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Ask The Experts - Wegmans
55 Route 9 South
Manalapan, NJ 07726
Tim Lockwood has been the store manager for the Manalapan Wegmans fo r eight years. He started withWegmans in 1989 in Ithaca, N.Y., where he had graduated from Cornell University. He and his family moved to New Jersey in 1999 and now reside in Plainsboro.
How exactly does the process of ensuring an adequate consumer supply of good catch vs. bad catch fish work?
The reputation of Alaskan fisheries is superior to that of most any other fishery in the world. The reason for this is because of the responsibility each one has to maintain Alaska’s high standards. Salmon that is not in season can sometimes be caught by accident, which would be considered a bad catch for that particular boat. Alaska has an abundance of salmon, which means the environment for salmon in Alaska is a high-quality environment. Even though Alaska spawns a vast amount of salmon, it boasts one of the strictest regulatory processes due to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG). Seafood is one of Alaska’s largest exports, therefore theADFG enforces strict quotas for fishing in Alaska in an effort to preserve their wildlife environment.
What about the quality?
The quality of Alaskan salmon is considered to be the best in the world because of the clean, nutrient enriched environment the Salmon evolves in. The quality of salmon reflects the quality of their food, and the waters they swimin. Since Alaska is a cold water environment, the salmon keep their bodies fresh and firm. In warm waters, the temperature varies more, which can cause the fish to be inconsistent in texture and flavor. Alaska is used to having high-quality fish; therefore they have a set systemto catch the fish. They then bring it back to the dock, and fly it to various places over the world for utmost freshness and superb quality. With this method some places can receive the fresh wild-caught salmon within three days of it being caught.
What are the responsible steps to follow in order to ensure our environment is not harmed?
The ADFG enforces multiple regulations that maintain the high standards of Alaskan fishing. Based upon the projected harvest of Alaskan salmon, theADFG sets a quota for the season at a certain number of fish. They also change the season dates fromwhen boats are allowed to start fishing, and when the season is over based upon the quota that is set. The reason they set the quota is so they can maintain the wild life and healthy environment these salmon enjoy.
Why is Alaska seafood so coveted?
This answer is easy for most seafood enthusiasts; Alaska has some of the most pristine waters in the world. The environment is healthy, clean and allows fish to live long natural lives. The Copper River is one of the most popular rivers in Alaska, and it carries widely sought-after seafood. The Copper River is the longest river in Alaska. The length of the river is what makes it so great. This means that the salmon has to store up more fat than other Alaskan river salmon in order to survive their long journey up the river. The salmon species instinctively knows how long and rigorous their travel might be based upon when they were spawned and traveled down the river. The salmon all aim to return to that exact place they spawned in order to mate and spawn more eggs. Since the salmon stores so much fat, it is best to catch the mearly in their migration or in mid-migration, so they still have a generous amount of it when they are ready to be consumed. The fat of the salmon is one of the biggest determinants of the flavor for each particular fish. Generally, the fattier the fish is, the more flavorful they are. The season for Alaskan salmon, and in particular, Copper River salmon begins at the end of May.
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