Seafood

Dear Alaska Gold customers,

Food has always been a human story. Food brings people together. We share community and fellowship with those we love by breaking bread with them. Food is sacred. It’s what we put in our bodies and gives us life. In the case of Seafood Producers Cooperative, producers put their hearts and souls into bringing a pure, wild, minimally processed protein to people who want to enjoy quality ingredients. The people behind this food work hard, each bringing their unique style and background to their craft. 

The fishermen-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative are a collective of optimists and some of the last producers of a pure, unadulterated wild protein produced using traditional fishing methods on this planet. We are courageous, free-spirited and independent but also community-minded. Because anybody who has ever fished for a living knows that there will come a moment when you will have to depend on your peers, your fellow fleet members, and your community for help. Our producer-owners are Alaskans. They’re also New Yorkers who hitchhike to Alaska looking for adventure but end up staying because they can’t imagine any other way to live. We are independent-minded. Many of us are highly opinionated. But some of us are also soft-spoken, humble because we’ve been humbled by nature. Some of us were school teachers who, looking for summer income, got hooked and stayed in Alaska to fish. Some of us were executives for Wall Street banks or Silicon Valley start-ups who ditched those lives to go fishing. For some, fishing for a living is all we know and all we’’ll ever know.

Meet some of our producers below. And don’t forget that our Diamond anniversary coupon expires Friday May 31st at midnight PST. Use the following coupon code for $75 off on orders over $300: akgolddiamondanniversary

Thank you for being part of our history,

The Producer-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative, whose products are available for home delivery at AlaskaGoldBrand.com.

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Summer 2019 Frozen Seafood Shipping Schedule for Holiday Weeks

Holidays will drastically change our shipping schedule, so please plan ahead and carefully read below if you’re wondering when to expect your frozen seafood order. Note: We will be closed Monday, September 2nd to observe the Labor Day Holiday. We expect to experience exceptionally high shipping volume on the Tuesday after Labor Day. We will do our best to ship all orders on the Tuesday following Labor Day. However, we will contact you if we think we may need to hold any regular 1-2 day ground shipments for shipping on Wednesday.

Also, note that orders placed during the week prior to Labor Day (August 26th-30th) will be affected by potential delays. Orders placed on Tuesday August 27th after 9:45am CST shipping to addresses in the 3-day shipping zone (see map below) will ship out the week after Labor Day. Orders placed on Wednesday August 28th after 9:45am CST shipping to addresses in the 2-day shipping zone (see map below) will ship out the week after Labor Day. Orders placed on Thursay August 29th after 9:45am CST shipping to addresses in the 1-day shipping zone (see map below) will ship out the week after Labor Day.

As always, please contact us before ordering if you need an order by a specific date. There is a possibility we can shepherd an order through to get there in time, but note we will be available only on a limited basis.

We hang our hats on quality and service. We are not Amazon and we recognize that we are not going to win the speediest seafood shipping award, but if you need an order by a specific date, please contact us and we can at least do our best to shepherd that order to you in time. But the best thing to do is always plan ahead.

Frozen seafood shipping transit map for



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Celebrating the special place where we work

Place is an essential element of our Alaska Gold Seafood story. And at 3 points in our Co-op’s 75-year history the special place where we operate has forever altered who we are as a fishermen-owned co-op. To celebrate our 75-year anniversary, we’d like to share those stories of place here:

  1. In 1952, several Co-op fishermen began pioneering fishing spots on the Fairweather Grounds. Fishing at the Grounds opened the Co-op up to some very productive fishing grounds in some of the wildest country on the planet.
  2. The 1964 Good Friday earthquake and subsequent tsunami destroyed just about everything that the Co-op had in the region, leaving the Co-op in an existential crisis.
  3. The building of our fishermen-owned Sitka plant satisfied our Co-op’s over-riding concern for maintaining a top-qualityproduct from ocean to market.

….

