Briny oysters straight out of the ocean and fillets of rich orange, nutrient-packed salmon are undisputed culinary delights. Yet for the more environmentally conscious diner, it might be difficult to justify indulging in the more decadent gifts our oceans, which commercial fishing is rapidly depleting, have to offer.
You don’t have to swear off seafood if you care about the health of our oceans, though. Thankfully, there’s certified sustainable seafood that’s harvested by hand or fresh caught by small boating operations that don’t overfish or put other wildlife at risk. Products from these providers can be found all over the country — and some is available to ship right to your door.
Perhaps wild-caught Alaskan salmon or Maine lobster would make a spectacular feature at your next dinner party. Or maybe you’re just in the mood to treat yourself to the sweet and succulent flavors of Dungeness crab with a side of Massachusetts oysters. No matter what you’re craving, the gift of mouth-watering seafood from coast to coast is just a click away for anyone, anywhere in the country.
Wild caught king salmon fillets from Wild Alaska Salmon & Seafood Company
Wild Alaska Salmon & Seafood sources all its wild-caught salmon from Bristol Bay, Alaska. Its fishing methods are designed to catch only sustainably resourced salmon and leave other wildlife unharmed. The fish are cleaned and processed by hand and then flash frozen, and fishing only takes place during the season in June and July.
The website offers nationwide shipping on all sorts of other goodies, including Alaskan halibut and sea scallops, but perhaps its most lavish and splurge-worthy offering are its boxes of wild-caught Alaskan king salmon fillets. It’s the perfect gift for the homecook who wants to sharpen their skills by preparing an epic feast for their family and friends.
Wild-caught, Pacific Northwest smoked albacore tuna from Fishwife
Tuna is one of the most popular fish on the planet, but the number of tuna in the ocean has rapidly declined over recent years. A more sustainable way to eat seafood is to opt for tinned fish, and Fishwife Tinned Seafood Co. sells sustainable, elegantly packaged options. The woman-owned company promises ethically sourced fish — which includes rainbow trout and salmon as well as albacore tuna — from small boat operations, sustainable aquaculture farms, and micro canneries in Idaho and the Pacific coast. The company’s tuna is hook-and-line caught in the Pacific Northwest, and canned by hand in Oregon.
Kelp from Atlantic Sea Farms in Maine
Atlantic kelp is packed with calcium, iron, and magnesium, among other vitamins and minerals. While the vast majority of kelp is imported from Asia, Atlantic Sea Farms provides a domestic option. Based in Maine, the company farms its own kelp rather than harvests from wild kelp beds that already face climate change-related stress. Atlantic Sea Farms also works with Maine fishermen to start their own kelp farms, which helps reduce ocean acidification.
So how can you integrate kelp into your diet? Ready-cut kelp can be added to salads, used as a topping for tacos or pizza, or add an extra element of flavor and texture to seafood dishes like baked salmon. For the homecook who wants to add some unexpected flair to the typical weeknight fare, the gift of sustainable sea kelp might be just the ticket.
Seaweed variety pack: $45
Island Creek Oysters from Massachusetts
While oysters are plentiful in North America, and there are many notable oyster regions, it’s important to be mindful of how they’re farmed and sourced. Island Creek Oysters are farmed on the muddy flats of Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts, and the company does the entire process, from harvest to packaging.
Oysters are the perfect gift for culinary minded people who enjoy indulging in the occasional luxury. Oysters add to the ambience of special occasions, making them the ideal addition to holiday celebrations. Island Creek Oysters offers overnight shipping of its signature Duxbury oysters for maximum freshness.
Luke’s Live Maine Lobster: Maine
Luke’s might be a chain of lobster shacks these days, but sustainability is still part of the company’s mission through a transparent food chain from harvest to plate. Luke’s sources from strictly regulated populations that aren’t at risk of overfishing, and the lobsters are purchased from individual fishermen or fishermen’s co-ops. The company also runs on 100 percent renewable energy.
Lobster is terrific centerpiece for a lavish meal, and gifting the eager homecook in your life with fresh lobster is like giving a royal banquet. Rest assured that your dinner is supporting efforts to ensure that lobster dinners will still be on the table for generations to come.
Dungeness crab from Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle
Since 1930, Seattle’s legendary Pike Place Fish Market has been slinging fresh seafood sourced from the waters of the Pacific Northwest. Rest assured that the seafood here adheres to high sustainability standards based on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Sustainability Guide. Pike Place Fish Market sells only sustainable wild caught salmon due to concerns that salmon aquaculture harms the surrounding environment.
While Seattle is known for its salmon, this is the time to consider whole Dungeness crab. The tender, slightly sweet meat of Dungeness crab offers plenty of opportunities to test out new recipes. Pike Place Fish Market offers overnight nationwide shipping through Gold Belly, so your crab gets to you as fresh as possible.