Wild Pink Salmon
Our pink salmon, the most abundant of all salmon species in the Fraser River system, comes from wild, self-sustaining runs off Lummi Island, Washington—no farms or hatchery stocks. To minimize bycatch, the wild pinks are caught using reef nets, an ancient selective-harvest technique. A nutritional powerhouse with a delicate flavor and fine, flaky texture, pink salmon is fish you can enjoy on every level.
Nutrition: A Gift from the Sea
Wild salmon is an excellent source of protein, leaner than untrimmed red meat. Each serving of our pink salmon contains 870 mg of omega-3 fatty acids, molecules that may benefit heart health.
Pink salmon, also known as humpback salmon, is naturally high in vitamin D (80% of the daily value per serving), a nutrient that boosts the immune system and regulates calcium absorption. We pack our pink salmon in organic extra-virgin olive oil, which contains monounsaturated fats and polyphenols, a class of plant compounds being studied for possible antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Sourcing: The Power of Place
Place-based fisheries operate on the knowledge that every run, or stock, of wild salmon has evolved to return to the river of their birth to spawn. These fisheries respect this ancient cycle and work to preserve it.
“If we want to save salmon, we have to change the salmon industry,” says Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “And that means harvesting from specific places or with techniques that allow us to reduce by-catch of endangered salmon stocks.”
While most industrial salmon is harvested indiscriminately on the open ocean, where many different stocks mix and the origin of the fish can’t be determined, place-based fisheries are conducted in or near rivers of origin. Our pink salmon comes from the Fraser River migration corridor off Lummi Island, Washington. Through a combination of timing(knowing when to expect the salmon) and technique (reef netting), our partners can zero in on specific runs of pinks that can sustain harvest, while minimizing or eliminating harm to overfished species like Chinook and coho.
Enviro: The Wisdom of the Past
Our fishing partners employ a harvesting technique called reef netting. Developed centuries ago by tribes of the Salish Sea, including the Lummi, Saanich and Samish, reef netting makes it possible to target abundant runs of salmon and spare less vigorous stocks.
Here’s how it works: A large net is suspended between two anchored platforms, with lead lines extending outward (a).Migrating salmon are fooled by the lead lines into thinking they are approaching a reef and must ascend to the surface (b).Spotters in 20-foot towers (c) keep an eye out. If the fish are not the targeted species—like, say, the less abundant Chinook salmon—the net is not lifted and the fish swim on through. For the targeted species, like pink salmon, the fishers engage the net, using solar-powered winches (d) to lift the edges and trap the fish inside. The captured pinks are individually handled and iced immediately for top quality, and any accidental bycatch are released, alive, back into the water.
History: Respect for the Pinks
For millions of years, salmon has played a vital role in the ecosystem, culture and economy of the Pacific—a role that’s now drastically diminished.
Over the past century, the runs of wild salmon that once stretched from Alaska to Southern California have been decimated by overfishing and industry, including open-water net-pen salmon farms that pollute the ocean.
The good news: While other species of wild salmon have struggled, pink salmon has thrived in the Pacific Northwest. But they’re often underrated and handled improperly by commercial fisheries, so quality and flavor suffer. “They have a more subtle flavor profile [than other salmon], so they’re not treated well, and when they’re not treated well … it’s a downhill spiral,“ says Riley Starks, co-founder of our fishing partners, Lummi Island Wild. By harvesting and packing pink salmon with care, we can honor this delicious mild fish and enjoy it to the fullest.
Partners: Guided by Science
We’ve put in years of research and tapped the guidance and wisdom of experts to find sustainable commercial salmon fisheries. Our stringent sourcing practices were developed in partnership with the Wild Fish Conservancy.
All Provisions salmon must be harvested from wild, self-sustaining populations rather than hatchery stocks or net-pen fish farms. We only work with place-based fisheries where sound science can assess fish population status and needs. These fisheries also use techniques, location or timing to minimize bycatch. Preference is given to fisheries that maximize eating quality through careful, individual handling of fish, and that support the health of the environment and human communities. Finally, all Provisions salmon are marketed with full transparency, including packaging that names the species, harvest location and type of gear used.