The Fairweather Grounds

In 1952, Toivo Andersen in his boat the Greta, Oscar Vienola in the Anna Marie, and Arthur Vienola in the Belle J pioneered salmon trolling in the Fairweather Grounds. Fairweather Grounds is a misnomer, as the grounds are known for being rich with life but surrounded by deep, unforgiving waters and open ocean. Ferocious winds and choppy waves hit where the continental shelf rises toward the surface of the ocean, creating hazardous conditions for the small fishing vessels that operate there.

To navigate, the original Fairweather fishermen used compasses, fathometers, and radio direction finders that enabled them to take bearings on each other. When their fathometers indicated they were in fifty fathoms, they would find themselves on the edge of the shelf, the most productive waters, and they would let go a halibut anchor with buoy line and flagpole attached so that they could orient themselves and find it again. After discovering how rich the grounds were for fish, these pioneering fishermen would bring a new innovation that had been a “secret weapon” during the final days of World War II, the Loran (Long Range Navigation). Loran required skill and tinkering, but gave these fishermen a better chance of finding their best spots. As it became easier to find the shelf, other boats began following these Fairweather fishermen out to the Fairweather Grounds. All these fishermen risked and continue to risk rough seas in one of the wildest corners on the planet.

On the coast near the Fairweather Grounds, Lituya Bay has been a refuge for salmon and halibut fishermen during storms and it has a fascinating history documented well in one of our late fishermen Francis Caldwell’s Land of the Ocean Mists. Entrance to Lituya Bay can be made provided the tide is flooding and outside swell conditions are not causing the bar to break. Judging the current is key. At high tide the entrance is about 1,000 feet wide, but at low water it is reduced by shallow banks of sand and gravel to 600 feet. If a heavy swell is breaking, the entrance is then reduced to about 150 feet between breakers. The tremendous volume of water that flows into and out of the bay every 6 hours is forced through this narrow entrance, producing, at times, 12-knot currents.

Following a 1958 earthquake that registered 8.3 on the Richter scale, a massive tsunami wave shot water up 1720 feet up a ridge pulling all of massive trees and glacial boulders off the surrounding valley out of the bay, the scars of which are still visible. Three fishing vessels were anchored for the night when this massive wave, the largest wave in recorded history, came crashing upon them. Two boats and their fishermen were lost to sea. Another fishermen, Howard Ulrich on the F/V Edrie, rode out the wave, watching the eerie sight of tree tops snapping below his boat, and his frantic mayday was heard by the fleet in areas surrounding.

1958 Lituya Bay article

For days after the events of the July 9, 1958 earthquake the fishing fleet in the area was demoralized. Many could not shake the melancholy feeling that they could easily have been anchored in the bay at the time of the giant wave. And after considerable meditation, a few fishermen resolved never again to anchor in Lituya Bay. The fact remains, today as in 1958, that if one is going to fish the Fairweather Grounds sooner or later one will be forced into Lituya Bay by a blow. The fisherman is then subject to the mathematical odds that there will be another giant wave.

The Loran with the Fairweather Range in the Background.
The Loran captained by John Murray with the Fairweather Range in the background. The Loran was lost in an accident at sea in 2005. Murray survived and is now the captain of the Seabear.

The Good Friday Disaster

In 1962, the Co-op installed a freezer capable of handling halibut and salmon in Seward, Alaska. Production, prices and ownership numbers were at record highs for the Co-op, but nobody could have foreseen the upcoming disaster. On Good Friday, 1964, an earthquake that measured 8.6 on the Richter scale struck Alaska. The shaking lasted four long, terrible minutes and the epicenter was very near the Co-op plant in Seward. Massive submarine slides started 30 seconds after the quake hit and generated enormous seismic waves. All plant employees had fortunately gone home for supper, but the plant, which stood on a dock overhanging the water, was completely destroyed. Not a board left! Divers, hired to search the wreckage, only found a hole where the plant stood!! The entire Seward waterfront disappeared and the new shoreline was 300 feet inland from its pre-quake tide line.

