At Secret Island, we believe the rising tide in aquaculture advances is one with the potential to lift all boats. As the industry matures, we see more and more brands capitalizing on the latest technology and techniques to expand their product lines. What we rarely see, however, is an explanation for why different seafood selections are offered, or how they can serve both people and the planet we share. Here’s ours:
Our Stock’s Wild Backstory
Like all fish, our two signature species descended from the same fish “family:” Salmonidae. But Atlantic salmon and Coho salmon (one of five types of Pacific salmon) are members of two different species: Salmon salar, and Oncorhynchus kisutch, respectively. Each fish evolved in its own unique ocean environment. The impact of dams, pollution, and overfishing closed Atlantic salmon fisheries in the U.S. in 1948. The only remaining wild populations of U.S. Atlantic salmon found today are in a few rivers in Maine. And though Coho salmon can still be caught in the wild, the loss of access to spawning grounds and habitat degradation has made these fish a federally protected species. Our immediate goal is to offer delicious varieties of both salmon that meet the standards of Best Aquaculture Practices. Our long-term goal is to make these species available at a time when global demand for all marine-based foods has doubled since the turn of the century and is likely to double again by 2050.
Two Species Served by One Advanced Facility
As the Global Seafood Alliance notes, while aquaculture’s primary goal is to produce fish, its methods also offer an often-ignored tool for the conservation of endangered species. Providing consumers with responsibly-farmed Atlantic and Coho salmon can take the pressure off wild species of these stocks to give them a better chance to rebound. And though the genetic makeup of these fish differs, both share a common characteristic that makes them perfect for the advanced aquaculture facilities we’ve perfected to nurture them; they follow the anadromous lifecycle that starts in freshwater streams and ends in the open ocean. Our carefully engineered chain of facilities shepherds both species through the six separate environments that mirror the ones they pass through in the natural world.
Fish Flavor is a Matter of Taste
We think our world is best served by both carefully regulated wild fisheries and the aquaculture practices that can put the latest tech to work to advance salmon quality, productivity, and sustainability. We know the responsible management of both plays a part in the flavor, texture, and appearance of the fish seafood fans enjoy. But opinions on those differences vary greatly. Sources such as one New York Times-inspired food blog claim wild-caught stock “lends a more robust salmon flavor.” But others like the Washington Post report of a blind taste test of salmon prepared by master chef Wolfgang Puck led to the verdict that “farmed salmon beat wild salmon, hands down.” We tend to agree with the culinary crew at Munchery, who think “there’s no clear answer to the difference in taste” between wild-caught and farm-raised salmon. That’s because there are simply too many variables in the places and practices that yield both to support a general claim on which produces the most delicious fish.
Differences to Explore & Enjoy in Every Dish
Secret Island’s Atlantic and Coho salmon can both work great as either the main attraction on a plate or to provide a tasty pop of protein in a mixed dish. However, differences in their color, texture, and flavor grant each fish unique taste territories for our customers to explore. As the leading species for marine finfish aquaculture, Atlantic Salmon has earned its prime position on the plate for years. We think ours lives up to that legacy. This fish’s healthy pink hue is the first sign of a seafood experience that can satisfy the demands of even the most seasoned salmon fans. It has the rich, buttery taste and fork-friendly style that’s made this tried and true variety the American seafood star. Our Pacific Coho Salmon offers a colorful contrast to that classic. Its rich orange hue gives an appetizing appeal to the kind of salads, stews, and other meals that creative cooks love to make and share. It has the lean but lusciously-full flavor and firm-but-flaky bite that makes it the chef’s choice for a fish that plays well with any dish.
While we’re sure other seafood companies have their reasons for the products they share, we want to make sure our customers find it easy to understand ours. We offer our Atlantic and Coho Salmon as the best way we know to serve your appetite, culinary creativity, and the sustainable future of our world.