Community Supported Fisheries with Sitka Salmon Shares with Richie Mann
Meet Richie Mann, a Salmon Steward and the MN Community Manager for Sitka Salmon Shares, a Community Supported Fishery that provides salmon and seafood shares delivered right to your door. Richie shares the importance of CSFs, the impact on the environment and the local communities, and why integrating responsibly harvested seafood into your diet is important for your overall health. To learn more visit, SitkaSalmonShares.com.
Shownotes:[00:00:04.220] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Good morning, and welcome to Green Tea Conversations, the radio show that delves into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine to bring you the local experts who share their progressive ideas and the latest information and insights needed so you can lead your best life. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle publisher, the Twin Cities edition of Natural Awakenings magazine. And I'm honored to bring these experts to you today's guest is Richie Mann, a salmon steward in the Minnesota, a community manager for Sitka Salmon Shares, a community-supported fishery that provides salmon and seafood shares delivered right to your door. Welcome to the show, Richie.
[00:00:40.930] - Richie Mann, Guest
Thanks, Candi. It's really cool to see you.
[00:00:42.960] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah. Thanks for being here.
[00:00:44.200] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:00:44.790] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So many of us have heard about community-supported agriculture CSAs and have probably even received CSAs from our local farmers. Help us to understand what is a community-supported fishery.
[00:00:57.320] - Richie Mann, Guest
Absolutely. So it's this really cool. It's really cool program that's really gaining a lot of momentum. And like you said, it works like a CSA, essentially in all the components that it's made up the same way. So what happens is people buy a share. So it's kind of a membership base in the same sense as a CSA, but they'll buy a share of fish, as opposed to produce fruit or honey or garlic, whatever it might be for CSA. And then that fish for us, specifically in Sitka Samon shares, is caught in Sitka Alaska.
So this is this little small fishing village and the Southeast of Alaska, and these beautiful waters along what's called the Alexander Archipelago Islands. And these waters are cold and nutrient rich and some of the most highly regulated fisheries in the world. And so the fish that come out of these waters are pristine in premium. And then what we do is we have about 25 fishermen and Fisher women that our owners of our company as well. And they have small boats that go out in and around Sitka and then some further north, up in the Kodiak Island and some further south for some other species.
And they fish in these wonderful fisheries. So it's salmon, it's halibut, it's rock fish. It's a ling cod. If it swims, we fish it and we do it in the most sustainable, traceable way possible. And so when we board these fish, we catch these fish. They're all done. And this is very important to talk about. They're all done traditionally in line caught. So there aren't any big nets involved with this, which is one end of the spectrum is trawling, which is big, huge nets that scrape the bottom of the ocean.
And they do a lot of destruction to the ecosystems. And they're just not a sustainable way to fish. And then we are on the other end of the spectrum, meaning we do line-caught, selective harvested fish. So they're hand handled on the boat, and then we pressure bleed them. This is one of our techniques that washes all the blood out. We pack them on ice immediately. And then we're back at our processing plant, which we also own in Sitka, Alaska, within a day or two of being caught.
So this is a vertically integrated, fully integrated system. So we're controlling the supply chain from the moment it's caught to the moment that it's filled in blast, frozen in our state of the art commercial freezer. And then from there, it's brought down to our fish hubs in the Midwest. So we have them in Madison, Wisconsin, in Chicago, in Galesburg, Illinois, and then also soon to be here in the Twin Cities in the next year or two. And from those good fish hubs, then the distributed to our member base in the Midwest.
And there's about six and now that receive our fish on a monthly basis.
[00:03:30.030] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So I find it really interesting that you have really focused on the Midwest is what you guys provide is really only available in a few States.
Yeah. That being said, we do ship nationwide. So there are some members that are outside all the way out to California, and we do some stuff on the East Coast, too. But our core and importantly, is in the Midwest because we don't have access to good fish in the Midwest, and there's a desperate need for it. When you live in the east and West Coast, you can usually go down to your local fishmonger and ask what's fresh. But that doesn't exist in the Midwest. And so what we create is kind of a healthy pipeline.
If you will, from Alaska to the Midwest.
[00:04:14.400] - Candi Broeffle, Host
In Sitka Salmon Chairs is actually based where?
[00:04:18.940] - Richie Mann, Guest
It is actually based. Our headquarters is in Galesburg, Illinois.
[00:04:22.490] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:04:22.990] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. And then we have, like I said, our fish hubs, Madison in Chicago. But all the fishing and our processing plant is, by necessity in Sitka, Alaska.
[00:04:30.800] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So many of us have probably watched shows on TV that should have big commercial fishing is kind of wild waves and all these crashing old days that they're spent on there. How is it different for what you do versus what we've seen on TV, right?
