Frequently Asked Questions on Buying Seafood Online from Alaska Gold Brand

If at any time you have trouble navigating our site, completing an order, or just want to know more about our fish, please contact us at (844) 833-0120 or email AlaskaGoldService<at>AlaskaGoldBrand.com. The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below might answer your questions, so check below first.

Q: First of all, why Alaska Gold Seafood? 

Alaska Gold Seafood is caught by members of Seafood Producers Cooperative, a fishermen-owned co-op that has been a beacon of high ideals in the fishing industry for over 70 years. We specialize in premium-quality line-caught wild salmon, halibut, sablefish (black cod), and albacore tuna from well-managed fisheries. We hang our hats on quality and customer service. Our One Hook, One Fish motto is the essence of what we do. The individual attention and pride that we put into customer service is only exceeded by the special care that our fishermen give to the fish they catch.

Here’s a break-down of what we types of questions we get and you can click on the topic for more information.

Shipping Questions

Product Questions

Alaska Gold Club Loyalty Program Questions

Order Logistics

What is Alaska Gold Seafood? AlaskaGoldBrand.com? Seafood Producers Cooperative?

Shipping Questions

Q: Where does Alaska Gold Seafood ship?

We ship to all 50 states in the United States. We get lots of requests from Canada, Australia, the UK, and many other countries, but we are unable to ship to the home consumer outside of the United States.

Q: How does shipping work?

Our FREE shipping is the default available (see map below for transit times) on all orders, except those going to Hawaii or Puerto Rico. There is a $30 handling charge for orders going to Hawaii or Puerto Rico. If you need your order to arrive by a specific date, we have rush shipping available for an additional $75.

If you’re at all confused or have any concern about when your order will arrive, please contact us.

Q: When can I expect my order?

For frozen seafood orders, find the number of days in transit to the order’s destination. Then, check the transit area details below. Note that an order placed on a Monday, for example, after 9:45am Central Standard Time, will not be picked up by our shipping program until Tuesday. Given the map below, it should ship accordingly on Tuesday.

Use the below map only as a guide. If you have a date that you want to have your seafood delivered by, please contact us.  We cannot guarantee specific date requests, but we will do our best to accommodate your request, but it must be noted that carriers cannot guarantee arrival dates either. Once your order is placed, the shipping map below illustrates estimated transit times. If you have an order that needs to be received by a certain date, please get in contact with us prior to ordering. Otherwise, your order will be shipped based on the below shipping map. And note again that the map is a guide–sometimes we need to re-box orders or we are temporarily out of stock, and we’ll have to delay an order. The webpage is usually up-to-date with what is in stock and not, but sometimes there are surprises.

Sometimes we aren’t able to ship because of weather. There might not be a weather problem where you live, but maybe a hub in between you and us is affected. We aim to be on the safe side, given that we have a highly perishable product and we won’t ship until we know all is clear. Sometimes your order might not slip into our shipping program in time to get out when the map says it will. Our canned tuna ships ground–expect arrival in 3 to 5 days.

Transit time map shipping times

 

1 Day Transit Areas

Orders ship Monday through Thursday with delivery the next business day after the order ships. Orders placed after Thursday at 9:45 AM CST will ship the following Monday.

2 Day Transit Areas

Orders ship Monday through Wednesday with delivery the second business day after the order ships. Orders placed after Wednesday at 9:45 AM CST will ship the following Monday.

3 Day Transit Areas

Orders ship Monday through Tuesday with delivery the third business day after the order ships. Orders placed after Tuesday at 9:45 AM CST will ship the following Monday.

Q: Can I request a specific ship date?

Occasionally we get requests for a shipment to arrive on a certain date. Please contact alaskagoldservice@alaskagoldbrand.com for shipping requests and questions. We do our best to accommodate these requests. Note: We can’t ship for arrival on a Monday, because we do not ship perishable items for transit over the weekend when they would not move and hence thaw out. Usually, shipments can be timed to arrive on a specific date. But some times the unexpected happens. An order might get bumped from 2-day to Overnight and it arrives early or an order might get stuck in a hub for longer than expected. We pack with enough dry ice to last usually one more day than we plan. Your fish should arrive frozen rock hard.

Q: What is “Rush Shipping”?

On the checkout screen, there is an option to select “Rush Shipping” for $75. However, take note: An order placed on a Monday, for example, after 9:45 AM CST, will not be picked up until Tuesday. An order with “Rush Shipping” will ship overnight to arrive Wednesday in this case. If you need an item to arrive on a Friday, you will need to place the order with “Rush Shipping” before Thursday at 9:45 AM CST. We ask that you reserve the “Rush Shipping” for emergencies. Take advantage of our free shipping and plan ahead.

Q: How will my fish get to me?

