Spotlight on Orca Bay
We’re casting our Co-op Spotlight on Orca Bay this week to shed a little light on their efforts to source sustainable, ocean-friendly seafood for all to enjoy. Their seafood products are 20% off for member-owners from July 6th – 11th! Read on to learn more about this energetic and creative company providing exceptional seafood choices for more than 30 years:
Orca Bay is pleased to be an example of how ethics, fairness, and friendship can be core values of a healthy and thriving business endeavor. They attribute their success and longevity to a winning blend of quality, value, and innovation. From their people to their products, to the clients that they serve, their goal will always be to exceed expectations and to keep the Orca Bay whale synonymous with true quality and customer satisfaction. They believe that from great people come great products. To that end, Orca Bay has invested three decades into searching out and nurturing business relationships with some of the most quality-minded seafood harvesters in the world. From those fishermen and harvesters to their headquarters in Seattle, they source and process the very best seafood products, offering both variety and value to the health conscious consumer. By combining convenient and informative packaging with wholesome and delicious seafood, Orca Bay consistently delivers excellence to that most important of daily social events – mealtime. Their products have garnered awards from the prestigious Alaska “Symphony of Seafood”, a competition celebrating wild, all natural selections.
At Orca Bay, they view themselves as partners with their customers, suppliers, community and their environment. Together they collaborate to ensure that demand and standards for the finest seafood do not come at the expense of the individuals or oceans that provide them. They are committed to supporting organizations which promote their shared values in business, health, and social responsibility such as the National Fisheries Institute and Sea Share. Their seafood products are non-GMO verified, they are certified for responsible fisheries management by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI), and their seafood is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). They’re also a participating and certified supplier in a cool program called Smart Catch, created by chefs for chefs to recognize restaurants working toward ensuring an abundant supply of seafood for generations to follow.
Why is it so important to support sustainable seafood?
From above, it may seem that there are plenty of fish in the sea, but dive beneath the surface and it’s a different story. Over-fishing, lack of effective management, and our own consumption habits are just a few factors contributing to a decline in wild fish populations. Evidence of these problems abounds.
In just the past decade, Atlantic populations of halibut and yellowtail flounder joined the list of species at all-time lows. The cod fishery, once a backbone of the North Atlantic economy, collapsed completely in the early 1990s and has shown little evidence of recovery two decades later. The breeding population of Pacific bluefin tuna is now at only four percent of its original size and decline will continue without significant, immediate management changes.
Other harmful effects of fishing—some of which are preventable with modifications to gear—also impact the ocean, including the accidental catch of unwanted species (bycatch) and habitat damage from fishing gear.
So, how did we get here? One reason is the advent of industrial-scale fishing, which began in the late 1800s and has been accompanied by significant declines in the size and abundance of fish. By the mid-1990s, these fishing practices made it impossible for natural fish stocks to keep up. Ninety percent of the world’s fisheries are now fully exploited, overexploited or have collapsed.
Because the ocean seems so vast and its resources limitless, these threats are often “out of sight, out of mind,” but over-fishing issues are not just for future generations to bear; they’re very real problems threatening our current seafood supply and the health of our ocean. The good news is that there is much we can do.
- Support sustainable seafood with your food dollars – Ask for sustainable seafood at stores and restaurants. By asking this simple but important question, you can help shape the demand for, and ultimately supply of, fish that’s been caught or farmed in environmentally sustainable ways. Consumers play an important role in shaping ocean health, so start making a difference today!
- Use sustainable seafood resource guides, like this one from the Safina Center, when shopping for seafood.
- Consider these ocean-friendly substitutes when the seafood in your recipe isn’t a sustainable option.
- Check for logos indicating sustainable seafood options like those from the MSC or ASMI.
Want great recipes, cooking tips, and other resources? Check out Orca Bay’s web page!