[00:04:48.080] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. Things like the dangerous catch or deadliest catch, I think is called it's been really cool. It's kind of like created a window into what Alaskan fishing is like. Now that is very extreme that's in places up in past Bristol Bay, out on the allusion chain island in some really nasty places to fish. It does get nasty where we fish, but it's not quite as intense. And so the way our day for a fisherman in Sit, Alaska is usually kind of cold and rainy because it's a temperate rainforest.
But we do so much of our fishing what's called offshore fishing. So it's usually a mile or two off of shore, not super incredible big waves or anything, but yeah.
[00:05:30.380] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And these are all smaller fishing boats.
[00:05:34.650] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:05:35.210] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so there's a few things that are different to you talked a little bit about line cut. So you're not using the naps that are scraping against you're not using any kind of what other type of fishing would there be as far as the net goal?
[00:05:50.580] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. There's a thing called per sanine, which is usually dedicated or set aside for locals that have a fishing license, then go and Persian in Rivers and oceans. But as far as commercial fishing goes, it is really mostly trawling, that's kind of dangerous reach havoc on an ecosystem. This is a good kind of segue into what Wildcat means, right? Because people here wild cotton, they seek out Wildcat in the store. And that's great. You should. But the next level question that people in order trying to educate people on is to ask your fishmonger, whoever's behind the counter to tell them where the fish came from and how it was caught.
Wild-caught just means it's coming from the ocean. It doesn't take into consideration how it's coming from the ocean. And so 90% or more of wild-caught fish is trawled with big nets. This unsustainable practice. And so what we are trying to do is teach people that there's a better way. And the more small boat fishermen that are doing these line-caught practices by Linowes literally hooks and lines. There's techniques called long lining, which is usually for halibut kind of ocean bottom-dwelling fish. And these are long lines with what's called a circle hook.
It's shaped like a circle. And these are just a really ingenious hook that doesn't allow the fish to swallow it so that if we do pull up a halibut that's either not in the slot size or just not something we're going to keep, we can release it without damage the fish. So there's things like that. There's down rigging, there's jigging. There's also flashers and spoons that are usually used for salmon. They'll bite on that. Now sockeye salmon is an interesting species in that it feeds so low on the food chain that it actually won't come to or be caught by hook in line.
Traditionally. So there is a thing called Gill netting. And Gill netting is a form of netting, but it's a sustainable form of netting. So these fish will will lay out
[00:07:59.350] - Candi Broeffle, Host
[00:08:00.620] - Richie Mann, Guest
Net. Thank you. A Gill Net. And they're kind of like diamond-shaped. It shaped the salmon will swim through. And if they're too small to swim right through it, if they're the right size, look at stuck and we'll pull that in. And so that's another technique that we use that's also sustainable.
[00:08:19.600] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You also talk a lot on the website about short runs that you guys do short runs. First of all, before we get into that, I do have to say there's some great videos on YouTube on your website to you guys. Yeah, that are really wonderful when it comes to showing some of these fish coming up. And they are huge.
[00:08:38.120] - Richie Mann, Guest
They are big, huge wild, and beautiful.
[00:08:40.710] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah. But you also talk on the website about short runs. So what is the short run and why is it important?
[00:08:48.000] - Richie Mann, Guest
Sure. That is a great question. Candi. Short runs for us. They're kind of different for everybody, but for us because our standards are so high, it's a one to two-day run. So that's that means within 48 hours, the fish that we catch is brought back to our processing plant and process filled and blast frozen sometimes in three days, depending on the species like halibut. Maybe it's three days. But then that extra day on the boat, it's not jeopardizing the quality of the fish at all. Everything is still packed on ice and kept in insulated coolers and still premium.
That compared to what is normal. We're trying to change that. Normal in industrial commercial fishing is a longer trip, which are anywhere from three to nine to ten days sometimes. And that's achievable by these larger boats because there's these big container boats called tenders that float on the ocean, and they're basically a big gathering vessel for fish. So fishermen will fish for a long period of time and then they'll bring or find a tender, the schedule, the drop-off, and then that fish is that put on the tender and kept for additional amount of days.
And then the fish. Sure, bank can go back out and fish for longer. So this just is trying to basically cater to the high volume of needs that people have for fish. But what it does is jeopardize the quality and the premium quality of fish.
[00:10:11.250] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And I think some of the interesting things from watching shows like Dangerous Catchers and other ones when you watch them unload the holding tank and how it's almost just vacuumed out. And you see all of those fish just kind of hitting each other a very pleasant it makes you think like, wow, that's kind of what I'm eating. I sat on this boat for how long and now.
[00:10:36.480] - Richie Mann, Guest
Right. And those fish are being bruised. They're being thrown around without a lot of care. And this is the most fragile protein on the planet. Fish is very fragile and any using any suffocation to the fish releases an alert or toxin or not a toxin, but some sort of reaction from the fish that will start pushing down the flesh. And just the pressure of the fish against each other are jeopardizing the quality of fish.