Shipping is included in all prices listed on the web site (except for orders going to Hawaii and Puerto Rico). We ship via UPS, FedEx and OnTrac, depending on your location. No PO Boxes please, as none of these carriers deliver to PO Boxes. All orders of frozen fish are packed with enough dry ice to keep the fish frozen until planned arrival date. We do not ship over the weekend, so if you placed an order on a Thursday, and your address is in a 2-day zone (see map below), it would not ship out until the following Monday. We carefully check weather to know how much dry ice to include and how to ship. Your frozen fish should arrive rock hard. We will communicate with you once the order ships with a tracking number.

Q: How is the fish packed?

Our frozen portions are vacuum-sealed packages that are shipped to you in an insulator and recyclable cardboard box. Easily stored in the freezer, you can pull the vacuum-sealed packages out one at a time as needed to thaw in your refrigerator. As long as they are kept in a freezer at its coldest setting, you can keep them for a long time: 3 to 6 months if you have a deep freeze and 1 to 2 months in a freezer with frequent use and opening of the door. Great care has been taken to make these vacuum-sealed packages as convenient as possible. Our vacuum-sealed packages, you’ll notice, are particularly thick for protection. A good seal helps result in a quality final result and ensures quality. If you see a leaking package, let us know. Our gourmet canned albacore is cooked once with a few grains of salt and canned in Bellingham, Washington. Simple, but extraordinarily good.

Salmon portions in their vacuum-sealed packs in our box.
Here’s a picture from a customer of what our coho salmon portions look like right out of the box.

 

Q: What are the dimensions of the products?

 A 10-pound box of portions (either king salmon or coho salmon) is 15 x 10 x 6″. You should get Ten 8-ounce portions in a 5-pound box or Twenty 8-ounce portions in a 10-pound box of portions. In the case of our coho salmon portions, which come in 6-ounce portions.. As they’re wild fish, their sizes and shapes vary a bit. An 8-ounce portion could weigh as little as 7 ounces or as much as 9 ounces. 
The size of one coho salmon fillet is roughly 18″ x 6″ x 0.5″.  A king fillet will be closer to 20″ x 8″ x 0.6″. The box we send these salmon fillets in is 27 x 14 x 8″. We recommend not storing the fillets in their box in your freezer. (It’s easier to find space for them without the box.) In a 10-pound box, you’d get roughly 5 or 6 coho salmon fillets and 3 or 4 king salmon fillets (as they’re wild fish, their dimensions vary a bit). 

Q: What do I do with my fish once I get it?

You can either place the vacuum-sealed packages in your fridge (ideal to pop a hole in the vacuum-sealed bag first). In the fridge, once thawed you should cook within 2 days. In your freezer where you can store them for  3 to 6 months. Ideally, you store them at your freezer’s coldest setting. If you have a deep freeze, 3 to 6 months, but if you have a freezer as part of your fridge, you’re probably going to want to consume within 1-3 months.

Cut vacuum-sealed bag open and thaw under refrigeration at38° F for 24 hours and let stand at room temperature before cooking.  In a pinch, if you forget to put in fridge before preparing, you can run cold water over the fish until thawed (about 15 minutes). This will impair quality for the connoisseur, but will help in a pinch.

We also recommend wiping the frozen fish off with a paper towel to remove moisture and thereby prevent sticking on a pan while cooking.

Q: What are the shipping boxes like?

We have been alternating between using a degradable insulator and Styrofoam coolers to keep the fish frozen until arrival at your doorstep. We appreciate our customers’ concerns regarding the use of Styrofoam. When we first started the web retail store, we used a degradable insulator called a Thermopod instead of Styrofoam. There were a number of disadvantages to using the degradable insulator. Beyond cost (it was double the cost of a Styrofoam insulator),  it did not keep the fish as cool as Styrofoam does. So, we ended up having to re-ship fish more frequently when orders arrived thawed (especially to warm places), which was contributing to waste, too. The other issue was that the manufacturer did not have a good production schedule and would be out of stock when we needed them, so we switched back to Styrofoam much to my chagrin. I’ve been shopping for degradable packaging ever since we started this website. We still haven’t found the ideal solution.  With fish, it’s even more imperative than other perishable products to maintain a frozen temperature, so we cannot compromise on the insulation properties of our packaging. I hope to add as an option the degradable cooler again, and in the meantime, I’ve even thought of trying to run a contest for creative re-use of Styrofoam. I’m of the belief that there is no “away” when we “throw away.” I use the coolers as planters and also for insulation/padding for my doggie bike trailer. I hope that helps. Know that we’re looking for a solution. There is waste of this type in any kind of food production or any time we order from a website and even when we buy at the store (we just don’t the waste from the store as much). 

creative reuse of packaging
Styrofoam does not have to be thrown away. We turned ours into planters.

