At a time when healthy fish habitats are waning and seafood quality and authenticity may be dubious, knowing your food’s origin story is more important than ever. That’s why it’s heartening to know that companies like Vital Choice® Wild Seafood and Organics are born out of a desire to supply nutritious seafood while simultaneously protecting the oceans for future generations.
Bristol Bay beginnings
Founded in 2001 by a pair of Alaska fisherman, Vital Choice began its journey as a passionate purveyor of wild sockeye salmon.
With more than 3 million lakes, more than 12,000 rivers, and more coastline than all the lower 48 states put together, Alaska — and its pristine waters — produces some of the purest, most nutrient-dense seafood on the planet. Whether frozen, canned, smoked, or in dietary supplements, Oncorhynchus nerka (that’s sockeye salmon, but you probably already knew that) has been the brand’s signature product since day one. Among the five Pacific salmon species, sockeye is the richest in protein and vitamin D3, and it’s a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids and the antioxidant known as astaxanthin.
Since its inception, Vital Choice has been an active advocate for protecting wild fish resources and the livelihoods of responsible fishers, which is why Alaska seafood is an integral part of the brand’s DNA. Alaska fisheries are considered some of the most sustainable in the world due to science-backed management and strong legal protections. In fact, Alaska is the only state in the nation whose constitution mandates that all fisheries be responsibly managed to support continued abundance.
The state’s fisheries have been recognized for their environmental stewardship by agencies like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and the Global Sustainable Seafood Initiative (GSSI).
When vetting a product for consideration, Vital Choice gives preference to Alaska seafood and fisheries that are MSC certified sustainable or recommended by a science-based consumer awareness program, such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.
Highest standards in the business
In addition to increasing its Alaska seafood offerings to more than a dozen species to date, Vital Choice provides a growing range of wild fish and shellfish from around the globe, including Chilean sea bass from the Ross Sea in Antarctica, yellowfin tuna from an artisanal fishery in Indonesia, Patagonian scallops from the Argentine Continental Shelf, and blue shrimp from Mexico’s Gulf of California.
Guided by decades of industry knowledge and exacting standards for quality and environmental responsibility, Vital Choice seeks fisheries that use best practices, even if it means the cost will be greater. These practices don’t just include how seafood is harvested — they include how it’s handled after it’s caught — but also how it’s chilled, cleaned, inspected, graded, processed, and shipped. All these specifications affect the quality and integrity of the product, and, ultimately, the customer’s experience.