Long before we had a retail website to sell fish to home consumers, the Seafood Producers Cooperative business office received calls from home consumers wanting us to ship them our cases of our gourmet canned tuna. It’s difficult to put a label on a fresh fish in a fish market case, but our canned tuna labels had an address on them and people tracked us down to get this delicious canned tuna delivered to their homes. They knew it was that good.
Now we are super-proud to announce our canned ivory king salmon, which is as ridiculously good as our canned tuna. Just like our canned tuna, our canned salmon is just that: line-caught ivory king salmon plus a few grains of salt. In a convenient 6-ounce can. Boneless and skinless.
Ivory king salmon are extremely rare. For starters, King Salmon are the rarest of the 5 Pacific wild salmon species. And only a very tiny percentage of king salmon (roughly ~4 %) have a unique genetic anomaly, a missing enzyme, that make them unable to metabolize the pigments in krill, which give other salmon their orange-ish pink-ish salmon color. Because of this inability to digest krill, ivory king salmon prey on more oily fish, like herring and needle-fish, giving them an extra dose of the heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids that our bodies need.
Because of their pale color, ivory king salmon tend to be shunned by wholesale buyers. In the old days, when fishermen hand-trolled on 18-foot vessels rigged with oar and sail and their fishing lines were made of cotton and they slept under tarps on the bows of their boats, buyers didn’t buy ivory king salmon. So, Fishermen would keep them for themselves. And that’s why we call our ivory king portions “The Fishermen’s Choice.”
Nowadays, Chefs in high-end restaurants in places like Seattle and New York appreciate the special butteriness of ivory king salmon. We sell ivory king salmon portions as the “Fishermen’s Choice.”
Fisherman Charlie Piercy has been an owner of Seafood Producers Cooperative for over 30 years. Of all the fish in the North Pacific Ocean, Charlie prefers ivory king salmon.
Charlie’s preference for ivory king salmon isn’t unique among our fishermen owners. So many Alaskan fishermen prefer ivory king salmon over any other salmon because of its rich, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
“I eat our canned ivory king salmon straight out of the can on the boat,” Charlie says. “There’s something special about ivory kings. They tend to leap out of the water more. They feel different on the wire,” Charlie notes in reference to the trolling wire that hook and line fishermen use to put their hooks on.
Like a lot of Seafood Producers Cooperative owners, Charlie came to fishing from a completely different vocation. Lots of our members are former teachers, physicists, or artists. We even have a former astronaut who fishes for the co-op! Charlie used to be a chemical engineer but came to fishing because of the unique lifestyle. “I bring some of my ivory kings to my pharmacist friend in Ketchikan who enjoys them and cans them to eat all winter. But I thought we should be selling our canned ivory king salmon through our co-op’s retail website.”
This is a unique treat to be savored. Enjoy! Eat straight of the can or mix with 1-11/2 cups mango salsa, 2 tsp oil, salt and pepper, and make into either sandwich or an appetizer with whole wheat crackers.
Our canned ivory king salmon is a super-convenient way to enjoy ivory king salmon while on-the-go, either hiking, vacationing, or out on a boat in Southeast Alaska fishing.