Q: What happens if there are weather problems during shipping?

We do our best to monitor weather around the country. We will not ship our perishables packages if a region is experiencing  a weather event until no delays are expected. We will be as proactive as possible to not ship until we know our packages can arrive in a safe condition in a timely manner. However, we cannot predict changes in the weather. We will inform customers of the status of the package if there are changes. Weather events are out of our control and once a package has left our facilities, we cannot re-route it. If this happens and your fish does not arrive in pristine state, let us know. We will replace your order or do everything we can to make the order to your satisfaction. We advise customers to plan ahead and not order last minute.

Q: What happens if my order arrives thawed?

We ship all over the country in all kinds of weather. We look at where a package is going and the predicted weather for the location before shipping perishable items. Based on the knowledge we have gained with all of our shipping experience, we include enough ice on orders to keep the order frozen upon arrival, plus an “insurance amount.” We make adjustments based on our experience. Your order should arrive frozen. However, there can be delays when either weather, mechanical issues, or just plain human error cause a late arrival. The “insurance amount” of ice we include can usually keep the product frozen an additional day. Don’t panic if you find some partially thawed packages. A package that is still cold (38° F or below) can be safely refrozen without compromising the quality of product. Use more thawed pieces first. However, if you are concerned, please contact us. We guarantee our quality, which means that we aim for our customers to be 100% satisfied with each order.

Q: Can I split-ship or ship to two different locations?

Please place a separate order for each shipping address for products being shipped to different places.

Q: Where does the fish ship from?

We work out of two Cold Storages–one near Bellingham, Washington, where our business offices are, and one in Richmond, Virginia. Having a shipping hub in Virginia helps us more efficiently reach customers on the East Coast. We’ve found that shipping from Alaska using FedEx or UPS is nearly impossible in terms of reliability and cost issues. So, believe it or not, we use a large barge to bring frozen containers of fish stateside and to our shipping hubs. Temperature control (keeping product well below freezing without any variations) is of the utmost importance, so you’ll see that when you receive product that it should be frozen rock solid and in pristine state. We include quite a bit of dry ice with each order of perishable items.

Q: Can I get my shipment notice via text message instead of email?

We send out a shipment notice with tracking info to customers via the email they enter while placing the order. We get requests from customers who’d prefer to have their shipment notice sent to them via text message. This can be done! Check with your carrier first. For example, if your carrier is Verizon, enter the following email address when placing an order to receive via text message. [insert your 10-digit phone number]@vtext.com. So, our email text would be 8448330120@vtext.com. First check with your carrier to see what that email address would be.

Q: Do you have a referral program?

Great question. Yes, we do. Please share our fish with friends and family. We love welcoming more customers to Alaska Gold Seafood. Here are the details on the Referral Program.

Product Questions

Q: Is it Wild? Is it farmed salmon?

All of our fish is caught on hook and line One Fish At A Time. It is wild-caught from the icy pristine waters of the North Pacific, caught mostly off the coast of Southeast Alaska. Not farmed. Each box is labeled “Wild, Product of USA.”

Q: Where did this fish come from?

Our salmon, halibut and black cod are caught primarily off the coast of Southeast Alaska and also in the Gulf of Alaska. Popular fishing spots among our members are Chatham Strait for black cod and the Fairweather Grounds for salmon and halibut. The waters outside of Sitka, on Sitka Sound, are also known salmon trolling grounds. Our albacore is caught off the West Coast of the United States. Most of the albacore tuna our co-op members catch is caught about 60 to 80 miles off the coast of Washington.

Harvest area map
Where do we catch our fish? Our wild salmon, halibut, and sablefish come from the waters off Southeast Alaska and the albacore tuna off the coast of Washington state.

 

Q: Where are your fish processed?

 All of our fish are processed at our plant in Sitka, Alaska or in Bellingham, Washington. In accordance with USDA, each label on our boxes reads “Wild, Product of USA.”

Q: Is it fresh?

Our fish is caught and frozen quickly to preserve freshness. Being caught on hook and line makes for a fresher taste. You’ll taste the difference for sure! Here is more information about ourFreezing Process, which includes details on how we process and handle our fish for delivery.  As Jane Brody of NY Times Nutrition says, “The freshest tasting seafood is that which has been frozen shortly after harvest and remains that way until cooked.” Temperature requirements are really important throughout the duration of a fish’s journey from the water to our customer and we have been pioneers in improving quality assurance throughout the seafood supply chain.

Q: Fresh is better than frozen, right?

Here are many reasons why you should  eat frozen seafood over “fresh.”

