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Synergies In Sustainability: The People Behind Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock


GAPP

Overview

Pioneering a career in Alaskan fishing begins with the fundamentals, learning and working through the operations of a factory, catcher, and onshore plants. Working the systems from the engine room to the wheelhouse empowers the fisherman, always striving to improve environmental efficiencies when harvesting and processing Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock, one of the largest sustainable fisheries in the world. Managing sensory technologies to reduce bycatch or even adjustments to the netting are strategies used to tweak and improve a sustainable fishery. It’s a passion, not just an embodiment of something or someone going through the motions of life. A Fisher is a responsible partner, and caring for a fishery is a business handed down from generation to generation. With that opportunity to help run the largest U.S. fishery comes the responsibility to maintain a healthy ecosystem for the fish population to thrive for yet another generation.


GAPP Jeff Crain

I’ve often wondered about the Alaskan Fisher where all the drive and energy come from, working to preserve their futures and the environment. I believe it’s an enormous task - built into the DNA of each individual who has dedicated their life to collaboratively managing a big part of our food system on such pristine waters. Their stories are etched into the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska, two of the world's most clean and beautiful places on earth.


Craig Morris CEO GAPP

The Pollock Fisheries and Proposed Legislation

The Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska provide a 200-mile fishing zone with the right mix of nutrients and biomass to sustain an annual harvest of over 2 million tons and an estimated market capitalization of over $2.1B. The fish follow a circular pattern, move inshore to breed, and feed in the Spring. During the winter months, they move off to deeper waters. Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock is a schooling fish that can rapidly repopulate. They run two seasons, Season A from mid-January to April end, and Season B begins in early June through mid-October. Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock is one of the top 10 exports from Seattle and Tacoma, and its demand continues to grow.


Rob Rogness

While attending the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) annual meeting, I learned more about the positive movement to support and protect our fisheries. Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan spoke about the bill he introduced on June 29th, the National Seafood Supply Act of 2023, which directs the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish an Office of Seafood Policy and Program Integration to coordinate seafood policies, grant funding, and loans through the U.S. Farm Bill—encouraging a more significant focus on U.S. harvested fisheries, of them - Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock. These provisions intend to strengthen domestically harvested and processed seafood and over 200,000 jobs this economic sector supports.


Member Dinner

The Fleet Supporting Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock

Factory vessels or catcher processors trawl and harvest right on the fishing grounds. Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock from the Bering Sea, where over 90 percent of this domestic resource is harvested, all comes from twelve catcher-processor vessels in service, two motherships (basically floating processing vessels that are brought fish from catcher boats), and five onshore plants that are serviced by roughly 60 catcher boats.


Dutch Harbor

These catcher-processor vessels make various products right on the ship. Employing 70-150+ processors and deckhands, the lower decks house a multifaceted processing plant capable of making the fish into boneless filets, mince, surimi, fish meal, and fish oil. All flash froze using onboard refrigeration systems ready to store up to 1000 tons or more. Once the fish is processed, it is distributed across four key business channels around the world: grocery full-service seafood cases, grocery frozen food aisle, quick-service restaurants, and full-service restaurants.


Member's Dinner

The newest and largest catcher-processor to be built will join the Wild Alaska Pollock fleet for next year’s A Season. This new vessel, the Arctic Fjord, was built here in the United States and is owned and operated by Arctic Storm Management Group, LLC, based out of Seattle, Washington. This vessel is 326 feet long and has a breadth of 69 feet. She hosts up to 152 employees and can hold 2,230 metric tons of frozen cargo, 500 metric tons of fishmeal, and 130,383 gallons of fish oil before returning to port for an offload. On September 29th, CEO Doug Christensen hosted a tour of their new vessel at the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 90, not far from the home of Port of Seattle’s Maritime Innovation Center & Fishermen’s Terminal. This Maritime Innovation Center project is funded by the Maritime Blue Innovation Accelerator, which supports investments for growing interest in the maritime and oceanic sectors.


Bob & Craig GAPP

Synergies In Sustainability: The GAPP Alliance

Seattle entertainment venues and sports teams are moving the needle on improving their pathway to sustainability. Whether you are attending an event at Climate Pledge Arena, where they use rainwater catchment systems to fill their ice rink that the NHL Seattle Kraken play on, or taking the family to a summer baseball game to watch The DubSea (local vernacular for the neighborhood of West Seattle) Fish Sticks where you will see them serving climate-friendly (due to its low carbon footprint) Wild Alaska Pollock in the concessions, Seattle embraces sustainability. Throughout the city, you see countless homage to the tasty whitefish offering versatility and environmentally sound fishing, with even a huge mural of the fish on Pier 91. Pollock branding and sports are a serious business in Seattle, and social media influencers are at the top of the roster.


GAPP Sports Panel

Chefs responsible for the mission's culinary aspects have leveled up to produce some fantastic dishes. They have aligned with the local Seattle community, partnered with other sustainably minded companies, and are working with the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) - bringing together a dynamic team of some of the industry’s notable producers, food operators, chefs, and creatives alike. Thanks to the efforts of Craig Morris, CEO, and his team, they are taking synergy beyond the box, developing messaging and branding on product quality and nutritional facts, and sharing these stories with global audiences.


Antonia Lofaso

The work being done shows momentum when using such a versatile whitefish in dishes, creating a movement amongst Millennials. It’s not only stimulated discussion threads with eventgoers at Climate Pledge Arena, GAPP and their partners have worked with collaborators and created a movement with influencers and foodies nationwide. Creators are cooking dishes like Mentaiko Pasta, Wild Pollock and Poblano Peppers, Chinese Style Wild Alaska Pollock, and more!


Molly De Mars

Chef Molly De Mers, Executive Chef of Climate Pledge Arena, is building a menu on the foundation of Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock. She and the culinary staff are curators of and cooking up IPA battered Fish & Chips, Pollock Fried Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage, Surimi Mac-n-Cheese, and Deconstructed Surimi Crab Rangoon Dip - offering memorable experiences when sharing a meal with the people you love the most. Pollock is a versatile protein, and I couldn't help but think about making a ceviche paired with a barrel-fermented Saison Ale.


Influencers

For those who don’t know them, GAPP is a non-profit organization founded in 2003 that aims to market and advocate for Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock. It is at the forefront of collaboration in all things Wild Alaska Pollock and the people dedicating their lives to the industry. Their mission is straightforward and passionate: build awareness and demand for Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock. The dedicated team educates consumers, promotes sales and best uses of pollock, and creates awareness for traceability, product safety, and sustainability of one of the world’s largest fisheries. Wild Caught Alaskan Pollock isn’t only just from Alaska and always wild-caught, but it’s sustainable, nutritious, and versatile due to its mild taste. You can find recipes, a summer cookbook, and more on GAPP’s website.












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