ROCKLAND — Lobster and blueberries might get most of the media attention when it comes to Maine’s most iconic foods, but salmon and seaweed are the hottest products these day. On Oct. 16, Good Tern Co-op in Rockland put the focus on Maine’s most promising up-and-coming exports with their Salmon Cookout & Seafood Celebration. The event took place from noon to 4 p.m with the Co-op offering grilled salmon and seaweed salads, and free iced tea and spring water.
“The cookout was really a way to draw attention to sustainable fishing already happening in Maine, and bring the community together in celebration of the work of the Island Institute and our fishermen,” said Hannah Woodman, organizer of the event. +“This is a great time to highlight it, especially with what the Island Institute is doing around aquaculture.”
Last spring in the WAVE magazine, PenBayPilot.com highlighted the collaborative relationship between fishermen and kelp farming in our story Kelp Farming is a win-win when it comes to healing the ocean. The story highlighted how kelp as sustainable super food also reduces the ocean’s acidity.
“We also wanted to highlight what Matt Luck, a commercial fisherman out of Bristol Bay, is doing,” she said. “He has been a fisherman for decades, his passion is to talk about the wild salmon he catches as an amazing resource.”
Luck has been working for 40 years to promote the sustainability and traceability of seafood in Bristol Bay. He’s served on multiple boards and commissions and actively works with scientific panels to improve how his industry catches the fish.
As the marketing chair of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, Luck advocated to develop a “Bristol Bay Brand.”
“My main goal was to tell the story, create a connection with the consumer and reach the huge demographic that will embrace this story,” he said. “Long story short, our industry is a bit mired in a tired old commodity model and we just couldn’t get any traction. Basically, I decided to pursue this myself. I trademarked the name Pride of Bristol Bay, negotiated access to product with the leading producer of high quality fillet product from Bristol Bay for whom I harvest and away I went. I currently supply wild salmon through my website, www.prideofbristolbay.com through a buying club model in select locations across the country. In September I will launch a nationwide, order online, deliver to your door program exclusively with Bristol Bay sockeye. The product will be affordable and shipped through a green shipping model using 100 percent bio –degradable material by a certified B corporation, Crystal Creek Logistics.”
"I always look forward to my trip to the coast of Maine,” said Luck. “It is a joy to spend time with peers who understand the value of responsibly managed fisheries and love to fill their freezers with the clean, pure protein of wild Alaska salmon."
To learn more about Pride of Bristol Bay visit: prideofbristolbay.com
to learn more about the Island Institute’s ongoing integrated aquaculture projects visit: islandinstitute.org/aquaculture
(Photos courtesy Lux Butcher)
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org