Blind taste tests have shown that frozen fish many times taste better than “fresh, never frozen” fish. A recent blind taste test with the Alaska Longline Fishermen’s Association, Oregon State University, Ecotrust, and Seafood Analytics, a firm that has developed a CQR device that uses an electric current to measure freshness, allowed home consumers to compare “fresh” and “frozen” seafood. According to Ecotrust, the results were telling: “not only did consumers prefer the frozen fish, but the flash-frozen products also rated higher in quality and freshness, as measured by the CQR.”

Seafood Producers Cooperative sells a good amount of its fish to restaurants and retailers fresh, never frozen, yet we sell a larger amount of our fish frozen because more and more buyers understand that frozen fish, when handled correctly, can be “fresher than fresh.” Because the headaches in logistics are made much simpler once a fish is frozen, frozen fish also has a much smaller carbon footprint than a fresh fish. What’s essential is starting with a fresh, high-quality product. Line-caught salmon, for example, are harvested on the open ocean when the salmon are in their peak state. Our line-caught fish is handled One Fish At A Time. Fish don’t stack up on boat decks as they would if they were net-caught. Properly cutting and gutting the fish is also really important. Pressure bleeding the fish with a micro-pipette also makes a big difference. The Alaska Gold Difference is paying attention to all of these details–catch method, landing method, cuts, bleeding, sanitation, state of the art freezing technologies. We take great pride in the quality of our seafood.

We wish more consumers would realize that frozen fish is superior to “fresh never frozen” fish. With freezing technologies and good vigilance, frozen fish can be kept for quite some time. Also, it’s really disappointing when fishermen walk by the seafood department in the supermarket and watch (and smell) fish dying. Smart consumers are seeing that fish in the frozen case can be many times “fresher” than what’s in the “fresh” case. There’s no hard and fast rule—a fish’s quality is going to depend on a number of factors. Firstly, you have to start with a good fish. Catch methods, boat sanitation, processing methods, freezing methods, temperature control, all play an important role in the quality of the fish. There are frozen fish that have been out of the water for three years that are much better than most of what you get in a “fresh” case at the supermarket.

Another reason that frozen fish is superior to “fresh, not frozen” fish is the fact that one-quarter of fish in supermarkets and restaurants is wasted. 1/4 of fish caught means very roughly 2.2 billion pounds of fish per year or to put it in salmon terms, very roughly 200 million salmon, is literally wasted. If you care about sustainable seafood management, consider the many pros of frozen fish. In addition to being less prone to spoilage, blind taste tests reveal that frozen fish many times tastes better than “fresh, never frozen” fish.

Q: Is it tasty?

Our hook and line-caught fish is super-tasty, as high a quality a fish as you will find. We take our mission to provide our customers with high quality fish very seriously. Our One Fish At A Time methods are the difference. Traveling around and bringing our  wild salmon to new customers, we commonly hear: “This is the best salmon I’ve ever tasted.” The care with which we process and pack the salmon, in addition to the albacore, halibut and sablefish we catch, is unparalleled in the industry. Restaurants and retailers have recognized this quality for years.

Q: Is it sustainable?

All Alaska seafood is wild and pure, responsibly managed for continuing abundance. All of our fish offered for sale on the Alaska Gold Seafood website is listed as Best Choice or Green on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Alaska has pioneered the standard for sustainable, eco-friendly fisheries management. Alaska’s fish populations are managed for protection against overfishing and sources of habitat damage. By proactively ensuring a healthy, wild and sustainable harvest, Alaska is protecting its superior seafood for future generations.

Alaska is the only state with a mandate for sustainable seafood written right into its State Constitution. All fisheries are carefully managed so that our grandchildren can fish the same way that we do.

Q: There’s a lot of over-fishing and damage to the environment caused by fishing with mass extraction methods and by-catch, right?

There is. But our fish is caught One Fish At A Time. All of the fish we catch come from sustainable fisheries. Our Alaska-caught fish managed to be sustainable, so that future generations may enjoy the bounty. In addition, because all of our fish is caught on hook and line, by-catch is minimized. Hook and line methods  are the exact opposite of mass extraction methods–we have deep respect for the wild seafood that we catch. We catch and handle One Fish At A Time.

Q: Is it non-GMO? Gluten-free? Organic?

Just like nature intended, our fish is wild and natural with no preservatives, artificial coloring, seasonings or antibiotics. Our king salmon, coho salmon, halibut, sablefish and albacore tuna are not genetically engineered. No king salmon, coho salmon, halibut, sablefish or albacore tuna are genetically engineered. Like all wild seafood, our wild seafood is gluten-free. Since there is currently no certification process in place for wild seafood in the United States to be certified organic, our fish is not certified organic.

Q: Do you have any nutritional information on the fish?

