What is "line" or "troll-caught" salmon and why is it so expensive?
Well to put it frankly - it's one of the best quality fish you will find!
It's the only way Supper's On will purchase salmon. Line caught or troll caught Salmon are often caught further from the fresh water and spawning phase of their life cycle, which translates into a bright, shimmering silver skin color and very high fat content and flesh quality. Troll-caught salmon are handled one at a time with "kid gloves" by the fishermen who can expect to receive top dollar for their catch. The salmon is immediately bled, cleaned, and iced.
Wesley is holding a 15 lb king salmon that we selected for Supper's On Meals. It's a beauty!
While net caught fish may also exhibit excellent skin color and flesh quality, they tend to be caught nearer to shore in higher volume, so the fish will not receive the individual attention given to troll caught fish. Consequently, they may incur skin discoloration and bruising. While net-caught fish are often immediately chilled in refrigerated sea water (or totes of ice on smaller vessels) they are seldom bled or cleaned until being delivered to shore based processing plants.
Vital Choice for Alaskan king and silver salmon are troll caught, this harvest method is not commercially effective for sockeye salmon, which are caught primarily by either gill net or purse seine. This is because sockeye feed primarily on plankton and krill, and will rarely strike a troller's lure.
What about farmed fish? There are many reasons not to eat farmed fish: Disease Passed to Wild Fish; Omega-3 Levels Are low; Damage to Local Ecosystems; Fish Feces Harm Coral Reefs just to name a few of the reasons.
If you need another reason to pay a little extra for the line and troll caught fish; you will sleep better knowing it's the most environmentally and socially responsible way to catch fish. Regarding the environmental benefits – pole and line fishing is extremely selective; in fact the fishing is done literally one-by-one. There is no by-catch that has to be discarded. So as a consumer you also feel good supporting those that are local and not being wasteful. So pay that extra amount and know what you are getting. Also purchase your fish from a reputable fish monger. Bonitia Fish Market in Berkeley is awesome; tell them you are a client of Supper's On and they will take care of you!