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Ready, set go! Wild Aleutia sockeye harvest opens

SAND POINT, Ak (June 4, 2017)–Local harvesters are mending their nets and getting their vessels in the water to prepare for the first wild Aleutia 2017 sockeye salmon season opening just days away. Boats with set gillnet harvest gear will start fishing June 7 at 6 a.m. Boats with purse seine harvest gear will head out on June 10 at 6 a.m. Both gear groups will fish for 88 hours around the Shumagin Islands.

 

The Aleutia sockeye fishery is strictly managed by the State of Alaska for maximum sustainability. There are four scheduled 88 hour openings and 32 closures through the month of June.

 

This is a traditional fishery. For hundreds of years families living around the Eastern Aleutian Islands have braved dramatic weather in small boats on the Pacific Ocean to harvest Aleutia sockeye. Today, using the traditional harvest knowledge passed down through generations, Aleutia has gained a following for its remarkable just-caught flavor and beautiful, bright appearance. Every Aleutia sockeye is caught at sea by net fishermen.  Every salmon is individually handled, meticulously dressed and then iced immediately to lock in the flavor and appearance it has become known for.

 

Aleutia sockeye is available at select grocers and online retailers.

 

The fleet is made up of local families living on the Popof Island community of Sand Point in Alaska’s Eastern Aleutian Islands. Aleutia is a community-based organization managed by local families to support fishing opportunities around the Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula.

Give a gift of the sea this holiday with an Aleutia seafood holiday pack

Send comfort and joy this holiday season with a wild Alaska seafood gift pack from the fishing families of Aleutia. Stocked with wild king crab legs, sockeye fillets and smoked sockeye salmon, an Aleutia gift pack includes the right ingredients to create a memorable holiday experience —whether it’s the wintry comfort of seafood chowder or the simple elegance of king crab with melted butter.

 

Available now for reservation, the packs include 1-1/2 pounds of giant Alaska king crab legs and claws, four hand cut, ruby red, boneless Aleutia sockeye dinner fillets and three- 4-ounce portions of Aleutia’s specialty hardwood smoked sockeye. Because the gift packs have sold out nearly every year, Aleutia families are taking pre-orders now for mid-December delivery. This wild seafood gift is shipped overnight and will arrive impressively packed in an insulated box with festive wrap and a personalized card for $110.

 

For those who pre-order in November, Aleutia is also offering flat rate shipping to most locations around the United States for $24. Order today at www.aleutia.org or call Aleutia at 907-383-5909 for more information.
ABOUT ALEUTIA

Aleutia is a unique community-based, wild seafood organization located around Alaska’s eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula. The organization founded in 2001 by fishing families in one of the world’s most remote regions to support local families, tell the story of this unique place and its seafood tradition and share the area’s remarkable wild seafood harvest to seafood lovers around the United States. Aleutia is committed to environmental sustainability and the highest quality fishing methods.

Cumberlidge and Wilson picked to lead Aleutia

The Aleutia Board of Directors last week named Sand Point harvester Danny Cumberlidge and King Cove harvester Warren Wilson as the organization’s new President and Vice-President.

 

Cumberlidge was named President of the Board after serving as Vice-President for seven years. He is a lifelong Sand Point resident and salmon and groundfish harvester. He was first elected to the board in 2008. He replaces fisherman Duane Kapp who will remain on the Board as a member.

 

Warren Wilson, a lifelong King Cove resident, has served on the Board since the organization’s inception. He is a small business owner and salmon fisherman. Wilson replaces Cumberlidge in that position.

 

The Board retained Sand Point resident Tina Anderson as Board Treasurer during the Board’s annual officer selections.

Sand Point fisherman Kiley Thompson joins Aleutia board

Kiley Thompson of Sand Point was elected to the Aleutia Board of Directors at the organization’s annual membership meeting in May. Thompson replaces long-time board member Wayne Gunderson, also of Sand Point, who did not seek reelection.