Based on 3.5 oz (100g) serving size:

Halibut: 140 calories; Protein  27 g; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat <0.5g; Sodium: 70mg; Cholesterol 40 g; Omega-3 Fatty Acids 460mg

Coho salmon: 140 calories; Protein 23 g; Fat: 4.5g; Satuirated Fat 1g; Sodium 60mg; Cholesterol 55 mg; Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1100mg

King Salmon: 230 Calories; Protein 26 g; Fat 13g; Saturated Fat 3g; Sodium 60mg; Cholesterol 85mg; Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1700mg

Black Cod: 250 Calories; Protein 17 g; Fat 20 g; Saturated Fat 4g; Sodium 70mg; Cholesterol 65mg; Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1800mg

Canned Albacore Tuna (serving size 56g): 110 Calories; Protein 16g; Fat 5g; Saturated Fat 1g; Sodium 220mg; Cholesterol 15mg; Omega-3 Fatty Acids 1384mg

* Source: USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release # 22.

Q: Why is there 1 gram of Trans Fats in the canned ivory king salmon you sell?

Good question.
2 things: There are small amounts of Trans Fats in all animals–chicken, beef, etc. have trans fats, too. We do not add any trans fats to the canned salmon, as the only ingredients are salmon and a few grains of salt. There are no added oils (all the oil in that can is from the salmon and is the good oil).
Also, note that for things like fats, FDA requires us to round up, that 1 gram number was more like 0.5 grams, but with fats we have to round up to 1 g on the label.
Also note that the 0.5 grams or even 1 gram is pretty low in comparison with most foods we eat today, especially considering all the other nutritional benefits of the salmon.

Q: How do you thaw your fish?

We recommend thawing under refrigeration. Poke a hole in the vacuum-sealed bag and place on a plate (so that no fish juices make a mess of your fridge). Thaw for 24 hours under refrigeration. 24 hours should be sufficient for our portions, but the filets or sides might take a little longer. Leave on counter to get closer to room temperature. I pull my fish out of the fridge about a half hour before cooking. Wipe down with a paper towel (this prevents sticking). Cook using your favorite recipe. Cooking oil and simple seasonings are all you need.

Q: Fish is good for me, but it’s kinda fishy tasting. I’ll just stick with what I know, right?

Fish should not be fishy tasting or smelling. If that’s your experience, then the fish wasn’t handled correctly.  Our fish doesn’t smell like fish but should have a taste of the ocean.

Q: Are there bones?

All of our salmon and halibut portions are de-boned. The salmon portions and sides are skin-on and the halibut portions are boneless/skinless. To remove bones on sablefish (black cod) would destroy quality of the meat, so we do not de-bone sablefish.  Our tuna medallions are cut from loins with no bones. If you order our larger salmon fillets (sides), these have pin bones in them, so you have to de-bone with pliers, which is a simple process once you learn. Our bone-less salmon portions are more convenient for those who don’t have time or desire to de-bone.

Q: What’s the difference between salmon portions and salmon fillets? 

We sell our wild salmon cut as single portions and fillets. The portions are skin-on and boneless. We cut  6 ounces for coho salmon portions and 8 ounces for king salmon. We also have a petite size king salmon portion at 4 ounces. We cut ivory king salmon into 6-ounce portions. We also sell whole sides of the fish, which we call fillets. These are the whole side of a salmon (averaging 3.5 pounds for a king salmon and 2 pounds for a coho salmon). Our portions and fillets are all individually vacuum-sealed for ultimate convenience.

Salmon filets and portions
In this diagram, you can see the whole salmon. Above it, you see one salmon filet (side) and six portions.

 

Q: How do you cut your portions?

Given that fish comes in all shapes and sizes, it is sometimes difficult to supply uniform portions. We aim for as close as possible to 6.0 ounces for coho salmon and sablefish and 8.0 ounces for halibut and king salmon. Cuts will come from the center, tail and up towards the gills. We do our best to equally distribute portion sizes and cuts so that you get a relative proportion of center cuts to tail cut. When you cook you should cook pieces with similar shapes. Because they are thinner, the tail pieces should require less cooking than the center cuts.

Q: What does Guaranteed Quality mean?

Guaranteed Quality means that we stand behind our fish. We take every precaution we can to ensure that each shipment is delivered in pristine state–dry ice, checking of weather conditions before shipping, confirmation of shipping date. If your order does not arrive in pristine state, please contact us.

Q. Should I be worried about the mercury content in wild fish?

Our fish is not known as a high-risk fish for Mercury like larger predator fish (swordfish and shark, for example). Alaska is an extremely low population area. The rivers in Alaska where most of the salmon are born, reared, and eventually spawn have very few people living near them – usually towns with populations of less than 10,000 people, which makes the rivers an excellent environment for salmon to call home. Therefore, our fish is very safer from mercury contamination. In addition, salmon, albacore tuna, sablefish and halibut all are high in selenium, which is an essential mineral that counteracts mercury toxicity. This is an excellent summary of why healthy eaters should not limit consumption of ocean seafood over concerns of mercury contamination. The FDA acceptable limit for mercury is 1.0 parts per million. In the attached link, with loads of information on wild salmon and other Alaska seafood, you’ll see that Alaska seafood falls well below the accepted limit.

