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This week our standards and our commitment was tested. It wasn't easy for our Craftsman Farmers. But they refused to compromise their standards and fly our fish to the market.

Here's what happened: - one of our customers had an administrative snafu this week and their order was held up in their outbox: the order was missed - when we discovered this important order was missed we had a choice: fly the fish to market, miss the order or send another truck.

WE NEVER FLY OUR FISH. Our Craftsman Farmers are serious about this because in addition to helping us keep our carbon footprint low (sending fish on a plane pumps out tons of carbon - sending it on a truck is better), it ensures we keep control of the cold chain and ensure our fish are never left on a tarmac somewhere.

We also think customers should see a benefit from these high standards and not be penalized - so missing the order was out of the question.

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Unfortunately the folks at the Shedd Aquarium cannot accept our invitation. We are disappointed but understand how busy everyone gets. That being said we think it would have been a great place to begin a dialogue and to demonstrate what progressive craftsmen can do to lead the way while helping to feed the world.

It should be noted that we think the people over there are good people. They are trying to do an important job, that is educating people on what it requires to use our ocean resources responsibly and to promote that cause. It is a good cause, one that aligns with our values as craftsmen farmers. So while we can agree to disagree on some things, we support their overall intentions, even though they won't be coming to see our farms for themselves and observe how we are leading the way in responsibly raising good fish for America to eat. And while we do that, helping to save wild salmon in the process.

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We heard recently from one of our chef friends about the Shedd Aquarium's promotion of another new salmon farm, this one farming in a lake. A great thing, we support anyone who wants to raise good fish and be good for the environment in the process.

Here are a few of the things that Skuna Bay's craftsmen farmers do to raise salmon responsibly: - low pen densities (our pens are 98.5% water) - Best Aquaculture Certification (the only one in the world to have all of our farms certified) - a completely recyclable box - we fallow every farm after we harvest our fish so the seabed can rest and regenerate - lower carbon footprint since we never fly our fish to market - low fish in fish out feed ratios (1:25:1), lower than the Shedd's own requirements - endorsed by Aquarium of the Pacific for our sustainable approach to raising salmon - contribution to many salmon enhancement programs

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We always get asked, what is so different about Skuna Bay? As you can imagine, when you say you are different, people have high expectations.

So here's the list:

  • Craftsmen farmers who live on the farm 8 days in a row 24/7
  • Perfect, pristine, natural, glacier fed ocean water
  • Multiple farms certified Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), the only one in the world that can say that (by the way, even though they won't greenlist any salmon from BC - wild or farmed, Monterey Bay Aquarium was on the committee that set the BAP standard that we are certified for)
  • The only recyclable box in the business
  • fish that are always minimum 10 lbs year round
  • an exclusive process of selecting, preparing and packing our fish
  • a completely traceable label
  • a complete tamper proof seal
  • a closed delivery system where nobody touches the fish after it's been boxed except the chef

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Skuna Bay is the only farm in the world that raises all three of these species. Stay tuned for some interesting news in the days ahead...

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One of the questions we get from chefs out there is "how big are the fish?" Apparently they are used to getting fish from some places that are small part of the year.

Ours aren't (small that is). Because we have 21 farms (7 which are always in fallow to allow the seabed to rest after harvest), we can always ensure a new generation of fish is ready to be harvested at just the right size: minimum 10 lbs and sometimes as large as 18 lbs. That's 365 days of the year by the way.

That means great yields, consistency and ability to plan your menu. Chefs - if you value these things in addition to everything else Skuna Bay promises (and delivers on), call our exclusive distributor partners and get our fish.

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The mission: feed the world, help reduce pressure on wild salmon stocks.

It can be done better. It can be done responsibly. It can be done producing the best quality salmon possible so that chefs can give their customers a great salmon dining experience year round.

How? By patiently and painstakingly raising salmon for 3 1/2 years until that beautiful, silver, muscular specimen is ready to be pulled from its natural ocean waters and sent quickly to the restaurant.

Our farmers believe that the best salmon come from the ocean - pristine, glacier fed, strong tidal currents of the Pacific Ocean. Our farmers believe you can't raise a good fish packed densely into a tank on land. Our farmers believe you can do things slowly, differently, responsibly and ultimately that will be better.

And that is their commitment to you Mr and Ms Chef.

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There have been a lot of stories in the media recently about how good it is that some businesses are trying to raise salmon in massive tanks on land. We think this is exactly the opposite of where salmon should be raised. Salmon is from the ocean and should stay in the ocean. We have access to the best, most pristine, natural ocean waters in the world and raising salmon in those waters is good for the fish, helps the environment and most importantly results in great quality fish. At Skuna Bay our craftsmen farmers are proud to put their salmon into our ocean farms off the coast of Vancouver Island, farms which have low densities (our farms contain 98.5% water and only 1.5% fish) in pristine, natural, ocean waters. Not only is that the right thing to do for the fish but it results in great quality and it is good for the environment. That's Skuna Bay's commitment to you, the chef.

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An important part of what we do is transparency. Here are some great photos from our trip this week showing our farms to some of our key partners including Chef Chris diving with our fish to see for himself the enormous space for our fish to swim. We got lucky with the weather...

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First and foremost, this is about feeding people. But not just feeding people - giving chefs the quality fish they need in order to give their customers a great salmon dining experience. But it's not just about that either. It's about helping to reduce pressure on wild fish stocks while we do this. It is about careful, craft-raised standards, it is about finding the best natural ocean water for our salmon. It is about giving the craftsman farmer the respect he deserves for standing out there in the teeth of mother nature watching his fish grow to the right size over the 3 year period it takes to raise them. To do that it is about developing a way to ensure that that beautiful salmon the farmer pulls out of the water is delivered to the chef in the same condition: fresh-from-the-ocean. It is about traceability. It is about finding a box that can be recycled.