[00:11:02.490] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So the quality is not there as it is.
[00:11:06.090] - Richie Mann, Guest
Not too close. Right.
[00:11:06.610] - Candi Broeffle, Host
We're going to come back and we're going to continue to talk about what Sitka salmon does differently. But I understand that you also have a very special deal for our listeners today.
[00:11:15.940] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah, that's right.
[00:11:17.840] - Candi Broeffle, Host
They can get $50 off one of your shares by using the code Green 50.
[00:11:25.230] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:11:25.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That's for people who want to find out more about what you do. What is the website that they can find you?
[00:11:30.330] - Richie Mann, Guest
So it's Sitka S-I-T-K-A Salmon Shares it's plural SitkaSalmonShares.com and you can just click on it and use that code. It's pretty great.
[00:11:39.260] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Great. So to read an online version of Natural Awakenings magazine. Visit NaturalTwincities.Com. You can find a podcast of this show on AM950Radio.com or an Apple or Google podcasts or anywhere you get your podcast. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950 The Progressive Voice of Minnesota
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host, Candi Broeffle.
And today we're talking with Richie Mann Salmon Steward in the Minnesota community manager for Sitka Salmon Shares, which is a community-supported fishery. Thanks for being with us today.
[00:15:23.410] - Richie Mann, Guest
Thanks for having us, Candi.
[00:15:25.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So just before the break, you were introducing us to community-supported fisheries. And what set Sitka Salmon shares? Apart from commercial Fisher.
[00:15:33.700] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:15:34.800] - Candi Broeffle, Host
The most important part of your business seems to be the fisherman themselves, which we're going to get into in just a minute. But there's a couple of other things that I really wanted to let our listeners know about the way that you do your fishing and the harvesting and the producing of the product because it's really important to understand the quality. And so one of the things is you talk about flash freezing.
So why is flash freezing? What is it and why is it important?
[00:16:03.680] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. And when you talk about fish, what we do as an artisan fish, it's similar to an artisan cheesemaker, an artisan beer maker. We put ourselves in that same category because carry put into the fish and the elements of care is the flash reasoning part of it. I'll back up for just one step, though, before it even gets brought to the process of plant, we do something that's very unique and even the small boat fishing world. And that is we pressure bleed all of our fish with a saline fluid.
It's like a little hypodermic needle that flushes in a saline water from the ocean to ocean water, and it gets put in one of the ventricles or a couple ventricles of the fish, and that pumps out all the blood and blood is the number one deteriorated a fish. And when that's not done, you're already stepping on your own fee. You're already losing quality and premium. So we do that with all of our fish. And then a couple of steps, and then we bring it to our processing plant within a day or two, like we had said.
And then it's blast frozen. So we had this beautiful, custom-made commercial flash freeze are built for us. And this thing goes down to negative 55 or negative 60 degrees in about 30 minutes. It can freeze a fillet solid. And so what happens when you do slow freezing is that it creates ice crystals, and then those ice crystals puncture cells, and you start getting water that goes into the fish and you get a musher fish. So we do it really fast, really quick. And not many people do that.
We put a lot of science behind it and a lot of energy and finances behind this freezer. And it makes a difference.
[00:17:37.540] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So talking about the bleeding?
[00:17:39.400] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:17:39.930] - Candi Broeffle, Host
What do you say? Pressure bleeding?
[00:17:41.830] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:17:42.580] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Pressure bleeding. You also do something called dressing and icing. Now, as somebody who grew up on a farm and we actually did Butcher animal, we always heard from my parents about how important it is to get the animal dress as quickly as possible.
[00:17:58.680] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:17:59.330] - Candi Broeffle, Host
In order to maintain the quality of the meat. So what is the dressing and icing that's done with the fish that you guys?
[00:18:06.920] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. It's perfect. It's pretty simple. We have flush ice that is lower than lower than freshwater temperature because ice salt water can go lower than 32 degrees. And so we have a large an immense amount of ice that's put on all of our boats more than we need before they go out. And that's used to once the fish is brought on board and the gills are popped, usually, that's the way that the fish is killed immediately. It's kind of like for lack of bedrooms, like splitting the throat of a bleeding out a pig.
It's just really quick painless. And the gills are popped. And then all the entrails of the guts are taken out immediately. And then it's packed with this ice and then or if not, pack, then it's put into a big slush tank of ice. So it just drops the temperature immediately. And it preserves that fish for that 24 hours that it needs to before you bring it to the processing plant. Sure.
[00:19:01.840] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You're ensuring the best quality.