Q. Has Japan’s Fukushima affected Pacific seafood?

We have been closely following reports following the disaster in Japan. Information from the NOAA Fisheries Service and the FDA indicates that fish caught off the waters of Southeast Alaska has been tested and none are contaminated. The data has shown there to be no safety issue at all with the Pacific seafood we sell. You can find more information from the FDA here.

Delvin Neville, lead author of a Oregon State University study on radioactivity in Pacific Albacore, for example, says levels are far lower than what we’re exposed to from sources like air, soil and X-rays. Just to equal an X-ray dose, you would have to eat more than 700,000 pounds of albacore, for example.

While concerns over mercury levels and oceanic pollution abound, the truth of the matter is that eating fish is far safer than not eating at all. (Don’t take it from us, take it from objective peer-reviewed science; read it here, hereand here).

Q: But really, what’s the deal with Fukushima and radioactivity (follow-up written in March 2016)?

We occasionally get customer calls about radioactivity levels in our fish. As of December 3, 2015, monitoring efforts along the Pacific coast of the U.S. and Canada by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute scientists and citizen scientists have continued to detect small amounts of radioactivity from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant meltdown. The highest detection level to date came from a sample collected about 1,600 miles west of San Francisco that contained 11 Becquerels per cubic meter of cesium-137 and cesium-134, which indicated that in one cubic meter of seawater (about 264 gallons), 11 radioactive decay events per second were attributed to cesium atoms of both isotopes (See report entitled Our Radioactive Ocean 2016). To put this into perspective, in a Los Angeles Times article published on August 20, 2014, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute (WHOI) scientist Ken Buesseler used the following analogy to describe the human health implications of seawater containing 10 Bq/m3: “If you were to swim in that water 365 days, 6 hours a day, the dose would be 500 times less than a single dental X-ray” (Parsons 2014). So although 11 Bq/m3 is higher than has been seen in the past, it is still more than 500 times lower than the 7,400 Becquerels per cubic meter maximum safety limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water. At such low levels, the radiation is not predicted to harm humans or the environment (Our Radioactive Ocean 2016). A collaborative monitoring effort in Canada called the Integrated Fukushima Ocean Radionuclide Monitoring (InFORM) project has included testing local species of fish for Fukushima-derived radiation. On January 29, 2016, the group released results from 26 tissue samples of sockeye salmon and steelhead trout (collected in September and October, 2015) in northern British Columbia. The average amount of cesium-137 in the samples was 1.5 Bq/m3 and the level of cesium-134 was below the detection limit of the analysis, indicating that consuming either species of fish is not a health risk. As a reminder, residual cesium-137 in the oceans is largely the result of nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and 1960s, not the Fukushima spill. The group will publicly report the results of tissue sampling from 80 more fish tested as samples are analyzed.Though we recognize that the potential harmful levels of radioactivity in Pacific seafood is a very serious concern, we do not have any qualms about recommending our seafood as a one of the healthiest foods on the planet. All of us in the office eat our fishermen/members’ catch on a regular basis. We would not sell it if we did not believe in it and if it were not safe.

Along with all of our Alaska seafood, our albacore tuna is a great protein source, loaded with Omega-3s. 1 mSV is the FDA safe yearly radiation exposure level for a person. You will get the same dose by eating 244,800 pounds of our albacore tuna. o.4 mSV is the radiation exposure from a mammogram. You will get the same dose by eating 97,920 pounds of tuna. 0.04 mSV is the radiation exposure as a result of flying on a commercial airplane from LA to New York. You will get the same dose by eating 9792 pounds of tuna. 0.001 mSV is the radiation exposure from eating a banana. You will get the same dose by eating 24.48 pounds of tuna.  In other words, there is more radiation in your banana than in your tuna.

Bottom line: You’ll  get more radiation from your transcontinental flight than from eating seafood. Even lots and lots of seafood. Not to belittle the radiation coming out of Fukushima, and it’s certainly dangerous in the Fukushimia area, claims of 80,000 gallons of irradiated water sound horrific coming from a news media that likes to sell stories. However, context is everything. 80,000 gallons is one-eighth of an Olympic swimming pool and it’s hard to get a grasp on how gigantic the Pacific Ocean is unless you work on it. There are many Olympic swimming pools that make up the Pacific Ocean.  In fact, there are roughly 292,188,000,000,000 Olympic swimming pools that make up the Pacific Ocean.

Q: Do you ever test for histamines?