 

Thompson is captain of the fishing vessel Decision. He actively fishes for salmon and groundfish every year. In addition to his work on the Aleutia board, Thompson is president of the Peninsula Fisherman’s Coalition. Like many local residents around the Aleutians East Borough (AEB), Thompson’s family is a multi-generational fishing family. His 16-year old daughter Madison is fishing with her dad this salmon season. Son Logan, 13, is fishing aboard the F/V Gambler with his uncle Aleutia Vice-President Dan Cumberlidge.

 

Aleutia is overseen by a seven-member board of directors made up of harvesters and residents from communities across the AEB. Board members are elected to three-year terms.

 

Aleutia is a community-based organization made up of local fishing families who harvest premium wild sockeye salmon around Alaska’s remote Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula. Each Aleutia sockeye salmon is hand-picked, partly processed and iced immediately at sea to preserve the wild, ocean-fresh flavor that’s become Aleutia sockeye’s trademark. Aleutia sockeye fillets, smoked salmon and King Cove-produced king crab and Bairdi crab are available through select retailers around the United States and online at www.aleutia.org.

 

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How to catch an Aleutia sockeye salmon? Very, very carefully.

Strong Alaska sockeye forecasts have salmon harvesters across the state looking forward to a blockbuster season.

 

But for Aleutia, a remote salmon fishery that opens June 7, this year’s robust harvest outlook is just part of the equation. Here on the Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula, unique fishing methods make the quality of the catch—even more than the quantity—matter most.

 

“The easiest way to fish and make money is to get as much salmon on board as fast as possible and that’s the way it’s always been done,” said Aleutia President and salmon harvester Duane Kapp. “Eleven years ago we asked ourselves why? We decided to try fishing for quality instead of quantity.  We changed the whole idea behind fishing and found a way to bring the freshest tasting salmon to the market.”

 

By slowing down, paying particular attention to every individual wild sockeye that crossed their nets, icing the fish immediately, and carefully monitoring catch and hold temperatures, the group turned the traditional derby-style salmon fishery model on its head.

 

“Our harvest methods are natural and ecologically healthy,” said Kapp. “It’s definitely more work, but even we were surprised by how much better a salmon can taste when it’s harvested with respect for the species, respect for the environment and with the upmost care.”

 

Buyers agree. The Aleutia sockeye harvest sells quickly each year and retailers often wait list to carry the catch. Expect to see it this year at Town and Country Markets in the Pacific Northwest and select Whole Foods Markets around the country.

 

Aleutia

Aleutia is a wild sockeye salmon fishery located around Alaska’s remote Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Alaska. It is primarily a setnet fishery harvested by families who have fished in this remote region for generations. Aleutia is a non-profit organization and all profits roll back into the communities it serves.

 

 

 

Alaska seafood harvesters elected to Aleutia salmon board

Alaska seafood harvesters Warren Wilson of King Cove and Wayne Gundersen of Sand Point were both re-elected to their positions on the Aleutia Board of Directors at the annual preseason membership meeting May 31.

 

The board also appointed long-time Alaska seafood harvester Rick Weber to a vacant False Pass seat.

 

Wilson, an Alaska  fisherman from King Cove who owns a drift permit, has held his current seat on the Board almost since the program’s inception. He ran unopposed.

Gundersen was elected over two others for an at-large position on the Board. He was first elected to the Board three years ago. A lifelong Alaska fisherman and veteran at marketing his own Alaska seafood catch, Gunderson was instrumental in introducing Aleutia to key buyers when the program was formed in 2001. He is also a well-recognized regional chef specializing in Alaska seafood.

 

The third seat, representing False Pass, was vacant after Board member Jolene Hoblet moved out of the region. The Board appointed Alaska fisherman Rick Weber, a setnetter, to take her place last week. Weber has a long history with the program and was one of a handful of seafood harvesters that helped found Aleutia in 2001.

 

The Aleutia Board of Directors

Aleutia is overseen by a seven-person Board of Directors. Members must be Alaska seafood harvesters or actively involved in the Alaska seafood industry. Most members have spent their lives harvesting Alaska seafood around the remote Eastern Aleutians Islands and Western Alaska Peninsula. They are tasked with insuring that Aleutia maintains the highest standards in Alaska seafood quality and all funds go to local communities.

