Mission Statement for Alaska Select Seafood
SOURCE is an educational campaign and a sea-to-plate movement, reconnecting American consumers to American seafood, American Fishermen, and American sustainability.
What’s at stake is profound.
How we source our fish has significant consequences such as brain development and health benefits, to natural resource management and species preservation.
SOURCE is the brainchild of Captain Nick Lee, a veteran commercial fisherman and industry insider. Nick is part of an emerging group of independent fishermen who went to battle against their own industry for quality standards and handling practices.
They revolutionized the harvest of wild salmon in Bristol Bay, the world’s largest sockeye run, which for many decades was known as the wild west of commercial fishing.
In an effort to protect what they love, these intrepid entrepreneurs are reconnecting American consumers directly to the source of their seafood.
For Nick, this makes quality an ethical issue. After all, when fishermen won’t eat their own catch, there’s nothing to save, including their own industry and the resource it relies on.
But as Nick knows, the battle isn’t over---it’s just begun.
On dry land, mislabeling, poor quality, green washing, conflicting safety standards, dietary recommendations, and ill-informed celebrity rants all leave consumers confused and in the dark.
What consumers don’t realize, is that much of the confusion they face deciphering seemingly simple terms like Fresh, Frozen, Refresh, Previously Frozen, Wild, Farmed, Healthy and Sustainable, is intentional.
This confusion may seem innocuous at first, but there is a disturbing domino effect that Nick has been watching unfold for years. The consumer disconnect has fostered a system of fraud, contributed to the waste of valuable resources, human slavery, antibiotic abuse, and eco-destruction.
(This restaurant's dinner special lists 'wild' Atlantic salmon, yet there are no commercial Atlantic salmon fisheries; all commercial Atlantic salmon are farmed.)
Additionally, this disconnect has enabled an absurdly inefficient carbon footprint.
When it comes to Alaskan salmon, there is a missed opportunity for health and wellbeing that could be a weapon against disease. Moreover, emerging research shows Alaskan salmon may boost brain development right in the womb if pregnant women had accurate dietary advice.
All fish are not created equal.
Fishermen are notoriously stubborn. They must believe that each year the fish will return in abundance--that they will feed their families, pay their bills, and be reminded of who they are once more.
Nick has this stubbornness (and grit) in abundance. He is the last fisherman to leave the water every year and as determined as any wild salmon that fights its way upstream towards its destiny. For Nick, destiny is a spot of clarity in the murky waters of the seafood industry---a vision we can all share.