We do occasionally get requests from our wholesale customers for histamine levels on our tuna. Because of our freezing and handling processes, results show histamine levels that are barely measurable, so for those that are histamine intolerant, we believe that you should feel safe eating our tuna and we feel confident saying that about our salmon, halibut and sablefish, too. We use good practices for maintaining temperature control on our fish, which is key to preventing histamine build-up.

Q: Why is ordering from AlaskaGoldSeafood.com better than how/where I currently get my fish?

When you order direct from our co-op of quality-oriented fishermen, you are skipping several middlemen that are needed to bring fish to a typical grocery store. See more at Our Mission, which is a relentlesscommitment to quality. One nice thing about ordering online is that they will arrive frozen and in a direct path from the fishermen. In stores, it’s possible they will be thawed or had been previously thawed. They also might be sitting in a case for a long time. When you buy direct from us, the fish hasn’t been sitting in a case and is always handled with our quality standards.

 Q: What’s the difference between a coho and a king salmon?

Though there is  some disagreement among Alaskans, most people consider king salmon (aka the Chinook) the best of the Pacific salmon. It is known for its healthy oils and rich taste. Though king salmon is significantly larger than the coho salmon (silver salmon), its runs aren’t nearly as numerous. Because of the high demand for king salmon and the lower supply, it is priced higher than the coho salmon. That being said, coho salmon has a lot of virtues. Some find it milder tasting than a king, which may appeal to certain tastes and it certainly pairs well with sauces. Though it doesn’t have as many fatty oils as the king salmon, the coho salmon is lighter, which can be a virtue depending on what you’re preparing with the salmon. Many people find the coho salmon to be more versatile. People use it in a wider variety of recipes. That being said, the coho salmon is not nearly as rich as the king salmon.

Q: Does fish have an expiration date?

There is no printed expiration date on our fish. The frozen fish we offer for sale on our website has been blast frozen. It is stored at -10 F or below in a commercial freezer. Stored at this temperature with no temperature changes, some claim that the fish will be fine to eat in two, even three years. What will ruin the quality of a fish isn’t time but temperature change. Which is why we recommend eating the frozen fish within 3 to 6 months to be safe. Most people open and close their freezer doors frequently or may not have their freezer set at its coldest setting. If there are frequent temperature changes in your freezer, we recommend eating the fish within 2-3 months. When we sell our fish wholesale to Europe, we put an expiration date 2 years after harvest date. When shipped and stored with care at proper temperatures, the fish should last a long time. However, we find our fish so tasty that it doesn’t last too long in our freezers.

Q: Are your fish processed with any other items, like shellfish, for example?

At our processing plant in Sitka, we process those fish listed on our website (salmon, halibut, sablefish), in addition to rockfish, herring and the very occasional sea cucumber (for wholesale customers).
Our salmon portions and albacore tuna medallions are cut in a facility where crab is processed. This facility goes through a rigorous wash-down and sanitation procedure to avoid cross-contamination–in addition, fish and crab are never processed in the same day. This facility goes by FDA regulations and is audited regularly.
Given that information, if you have a shellfish allergy, the 100% safest way to enjoy our fish is to order our salmon fillets, halibut and sablefish (black cod), which are never anywhere near the facility where the crab is processed.
Q: Is your operation clean?
Seafood Producers Cooperative has been an industry leader in monitoring product quality through every key-processing step. We follow strict Hazard & Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) guidelines during processing and freezing fish for sale to customers around the world. We are extremely proud of our processing plant in Sitka, Alaska, which has been featured in a number of videos and blogs promoting Alaska Seafood, like this video from The Salmon Project. If you’re ever in Sitka, contact us. We’d love to show you what we do, and why we’re proud of it.
Q: Is your fish “sashimi-grade”?
Great question. And we can’t offer a clear answer, because there are no set standards for “sashimi grade” in the United States and no guidelines to follow other than common knowledge among fish industry people. It is also commonly accepted and also recommended by the FDA that to consume raw (i.e., as sushi), the fish should also be frozen at -4 F for at least 7 days. Plenty of fish companies market their fish as “sushi” grade or “sashimi” grade, but those terms are purely sales/marketing terms. So buyer beware. That being said, most of us in the office believe the best way to eat our tuna is raw in a poke or as sashimi. Cooking our tuna for any longer than 2 minutes will completely ruin it. I use our coho salmon to make gravlax, a raw cured salmon, but prefer to cook my salmon rather than eat it as sashimi. Personal preference here. It also must be said, just like you see in any professional restaurant kitchen: “Consuming raw or undercooked seafood may increase your risk of food borne illness. When preparing raw or lightly cured seafood, use commercially frozen fish to minimize your risk of food borne illness.” So, be careful. Get fish from people you trust. But even the cleanest operations occasionally have trouble with listeria, which can exist in many forms. At this point, we haven’t offered cold-smoked salmon because of this risk. We sell our fish to wholesale smokers who make cold-smoked salmon or lox from our salmon, because they know it’s of great quality, but we won’t make it ourselves.
Q: Are your cans BPA free?
Our tuna is canned in cans that do not have BPA intentionally added. A prudent processor would never claim that their cans are “BPA free.” But the BPA should not be detectable. We can prudently say that BPA should be non-detectable in our cans.