[00:19:03.350] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:19:05.390] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So one of the reasons that I know I personally support CSA is because we really want to support our local farmers. We want to support the local economy, helps to cut down on transportation costs and other things. But it's really about the people, the people who are producing the food for us. Tell us a bit about what Sitka Salmon Shares is doing helps to promote the local communities for economy.
[00:19:30.970] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. It's that concept of knowing your fisherman, knowing your farmer. I think we've talked about this before. Maybe. Is that knowing your farmer in the Midwest is a very common kind of mentality? People just know what you're kind of raised that way. And you know your fisherman or your farmer, but you don't know your fisherman as well for lots of reasons. Midwest man, because you don't see the ocean. But what we do is that same concept if you need to know your fishermen. So there's all these beautiful stories behind our fishermen.
Like I said, there's 25 that are owners of our company, and each one has a family, and most of them are multi-generational fishermen. So their dads and their grandfathers, their grandmothers, have been fishermen before and in Alaska most often. And so knowing your fisherman to us means that you know the story behind your food. So when that fish comes to your door and you Cook it and prepare it and played it up, you can draw a line. And we've made it very easy. It's completely traceable.
And you can draw that line from that black cod right to stew or fisherman or right to March, which is a fisherman and our vice President, you can draw that line. And then with that line, there exists this beautiful storyline about how it was caught, where it was caught, the location, the fishing grounds that happened on, and then the families of the fishermen that are all in Sitka. That money that is so valuable is staying with the fishermen in the community. And that money is more than they would normally get for a market price fish because they are owners of our company, we can offer them anywhere from 15%, all the way up to 130% more above market value for their fish.
And that's huge. That adds up sometimes the average of $10,000 more a year for somewhere fishermen.
[00:21:12.110] - Candi Broeffle, Host
It's a huge.
It's a huge chunk of money. And a lot of our families, not a fisherman, have their families on the boat with them. There's a couple that just got married and they just have her baby and they're out there right now fishing for you.
[00:21:24.180] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yes, but I can't remember the name of the family. It's the father, the son, and the daughter.
[00:21:28.740] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah, that's the skills.
[00:21:29.960] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Skills Yes. And I was watching the video that was created from them, and I thought it was so neat how he was talking about. He was showing pictures of his kids when they were young and they had gotten seasick, and he had to put them up on the deck, cover them up with sleeping bags and that to help them kind of overcome the seasickness. And now, they work on the boat.
[00:21:49.680] - Richie Mann, Guest
And now they were on the boat. And one of them is the vice president of our company, Marsh. John and his kids, Marsh and Nora and Nora and John still fish together on their boat called The Sunfish and their Halibut fisherman and King Salmon fisherman. And they do some a cat as well. I think so. It's such a cool story. And that's one of 20 25 stories.
[00:22:14.690] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And on the website, you guys have a lot of the stories. You introduce people to their fisherman and then.
[00:22:21.170] - Richie Mann, Guest
All of our shares. You always get a newsletter, which we put a lot of time and energy into creating a very high-quality newsletter that talks about what's happening that month. We usually feature a fisherman or their vessel, feature their life and what it means to them. And what I think it does is it creates a commitment into eating that fish in that you don't waste that fish because there's a story behind it you're less likely to have. Maybe the food waste is reduced. You enjoy it. I think it takes a little better where you know it's coming, you know where it's coming from.
[00:22:52.070] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And you know how it's been harvested.
[00:22:53.710] - Richie Mann, Guest
You know everything about it. That transparency and food is so important.
[00:22:58.240] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So tell us a bit about the special that you have for us is $50 off?
[00:23:02.297] - Richie Mann, Guest
50 Bucks. It's really nice when we're talking about a really high-quality premium product. $50 is a lot. And we're offering the code is Green, G-R-E-E-N 50. GREEN50. And you can use that for $50 off of any share right now on our website. And this goes for just three days, three days after we air here, it'll be expiring. So take advantage.
[00:23:24.290] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So it'll be expiring on Wednesday. So be sure to get your code in there while you're listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950. And we are talking with Richie Mann of Sitka Salmon Shares. When we come back, we're going to learn about the benefits of eating quality fish and seafood to support your health goals. To read Natural Awakenings magazine online, visit NaturalTwinCities.Com. You can listen to a podcast to the show on AM950Radio.Com on Apple or Google podcasts or anywhere you get your podcasts. We will be right back.
[00:27:29.120] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we meet the professionals straight on the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine who share their expertise on natural health with you.
I'm your host, Candi Broeffle. And today we're visiting with Richie Mann, a salmon Steward in the Minnesota community manager for Sitka Salmon Shares, which is a community-supported fishery out of So out of Alaska.
[00:27:51.870] - Richie Mann, Guest
You got it.
