FREQUENTLY ASKED questions
Q: IS YOUR FISH WILD CAUGHT?
Yes. All of our fish is wild caught. We fish only in sustainably managed designated fishing areas.
Q: HOW is your fish sustainablE?
- Fish are caught in small local boats that use small nets or pole and line, with only one hook per line, and according to size criteria.
- All our fish are caught in managed wild fishing zones under the European Commission's Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) for mackerel, sardines and tuna and under the MSC certification for Alaskan salmon.
- Reduction of by-catch is paramount. If a dolphin is in a net the whole batch must be released.
- Fish are caught to a quota system, which means that sometimes our fish are unavailable as the quota has been filled. According to all our fishing standards, when a quota for a species is filled, all fishing must cease.
- We do not use threatened species. In fact all of our fish fall into the lowest-threat of endangerment categories according to IUCN regulations.
Q: are yOUR tins BPA-FREE?
Yes. And they have been since BPA-free packaging became available. We have been leaders in doing everything to provide the highest-quality and safest product.
Q: WHERE IS YOUR FISH PROCESSED?
All our fish is processed in Spain in a traditional processing facility according to methods that are historical to the area and a source of pride to local workers. All our fish is processed in a way that is 100 per cent chemical free and done without shortcuts. Our mackerel, sardines and tuna are carefully chilled on the fishing boats and come in fresh to the port. They are processed immediately upon arrival into port. The salmon, caught wild in Alaska, is snap frozen whole at the source and is carefully and very slowly defrosted in Spain, where it is cooked, peeled, filleted and packaged.
Q: I'M pregnant. what is the best fish choice in terms of mercury levels?
Mercury bio-accumulates throughout the food chain which means that larger fish species carry a greater risk. By choosing to consume smaller species in the food chain, you can lower your risk. From the Good Fish range, we suggest our sardines or our mackerel, which are both small species and also very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are highly recommended for healthy pregnancies. Omega-3 fatty acids have been found to have beneficial effects on the visual and cognitive development of the baby. The mackerel is a milder-flavoured and fleshy fish, similar to tuna in texture, and while the sardines are stronger, we find ours are sweet, juicy and well received.
Q: MY SON LOVES YOUR TUNA AND WOULD LIKE TO EAT IT EVERY DAY. WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS?
Good Fish selects Skipjack tuna, which is on the world's least endangered list, and also is one of the smallest tuna species. It has a lower risk for mercury than larger species such as yellowfin tuna. Skipjack tuna has three times less mercury levels than albacore tuna, which is the most commonly used tuna in tinned varieties (according to the National Resources Defence Council). However, it is still a larger species of fish and we would recommend alternating it with our mackerel, which is similar in flavour and texture but as a smaller species, is in the lowest-risk category for mercury levels.
Q: WHY DOES YOUR FISH COST MORE THAN SOME OTHERS?
It costs more because we have ticked every single box when it comes to bringing you the product that is best for you and best for the environment. This includes:
- Using sustainable fishing practices;
- Choosing the first grade of the catch;
- Supporting traditional and local fishing boats and techniques;
- Carefully managing our fresh stocks so fish are preserved as quickly as possible;
- Taking care to skin and fillet our fish by hand, thus supporting traditional artisan methods and workers, resulting in a superior product;
- Not taking any shortcuts by using chemicals;
- Using only the highest-quality organic EVOO to complement and enhance the outstanding nature of the product; and
- Carefully placing fillets into BPA-free tins or glass jars.
Q: why does the colour of YOUR salmon vary?
In the wild, the colour of salmon is dependent on what the fish eat. Out in the ocean, salmon eat a variety of crustaceans such as tiny prawns, which are filled with molecules called carotenoids, which give wild-caught salmon its distinctive colour. The colour of the fish varies throughout the fishing season, which is why sometimes we can have a pale batch followed by a very brightly coloured batch. This is natural variation and one of the joys of eating a wild-caught, natural product, rather than something made homogenous in a fish farm. We have even noticed some variations in colour in a single salmon fish, between the gills and the tail, which means you can get a variation in colour in a single jar of salmon.
Q: WHY IS YOUR FISH NOT MSC CERTIFIED?
Our salmon currently does come from a MSC-certified source and we are in the process of changing our packaging to reflect that. However, our Alaskan salmon fishing zone has always been managed to extremely high standards. The MSC certification has been sought only in response to market expectations.
Third-party certification such as MSC originally became necessary in unregulated areas in developing countries or in neutral waters. Our fish have always come from zones which already had strict regulatory regimes in place using small local boats and local fishermen who had an interest in protecting the ongoing sustainability of their waters. Sometimes these operations are too small to be able to cope with the financial and regulatory burden of another compliance regime (in the case of Good Fish products the European Commission's Common Fisheries Policy). We feel strongly about protecting smaller operations with great integrity and cultural value. However we also understand that the consumer needs to be reassured that their choice meets expectations. We are working with some small local operators to amalgamate their business practices so they can more easily gain certification.
Good Fish considers that local and traditional fishing methods are best practice. MSC certification mostly benefits larger industrial brands, who need to show that they have changed their ways. Our fish are caught sustainably now and will be caught that way in the future, or we will not stock them.