Hy-Vee understands that some of the biggest threats to the ocean and coastal communities can start on land.
In October 2017, Hy-Vee joined the Businesses for Bristol Bay coalition to advocate for the protection of Bristol Bay, the most pristine and productive wild salmon habitat in the world, from potentially devastating impacts from the proposed Pebble Mine project. If developed, toxic runoff from the Pebble Mine would contaminate nearby Bristol Bay, where Hy-Vee sources much of our wild salmon. An environmental disaster would jeopardize thousands of independent businesses, tens of thousands of jobs, and an economic engine that sustains Alaska’s economy. As part of this effort, Hy-Vee signed on to a letter to President Trump and U.S. EPA Administrator advocating for the protection of Bristol Bay.
Meet Captain Darin Gilman, who fishes aboard the FV Redline. He was born and raised in Cordova, Alaska, and is a third-generation Alaskan fisherman. He is one of the fisherman who catches Hy-Vee’s Alaska Halibut, Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon and other species.
As a reader of Seafoodies, we know you care about responsibly sourced seafood. Hy-Vee works with FishWise to ensure that all efforts are supporting conservation through environmentally responsible business practices. Education is a large piece of our efforts. Hy-Vee strives to educate their employees and customers about seafood quality, safety and sustainability.
When you have time to enjoy a documentary, we recommend the following to expand your knowledge about the problems and challenges of our beautiful ocean ecosystems.
Empty Oceans, Empty Nets
According to pbs.org, Empty Oceans, Empty Nets explores the marine fisheries crisis and the pioneering efforts of fishermen, scientists and communities to sustain and restore these fisheries and our oceans. An ongoing international debate surrounds the complex problems and how best to solve them. Understanding why some fisheries are thriving while some are in most serious decline may be the key to averting an impending food crisis.
The Last Ocean
This film received many accolades throughout the industry. The film’s synopsis from the website: “The Ross Sea, Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. A vast, frozen landscape that teems with life – whales, seals and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. Californian ecologist David Ainley has been traveling to the Ross Sea to study this unique ecosystem for more than 30 years. He has written scientific papers describing it as a “living laboratory.” Largely untouched by humans, it is one of the last places where the delicate balance of nature prevails. But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea and is targeting Antarctic toothfish, sold as Chilean sea bass in restaurants around the world.
The website says, “When fishing guide and filmmaker Mark Titus learns why wild salmon populations plummeted in his native Pacific Northwest, he embarks on a journey to discover where the fish have gone and what might bring them back. Along the way, Titus unravels a trail of human hubris, historical amnesia and potential tragedy looming in Alaska – all conspiring to end the most sustainable wild food left on the planet.”
It is Hy-Vee’s intent to sell high-quality seafood that not only is safe for consumption, but also is harvested or raised in a manner that provides for its long-term viability (sustainability) while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.
Farm-raised cold-water fish like salmon can get a bad rap. Conventional wisdom is that it can have a different taste than wild salmon, but advances in aquaculture are closing the gap.
One of the best options in the Hy-Vee seafood case is Mt. Cook Alpine salmon, which is disrupting expectations about farm-raised salmon in a big way. This fish is raised in a canal fed by glacier runoff from New Zealand’s Southern Alps. There’s no human interaction in these clean, fast-flowing waters, no runoff from human activities and the water is so pure that you can drink it both before and after the fish leave.
The fish in these waters are disease-free; never get antibiotics, hormones or other chemicals; and are killed in a humane way that minimizes unnecessary stress and pain, a method that ensures better flesh quality.
Mt. Cook salmon is also incredibly healthy. The Omega-3 fatty acids in this fish are comparable with wild-caught salmon, and have three times the amount of Omega 3 oils as Atlantic salmon and in comparison, has very low intramuscular fat.
This flavor of this fish is so clean that I hate to mask it with heavy sauces. Just make a light crust of seasonings, sear the fish and finish it off in the oven. Try this:
Seared Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon with Garlic Spinach
All you need:
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
4 (5 oz each) Mt. Cook salmon fillets, skinned
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp shallot, minced
1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 cups fresh spinach
salt and black pepper, to taste
squeeze of fresh lemon
All you do:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Combine brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cumin, dry mustard and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture on the top side (non-skin) of the salmon fillets.
Heat an oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear fillets, rub-side down, until fish is browned, about 2 minutes. Flip fillets and place pan in oven; finish cooking for 5 to 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
While fish is in oven, heat another sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add butter, shallots and garlic. Sauté until garlic is fragrant and add spinach; sauté until slightly wilted; season with salt and pepper. Serve spinach with salmon fillet on top; squeeze fresh lemon on fish just before serving.