[00:27:52.500] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So just before the break, you were introducing us to community supportive fisheries and the fishermen who work with Sitka Salmon Shares. One of the missions of the company is to really educate consumers on sustainable harvesting and responsible processing of the product, which we've talked about as well as helping us understand the true health benefits of eating quality efficiency food help us to understand what are some of the essential nutrients our audience could expect to get from Sitka of Salmon Shares.
[00:28:22.710] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. There's differences between there's lots of difference between farm fish and wild fish. And if you start breaking it down to the minutia of what that means is you can start talking about the vitamins and the minerals and what I always relate like to point to. And I think most people understand is the Omega three that are involved with fish. And it's such a breakthrough fatty acid that everybody's trying to get fish oils. And there's a lot of study behind it. And there's a lot of cloud behind it.
And Salmon, specifically, are some of the highest rates of Omega three, and specifically long-chain Omega three. So that's the DHA and the EPA long chain. And those are the most convertible by your body into what it needs. So your brain, your hair, your eyes, your cardiovascular all depend on these long-chain fatty acids and salmon. Then the other fish is black cod. It's really a beautiful buttery oily and not only in a bad way but in a really rich, delicious way. And those are high high omega 3 as well.
And so that's where I like to go with that discussion. And I think that when people are getting their nutrients, it's always best to get the whole food nutrient as opposed to just supplements. Like we said, the supplements are called that for a reason. So make no mistake when you're looking for Omega threes, if you can get it in the full whole food, that is the preferred way. And most studies of the benefits of Omega threes are based off the whole food consumption, as opposed to the supplement consumption of it.
That's not to say elements are important, and they are. But if you can do it through the fish, that's the best way.
[00:30:06.130] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so you were talking about the difference between Omega three and Omega sixes. Yeah. So what is the difference between the two?
[00:30:14.700] - Richie Mann, Guest
I'm really passionate about this cool concept. I just ran across it last year. So Omega three, Omega six is is ratio that exists in your body. Omega six is being something that's found in, well, for lack of better of snack foods, I guess it's a lot of soil oil and stuff like that. Those have Omega six is them, and they're also important to your body. Your body needs them, but.
[00:30:32.820] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Probably not at the rate of a not at the rate in which we eat them.
[00:30:36.840] - Richie Mann, Guest
Not at the rate which we eat them, but they're delicious, for sure.
Omega threes are more important or just as important. The difference or the problem comes into play when we get an imbalance in that most people in the US have this imbalance upwards of 15 to one, which is 15 Omega six and one Omega three. And this is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease, of heart attack, stroke are really traced back to the imbalance. And so we've evolved. Our bodies have evolved to have a very equal balance of one-to-one. So we try to shoot for one to three, one to four.
That's really where you should be looking. So cutting out a lot of those snack foods and soil oils and things like that and supplementing more Omega threes, which you can get. And you can get Omega threes from grass-fed beef and bison and things as well. The Omega threes that exist in the ocean anyway, in phytoplankton, and then phytoplankton are consumed by zooplankton and then krill and then salmon. And so just as this ladder up effect. And so it's just accumulated as you go further up the food chain so.
[00:31:36.810] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Is there a recommended amount of fish that we should be eating a day?
[00:31:41.060] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. The AHA. American Heart Association says at least two meals a week is what they suggest. And when you consider you're eating two meals a week of fish, you really should make it a point to make sure you know where that fish is coming from. That it's a healthy, sustainable, unfarmed fish. If you're only going to do it twice, you might as well make it worth it.
[00:32:04.170] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah. And there's always so much confusion around how much we should be eating, especially when it comes to salmon.
[00:32:10.520] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:32:11.140] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Because it does hold more of the the fatty oils in it can also hold more of the contaminants.
[00:32:17.750] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:32:18.720] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So what is the difference?
[00:32:20.360] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. You know, it's a really good question. And what I know is that farm fish is huge. People eat a lot of farm salmon. I'll make an asterisk here. Salmon should never have been domesticated to be farmed to begin with, this is an open ocean predator. And somehow along the line, 30 years ago, someone said, let's make it a farm fish. Big mistake. It doesn't do well in small cages. What happens is because we want more fat in our food. We want that fatty acid. They're fed a lot of food.
And farm tend to have more fat. But with that fat-soluble things like polychlorinated biphenyls, PCPs, PCBs, I'm sorry, are kept in that fat as well. So you're consuming a lot more of that. You're consuming the toxins of that PCP and then also any antibiotics. And they're really nasty stuff they have to put in the farm fish. And so if you're going to look for that fattier fish, make sure that it's wild, way less of all those PCP for sure, but way less heavy metals and all the other nasty stuff that exists.
[00:33:31.460] - Candi Broeffle, Host
In the pristine waters of Sitka Alaska?
[00:33:34.940] - Richie Mann, Guest
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.