Alaska Gold Club Loyalty Program Questions

Q: What is the Alaska Gold Club Loyalty Program? How does it work?

When you sign up for the Alaska Gold Club Loyalty Program, you get a delivery of the fish you select once a month. You can schedule with us  or pick different items for your each month by contacting us to coordinate a date for delivery each month. Otherwise, if you order on the 3rd of the month, your order will renew on the 3rd each month, and we ship the next available ship date after the third for each month afterward. (See our Shipping Notes Questions for when your package would arrive given your address.) You only enter your credit card information once. You get a special loyalty program price. Stop delivery any time you want. Or change dates. Or subscription type. See our offerings here for the Loyalty Program.

Q: What is special about the Alaska Gold Club Loyalty Program? 

When you sign up for our Alaska Gold Club Program, you get a special price on our seafood delivered to your door.

If you contact us before your subscription ships, we can also add an extra item to your shipment for 15% off.*  You can modify your order and ship date by calling or emailing us. Subscriptions are automatically renewed on a monthly basis. This can be modified to bi-monthly, bi-weekly, quarterly, or with whatever frequency you’d like. Just contact us.

However, if you have any questions about when to expect your order, justcontact us. We will be glad to help move your subscription to another date or switch your subscription to another package.

You can  log in to your account here to see when your subscription will renew, update your contact info, cancel an old subscription, and/or start a new one.

*Note: The 15 % discount does not apply to canned items or Discounted Items for Restaurants and Group Orders. Though you’re welcome to log in online, changing your subscription is so much easier if you contact us–websites are confusing and ours is no exception. We like giving personal service to our customers.  We can change shipping dates and/or add and subtract items to your order you’d like. Just email us or call 844-833-0120. We love hearing from our customers!

Order Logistics

Q. How is the fish shipped?

We ship frozen seafood with enough dry ice to keep fish frozen until planned arrival and usually enough extra dry ice to keep it frozen one more day. Your fish should arrive frozen rock hard. We constantly check weather around the country and only ship frozen items at the beginning of the week, so that an order never waits in transit some place over the week. We ship canned items the day after the order is received via Ground shipping.

Q: What happens if the my order thaws during transit?

With our careful planning and use of dry ice, all perishable orders should arrive frozen rock hard. However, occasionally accidents happen. Packages get delayed or weather is more severe than what we plan for. The key to the preservation of both the quality and nutritional value of the salmon is in the vacuum-sealed pouch. This vacuum prevents the loss of nutrients and moisture from the salmon. Should the order arrive completely thawed, we will replace the order. Contact AlaskaGoldService<at>alaskagoldbrand.com with any concerns.

Q: Who hosts the alaskagoldbrand.com website?

Our site is hosted by Blue Sky Projects, (206) 721-2550. We have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and everything required to safely accept credit card information.

What is AlaskaGoldBrand.com? What is Alaska Gold Seafood?

What is Alaska Gold Seafood? AlaskaGoldBrand.com? Seafood Producers Cooperative?

AlaskaGoldBrand.com is where you can get fish caught by Seafood Producers Cooperative, the oldest fishermen’s co-op in North America. SPC is a co-op made up of quality-oriented hook and line fishermen who own and operate the cooperative. As a co-op, we get the benefits of owning our organization. If we have a good year, the profits go to us the fishermen. We decide if and when we invest in new equipment. We pool our sources together to get better prices on fuel, vessel insurance, bait, and freezing technologies. We take great pride in delivering the highest quality seafood available to our customers.

Q: Can I trust Alaska Gold Seafood? Can I trust that the fish that comes from this website is good?

We have over 70 years of experience in the business. See Our History.

Q: Why should I do business with SPC?

People like doing business with people they like. Check out  Our Fishermen. Get to know us. And decide for yourself.

Q: Where is Seafood Producers Cooperative located?

Our business office is in Bellingham, Washington. Our main processing plant is in Sitka, Alaska. Our fishermen fish primarily off the coast of Southeast Alaska, but we have many fishermen who fish waters off most of the West Coast of the United States. The salmon, halibut and sablefish offered for sale on this site is caught in the waters of Southeast Alaska. The albacore tuna is caught off the coasts of Washington and Oregon.

If at any time you have trouble navigating our site, completing an order, or just want to know more about our fish, please contact us at (844) 833-0120 or alaskagoldservice<at>alaskagoldbrand.com.

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