Visit the Aleutia seafood market today to learn about Aleutia salmon products.

 

Aleutia introduces high-tech equipment to maintain its best seafood standards

In another step toward guaranteeing that every wild sockeye harvested by local families retains its just-caught flavor, Aleutia is taking its high quality standards high-tech this year.

 

New, precise on-deck temperature monitoring systems will insure every Aleutia sockeye is continuously chilled at just-the-right temperature from the time it leaves the water through delivery at the dock and into the processing room. Strict temperature controls are central to maximizing flavor and extending shelf life.

 

“Aleutia has always led the industry in high quality standards and the meticulous controls,” said Aleutia President Duane Kapp. “That’s one of the main reasons many consider Aleutia the world’s best salmon. With this new level of control you can be even more sure when you select an Aleutia sockeye it always tastes like it was just caught at sea.”

 

Under the new system, sophisticated digital temperature monitors will be mounted in Aleutia fish totes, the on-deck seafood holding units used on many small fishing boats.

 

The on-deck totes are filled with a hand-mixed, iced seawater solution. This new temperature monitoring system takes the guesswork out of creating and maintaining that important mix. The monitors will continuously read tote temperatures minute-by-minute from catch to delivery.  Now harvesters can check temperatures throughout the day to insure the chill is exactly right so they can add ice or water as needed.

 

“As the day wears on, the ice melts and the tote temperature can change,” said Aleutia Production Manager Bill Cumberlidge. “This new system guarantees the proper temperature. It’s going to be a boon.”

 

After delivery at the dock, inspectors will download the temperature data from the monitors into a computer program. Aleutia can then analyze the data to provide feedback and advice to harvesters, as needed.

 

“We take quality controls like this very, very seriously,” said Kapp. “This is just another way our families show that they really care about the seafood they provide.”

 

Funding for the totes and temperature monitoring systems was made possible by the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF). AFDF played an important role in helping families create Aleutia in 2001. AFDF was founded to support all facets of the commercial fishing industry in Alaska.

 

Aleutia is a 501C(3) non-profit organization founded in 2001 by fishing families living along Alaska’s remote Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula. Aleutia was created to share the best of the traditional ocean harvest, tell the story of this unknown region and the families living here. Aleutia profits are rolled back into local communities.

 

 

It’s always sockeye salmon season with Aleutia

In our communities, no day is complete without seafood. Most often salmon is at the center of the table. We’ll share some of our favorite recipes and help you learn how to cook salmon the way we do in the Aleutians.

Attention seafood lovers: Aleutia has introduced a smoked salmon

Like the active volcanoes dotting Alaska’s Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula, Aleutia sockeye is now officially smoking!

 

Working in partnership with a Pacific Northwest fish smoker, Aleutia has rolled out its first-ever smoked salmon product. The salmon is slow-smoked in a special brown sugar glaze to bring out Aleutia’s ocean-fresh sockeye flavor. It’s packaged in four-ounce vacuum sealed portions to insure long-lasting freshness.

 

The flavor of ocean-run sockeye and sweet smoked glaze are a perfect combination, according to discriminating testers.

 

“Out here we know our smoked salmon,” said Audrey Foster of Sand Point. “It’s got a firm texture and great flavor. This is very good stuff.”
Aleutia smoked salmon will be a perfect take-along for the great outdoors or any summer celebration.

 

As an introduction, it will sell by the package online. Aleutia also hopes to make the smoked product available through retailers in upcoming weeks.

 

Please visit our online store to order today. Browse our recipes if you would like to enjoy Aleutia smoked salmon at your table.

 

Aleutia is a 501C(3) non-profit organization founded in 2001 by fishing families living along Alaska’s remote Eastern Aleutian Islands and Western Peninsula. Aleutia was created to tell the story of this unknown region, families living here and share the best of the traditional ocean harvest. Aleutia profits are rolled back into the communities.