[00:33:37.210] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So in our upcoming June issue of Natural Awakenings is really focused on one of the focuses that we have is on brain health. So share with us how eating quality, efficiency food can really help support good brain health.
[00:33:50.180] - Richie Mann, Guest
What's really in that Omega three? Again, that is such an important component of fish and vitamin D, vitamin D and fish is super high, especially in salmon and it's one of the only species on the planet you can get vitamin D from aside from getting from the sun so you can get your daily allotment of vitamin D with just a certain are being a fish or a 4oz of salmon actually is what the exact amount is high, high in protein, your brain thrives and needs protein. So it's an incredible source for that, making easy and potassium vitamin A, B2, B6, or some of the other ones that help that brain health as well. Yeah
[00:34:32.190] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And then also we talk in the May issue. It was focused on eye health. And of course, we always think about eating good fish for good eye health, but how does it support good eye health?
[00:34:46.300] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. I don't know the science behind the Omega three and how it is attributed to eye health. I do know that it is. I can't draw a distinct line because I'm not a chemist, but I do know enough that it is drawn to the eye health for pregnant women, too. It's always a really good thing to be eating that fish. Getting those for the development of the fetus. There's a lot of States that just say babies that are born with Omega threes of the mother just have better brain health, better receptivity.
[00:35:18.080] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And nothing is more important than making sure that that's good good quality.
[00:35:21.340] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:35:22.960] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Yeah. Exactly. So you are also going to be at some local farmer's markets here. Coming up this week.
[00:35:31.530] - Richie Mann, Guest
We're going to be an Excelsior on the 21st, which is a really fun little market on Lake Street in historic downtown Excels year. They'll be your first year, there will be the only fish vendor that exists there. So you'll see us and then we're going to be and that's on the 21st. And then we're going to be in North East, the Northeast farmers market on the 25th.
[00:35:52.250] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so that's Tuesday and
[00:35:55.360] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:35:56.050] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Saturday. Okay, Tuesday and Saturday, Tuesday in Excelsior and Saturday in Northeast.
[00:36:00.350] - Richie Mann, Guest
And we're selling fish, but we're also doing memberships, too. So we have a cool farmers market deal. When if you sign up for membership, you get 50% off of any fish that you buy at market on site that day. We're which is really nice.
[00:36:11.210] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Oh, wow. Okay. So what kind of fish will you have? Do you know?
[00:36:15.130] - Richie Mann, Guest
Let's see what we have right now. We have halibut and black cod. We have rockfish. We have the Kia and society'll just start running in June, so they won't quite be there yet. I don't know the full product line that we're going to have, but those are a few of them.
[00:36:31.550] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Beautiful and so they're served in individual servings or family serving?
[00:36:36.250] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. Everything is when you buy a portion of our fish, it's blast frozen and vacuum-sealed into portions. So about half to three quarter out portions is how you buy your fish.
[00:36:45.850] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay. And when somebody purchases a share from you and they get this in. How is it delivered? First of all?
[00:36:54.470] - Richie Mann, Guest
You could probably tell us that because you're one of our wonderful members. Now, And you're getting you in this. So we take a lot of care into our delivery. So we actually do. Most of our deliveries are hand delivered by our team because we really want that face-to-face customer service aspect. If you're outside of a deliver range, then we'll drop-ship it and through FedEx, no extra charge or anything like that. But it's delivered on dry ice in a box, so you can sign up for 5 10 or 15-pound box.
And we always say it's four to £6 per month that you're getting or ten to twelve or so on. And you're getting that in the same flayed portioned out sizes. And you're going to get each month a different variety of species because we fish seasonally. The fish are seasonal. We have to listen in abide by the oceans laws. And so it's really fun because each month you getting a different fish, you get a sample and you don't really maybe haven't had link card before. And so if that is the case, then we're sending you amazing recipes to use that link it to its highest degree.
And so we worked with some professional Chefs a couple of years ago to develop about 50 or so recipes that will coincide with the fish that you get.
[00:38:05.660] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And a lot of those recipes are right on your website.
[00:38:08.940] - Richie Mann, Guest
Right on the website. It's really easy to plug and play. We'll send you hard copies, too, in your box. But when you get it, if you're like, what do I do with rockfish? You just type in rockfish and it'll pull up about four or five different recipes from easy to difficult.
[00:38:21.200] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay. And what about what do we expect to get in the box with the fish? Are there any kind of seasoning?
[00:38:27.980] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. Sometimes we do some sea salt. You can make that an add-on once in a while. That depends on the time of year. It's not as much seasoning, but what we do is like I had mentioned, our newsletter is really received well by our members because it's so full of genuine, well, well put together fish stories and what's happening in that fishery that month? Just stories about our fishermen.
[00:38:55.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so right now you have some shares that are available. Your shares have started already earlier this year, but you still have shares available that people can get in on. What are the shares that are available now?