As an “act of God” disaster, nothing could be recovered from insurance. The plant, however, did have flood insurance on a boiler. The Co-op thought it obvious that that the boiler washed away in a “flood,” but the insurance company had other thoughts. It was ruled that the Co-op wasn’t entitled to a single cent. In addition to a total loss, the Co-op now had to pay considerable attorney fees in their lost suit. One important caveat to being a fishermen-owned business: With ownership comes inherent risk that the fishermen bear, although this risk is borne across a cooperative of owners in our case. In a history of our Co-op published in 1980 by fishermen Francis and Donna Caldwell, The Ebb and The Flood, this chapter ends with a bitter but realistic note that says it all about fishing:

“To lose something, a 50-pound trolling lead today, an anchor tomorrow, once in a while a boat, or even a life, is common in the [fishing] industry. The sea gives, the sea takes away.”

During this time and in subsequent years, there was much discussion of dissolving the Co-op. But the courage of the board of directors at that time to keep the Co-op alive and solvent stands as a keystone in the history of the Co-op.

………….

The Sitka Plant

With the Good Friday Disaster in the backs of their minds, the Co-op’s Board of Directors proceeded with caution to build the fishermen-owned plant in Sitka, with construction beginning in November 1979. At the heart of the Co-op’s decision to forge ahead with the Sitka plant was its overriding concern for maintaining a top-quality product from ocean to market.

Sitka was chosen because of its proximity to salmon trolling grounds like the waters of Cape Edgecumbe and the edge of the continental shelf, waters rich with halibut and sablefish. Big overhead came out of fishermen-owners’ settlements and there was great discussion about how to allocate the costs of building the plant fairly to all owners. Nonetheless, there were 95 Co-op owner resignations in 1981 and 120 in 1983, as the Co-op was losing money to fund the plant. It took extraordinary sacrifice to realize this dream of having a fishermen-owned plant, and those fishermen with the courage to stick with the Co-op helped keep alive a ruggedly independent organization owned by and for fishermen with tremendous pride in the products they produce. This pride is at the core of who we are.

I recently spoke with Lee Krause, Board President at the time that the plant was built, and he noted that it was a busy time with architects and builders coming to Sitka to make the plant a reality. “I was in over my head. All I could tell them was I wanted cold ice. Our main concern in that time was to have our own plant that could take good care of us, where we could get cold ice, so we could produce quality fish.” Lee’s humble statement sums up just about the entire history of our Co-op: service for West Coast fishermen and a relentless commitment to quality.

Seafood Producers Cooperative plant in Sitka, Alaska
The fishermen-owned Seafood Producers Cooperative plant in Sitka, Alaska on a rare sunny say.

On this date in 1944, the legal contract for the formation of our fishermen-owned Co-op was signed. Celebrate with us. Use the following coupon code at checkout for $75 off orders over $300:

AKGoldDiamondAnniversary

Expires May 31st, 2019.

Thank you for being part of our history,

The Producer-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative, whose products are available for home delivery at AlaskaGoldBrand.com.

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The Formation of our Fishermen-owned Co-op

On May 12th, 1944 the legal contract for the formation of our fishermen-owned co-op was signed. This May we’re going to celebrate our diamond anniversary by giving you our customers $75 off orders of $300 or more.

During this month, we’ll share with you the history of our co-op in several stories, starting today with the story of how West Coast fishermen would band together to form our Seafood Producers Cooperative. Thanks to the courage of these original pioneers in 1944, we are here today and you can purchase our fish for home delivery at www.alaskagoldbrand.com. Thank you for being part of our history!

The fishermen-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative are some of the last producers of a pure, unadulterated wild protein caught using traditional fishing methods on this planet. And our co-op has been instrumental in preserving this unique way of life.

