Fish Facts

BEST CHOICE FISHERIES

Troll-caught California King Salmon and Hook-and-line-caught Albacore are considered "best choice" fisheries by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, in Monterey, California, based on the following criteria.

  1. They have a wild population abundant enough to sustain commercial fishing.

  2. They have low levels of wasted catch or "bycatch."

  3. Fish are caught in ways that protect the environment.


NUTRITION

At less than 200 calories per 3-ounce portion, salmon is an excellent source of quality protein (21 grams, 47% of the recommended daily intake). Salmon is low in saturated fat and sodium, and rich in vitamins and minerals. Ocean-run California King salmon is also very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which provide a variety of health benefits. In fact, a 2001 study by the USDA determined that the level of omega-3 in wild California salmon is nearly 30% greater than previously recorded.

Albacore is also an excellent source of quality protein and omega-3 fatty acids, with a minimum of calories, fat, and sodium. A 31/2-ounce serving contains 25 grams of protein (fully half the adult daily requirement), 158 calories, and 6 grams of fat.


INTERESTING SALMON FACTS

  • California is the leading producer of troll-caught King (Chinook) salmon along the Pacific Coast.

  • Chinook salmon are called "Kings" because they are regarded as the most prized, as well as the largest, of the Pacific salmon species.

  • In Washington and Oregon, King salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) are called Chinook, while in British Columbia they are called Spring salmon. Other names include Quinnat, Tyee, Tule, and Blackmouth.

  • Other species of Pacific Salmon include Chum (Oncorhynchus keta), also known as Dogs, or Calico; Coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch) also known as Silver; Pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) also known as Humpback; and, Sockeye (Oncorhynchus nerka) also known as Red.

  • Some salmon migrate several thousand miles from the time they leave the rivers as juveniles until they return as adults. A Chinook salmon tagged in the central Aleutian Islands and recovered a year later in the Salmon River in Idaho, had traveled nearly 3,500 miles.

  • Like all species of Pacific salmon, King salmon are anadromous. They hatch in fresh water, spend part of their life in the ocean, and then spawn in fresh water. All Kings die after spawning. (A catadromous fish does the opposite: living in fresh water and entering salt water to spawn. Most of the eels are catadromous.)


INTERESTING ALBACORE FACTS

  • There are seven commercial and sport-caught tunas, as well as several related species, all of which are members of what is called the scombrid family. Commercially caught tunas include Albacore, Bigeye, Blackfin, Bluefin, Bonito, Skipjack, and Yellowfin. (Among the largest tunas are the Bluefin, which can weigh over 1,000 pounds.)

  • Canned tuna comprises the bulk of the fish consumed in this country, and the price and grade of canned tuna is determined by the species of tuna used. Albacore is considered the best of all types of tuna. Canned Skipjack and Yellowfin tuna are sold as "light meat," but only Albacore can be labeled as premium "white meat" tuna. (If you haven't bought canned Albacore before, notice the price!)

  • Other names for Albacore (Thunnus alalunga) include Longfin tuna, Tombo Ahi, and Ahi Palana.

  • Tunas and tuna-like fish, billfish, and certain sharks are speed champions, reaching 50 miles per hour in short bursts.