[00:39:07.720] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. We started in April. So we are a seasonal fishing company. So we started in April. We end in December with our shares. And then each month there's a different share that kind of enroll right now. What we have available is what we call our fall seafood sampler. And then we have our Sitka salmon share, which is my favorite because it's all salmon and that happens. The delivery starts in August for that one. It's August through December. And if your salmon head just want salmon, that's the one for you.
And then our five-month seafood sampler. And then our six-month premium sampler, which I think is what you got. And so the premium sampler. The difference between that and the five-month sampler is just kind of in the name that it's more premium. There's going to be more King salmon, there's going to be more dungeon of crab and more halibut. It the more higher market valued fish things.
[00:39:54.660] - Candi Broeffle, Host
That where we are so excited to get our hands-on.
[00:39:56.820] - Richie Mann, Guest
It's incredible. And you know, the prices for them are really reasonable, considering what you're getting, what I like to break it down into poundage or like, price per pound. When I talk to people about this, some of the questions are like, I don't know if I can afford it or I don't know if I eat that much fish. The second question, don't worry about it. You're going to eat enough fish. It's not a problem. We design these boxes for one to two meals a week for about two people.
You can always get more, but then the price too. I mean, it starts at $89 a month. You write that down per pound. It's about $17 to $18 a pound for your wild-caught premium fish.
[00:40:28.670] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And so you can also take advantage of the $50 off, like going to the website and putting in the coupon code Green50 or so to read an online edition of Natural Awakenings online or to check out our complete online calendar of events, visit NaturalTwinCities.Com. You can find a podcast of the show on AM950Radio.com or an Apple in Google podcasts. You're listening to Green Tea Conversations, and we will be right back.
Welcome back to Green Tea Conversations, where we delve into the pages of Natural Awakenings magazine and talk to the professionals who share their expertise on natural health with you. I'm your host Candi Broeffle. And today we're talking with Richie Mann, a Salmon Steward, and Minnesota community manager for Sitka Salmon Shares, which is a community-supported fishery.
So, Richie before we get started, I need to know what is the Salmon Steward we have saying this. I don't even know what it is.
[00:44:27.630] - Richie Mann, Guest
Salmon Stewards. Yeah, actually, it's kind of a title that everybody in our company holds and is to me. It means someone that is caring for the oceans and the land, too, but really the oceans and the best way I can. And for me, that's educating people about a better source of fish.
[00:44:45.130] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Being a good steward to our wildlife into our world.
[00:44:50.760] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:44:51.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
So you are the Minnesota community manager.
[00:44:54.230] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:44:54.980] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Which means if we're going to see people at the Expo if we're going to see people at farmers markets, who are we going to see?
[00:45:01.830] - Richie Mann, Guest
You're going to going to see my team, our farmers market team that we just have some new stories that came on. Some really great ladies is going to be me or about two or three other people that that work here in Minnesota.
[00:45:14.460] - Candi Broeffle, Host
And when you're at the farmers market, what would we expect to see when we come there? Are you sampling anything?
[00:45:21.690] - Richie Mann, Guest
Sometimes we do. Yeah. There's a lot of red tape in the farmers market world of where it can be on the sample or not. And there's a lot of regulations, health code stuff. But we're navigating that. And so we hope to do some more samples this year. What you'll definitely see is a great big blue tent or white tent with our blue logo. And we're going to have a big, cooler fish for you to choose from and buy anything off sale or on-site that you want.
And you're going to see letters.
[00:45:45.620] - Candi Broeffle, Host
You can take it right from the fish from the farmers market and take it home. And they'll be right there for you right on the grill now that we have some warm weather.
[00:45:54.050] - Richie Mann, Guest
No, I know I can't wait.
[00:45:56.510] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Because Sitka Salmon Shares really has a commitment to sustainability. And one of the ways that you do that is tell us a bit about why you fish the fish that you fish when you fish it.
[00:46:09.020] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah, right. And there's a lot in that. But, yeah, the Alaskan waters are the most highly regulated in the world because it is such a valuable resource is precious. And we have to abide by the same rules anybody else does in terms of fishing. And so we picked species. We have 21 different species that we fish, and all of those have a different level of sustainability. But within those levels of sustainability, there's different. We have to really month to month, week to week, even listen to the Department of Fishing Game, and they set up these things called weird.
It's a fish counting mechanism, and they're counting when our salmon run begins, how many fish are returning, how many fish are coming up, how many fish are returning? And that's giving them an idea of the health of the population. And then after that is figured out, then they open it up to the fisheries. And so, for example, last year, our Saka runs in Copper River, which we fish often along with Taku River in Juno, Alaska. We're very, very low. And there are some reasons behind that.