Primary producers of real food, particularly fishermen, have had a long history of being taken advantage of. Fishermen’s guilds started popping up well over 2000 years ago in the effort to protect fishermen from the whims of nature and markets. It is certainly possible that Jesus’s disciples formed part of a fishermen’s guild of a similar sort on the Sea of Galilee. All of these guilds and co-ops were formed with the intent to protect fishermen, but few have had the staying power of our co-op, which has been around for 75 years serving as a bulwark of the West coast fishing community because of a laser focus on quality products and service and serving the fishermen.

More than a way for fishermen to take control of the profits from their catch, our Co-op became a community in which fishermen banded together in order to make their own destinies.

It’s difficult to gauge the wake that our Co-op spurred on the West Coast fishing industry. Before our Co-op existed, fishermen had limited markets for their products. There were plenty of strikes among fishermen in southeast Alaska. Since our Co-op’s inception, there have not been any fishermen strikes in southeast Alaska. What our Co-op brought was a plant that the fishermen would eventually own themselves and the opportunity for fishermen to get more consistently fair prices. In other words, our Co-op became a way for fishermen to earn a living wage for their hard work of producing beautiful fish.

Our Co-op is an organization owned by fishermen, for fishermen. And it allows fishermen to wield their own future. If you speak with any fishermen-owners about why they joined our Co-op or why they’re fishermen, you will undoubtedly hear that they like being their own boss and being the captains of their own destinies. A co-op that the fishermen own with a fishermen board of directors made up of their peers that makes the tough decisions on setting our Co-op’s direction has made it possible for these fishermen to live their ruggedly independent lifestyle their own way.

Since its inception, producers have kept our Co-op alive with a rugged “share the pain, share the gain” mindset. With a sales office in Bellingham, Washington and most fishing operations taking place in southeast Alaska, our Co-op has deep roots in the Pacific Northwest, but there is something quintessentially American about our Co-op, which allows fishermen to be the captains of their own destinies. And that’s what makes our Co-op keep on keeping on.

Halibut Producers Cooperative Logo

When the co-op formed in 1944, it was the Halibut Liver Oil Producers Cooperative in the days before vitamin A was synthesized and was one of the largest producers of vitamin A in the nation. It later became the Halibut Producers Co-operative. In 1982, the Halibut Producers Cooperative Board of Directors voted to change the co-op’s name to Seafood Producers Cooperative to more accurately reflect the fish that the fishermen were catching and selling, as line-caught king salmon and coho salmon became the bulk of production

The growth of our Co-op has been filled with many learning moments. As an organization owned by ruggedly independent producers who make a living on the ocean, it is somewhere between extremely difficult and impossible to make all content. But when we as fishermen return from a long, difficult fishing trip out on the edge and pull into our plant in Sitka, it is our plant waiting to receive our fish. One of the reasons that our Co-op has survived and flourished is our strict adherence to Rochdale’s Seven Principles, which give direction to cooperative organizations. The other reason that our Co-op has flourished is that we have not lost sight of our quality-focused mission.

Quality is the keystone of our Co-op. This tradition of quality began with the very first fishermen’s annual meeting taking place in 1944. An expert was brought in to speak at length on how to improve quality. To this day quality is a pervasive theme in all meetings of the fishermen Board of Directors. Quality is so important to who we are because our organization is built on the pride we have in producing our fish for our company. But our co-op’s reputation built on quality doesn’t derive from just bleeding and icing fish correctly to produce the freshest quality fish, but also having a relationship based on integrity and transparency with our customers.

We really hope that you the enjoy the fruits of our co-op’s labor—you can order our seafood online for home delivery at www.AlaskaGoldBrand.com. Stay tuned this month for more stories on our co-op, including a story on the special place where we fish, and the stories of the actual producers that form part of our co-op, and more. Also, celebrate with us. Take $75 off an order of $300 or more of our Alaska Gold Seafood.

Use coupon code: AKGoldDiamondAnniversary

Expires May 31st, 2019.

Thank you,

The Producer-owners of Seafood Producers Cooperative, whose products are available for home delivery at www.AlaskaGoldBrand.com