But really, it was only open for a few days. And so because of that, we had to let our members know that, you know, what say we're just not a healthy return this year. It doesn't mean they won't be in the future. But we had to supplement that with Marquita and more coho salmon. And that's part of what we call our really fishing promise. And that is just what it sounds like we are actually fishing. So we have to abide by the laws and rules and the breadth of the ocean.
So there is one really cool reason why the stock the theory behind why the say and some of the other fish weren't returning in their numbers. And there's this thing called the blob that's moving around the ocean, much like the horror movie, but larger and maybe even scarier. So this blob is basically a big large area of warmer water, about five degrees warmer than the rest of the ocean. And it was kind of accumulation of a bunch of things. One thing called the Pacific decadal oscillation, which is a naturally occurring every ten years, the ocean warms a little bit.
But that was coupled with really high air temperatures and low or weak currents. And so all those three kind of combined and made this big warm blob. And that affects the food that the sockeye are eating. And this happened in 20, 14, 20, 16, which is then traced back to win. Those young salmon were leaving the river and going into the ocean and feeding the returns of the soccer much smaller, meaning they weren't as large and strong to get upstream back to spawn. And eleven failed.
And that's really the essence of it is that this warm water affected the food source for the sake they should be balancing back in the next year or two. But that's kind of an example of how we abide by the ocean. And so we move to different fisheries and we don't overfish just because people are asking for it doesn't mean we can do it for you. There's a very important concept that you ask what your fishermen caught, not what you can catch, not what they can catch for you.
[00:49:07.920] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. And that's what's so important about community-supported fishing. And it's the same with the CSA is you get what it is that has been produced. And that's the way it should be trying to get things that are not even grown here or anywhere near here to be able to have it on our tables. So what are some of the things that we should really be? First of all, I want to ask you, what are the difference between some of the salmon? So you talk about keto salmon and Sakai salmon.
So tell us the difference about?
[00:49:41.950] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah. So there's five salmon species that exist in the Pacific Northwest and the chump salmon, the King salmon, silver pink. And I miss one thing. And so of course, everybody's favorite sockeye. And the differences in flavor are pretty dramatic. I think most people like, say, but honestly, say, if you're not into salmon or haven't really done it, I wouldn't start with sockeye. It's very strong. It's very lean. It's not very forgiving when you Cook it because it's so lean and it's a very strong-tasting salmon in the world of salmon, I still like it.
Coho is my favorite. It's a nice combination of the fatty King and the sockeye. So it's kind of right in the middle. Keto salmon, otherwise known as dog salmon, which is a poor name for it, but it is a delicious, wonderful species, and that's a very sustainable fishery alongside coho, which is also very sustainable. Coho is an indicator species. It's only live two years, one in freshwater, one in ocean. So we can really monitor the health of both fresh water and ocean by just watching and taking samples of the coho salmon.
So those are the five and most people prefer. I think Sockeye and Coho King obviously is the King, but not a very healthy Fisher. So we are not fishing it very much.
[00:50:54.370] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Okay. And so what do we have coming up in June?
[00:50:57.550] - Richie Mann, Guest
[00:50:59.580] - Candi Broeffle, Host
For the fish that's coming in or.
[00:51:02.570] - Richie Mann, Guest
Yeah, for June. That's a good question. I know we're going to start our keto runs and coho runs just starting in June, you're going to be getting our black cod or halibut, and those are the two main ones you'll be getting. I believe in June, and each share I should define is a little different. So you're going to get a little different in each of them.
[00:51:23.270] - Candi Broeffle, Host
But it's kind of exciting to think about getting all these different types of fish because they're not necessarily things that we find in the store very easily, especially in Minnesota. Right.
[00:51:33.740] - Candi Broeffle, Host
Right. Most of the people are presented with sockeye fish, sockeye salmon or cod, Pacific cod. And I I'll make a distinguishing factor here between Pacific cod that we catch in Alaska. It's a really different cod, and you'll probably experience it. It's just a different tasting cod than you might get in a fish stick. It's much better.
I am really excited to try it. Well, Richie, thank you so much for being with us and for introducing us to community-supported fishing and Sitka Salmon shares.
[00:52:04.450] Richie Mann, Guest
Thank you for having us.
[00:52:05.780] Candi Broeffle, Host
And for our listeners who want to take advantage of the $50 off, you can go to SitkaSalmonShares that's plural shares dot Com and enter code Green50. Once again, thank you for being with us and to read the online edition of Natural Awakenings magazine, or to check out our complete online calendar of events, visit NaturalTwinCities.Com. You can find a podcast to the show on AM95Radio.Com or Apple and Google Podcast. Thank you for joining the conversation today. As we awaken to natural health, you've been listening to Green Tea Conversations on AM950, The Progressive Voice of Minnesota, and I'm wishing for you a lovely day!