My local Town and Country Market has the occasional Producer Profile available at the store. I’ve started picking a few of them up to showcase here on the blog. See below for the text of the profile and click on the picture to view the original profile that I’ve scanned. Note that the information available on this post is not NW Farm Review’s opinion or original writing and while it may or may not represent our views it is soley taken from Town and Country Market.
Town and Country Markets Producer Profiles
Lummi Island, the most northeasterly island of the San Juan archipelago, is home to reef net salmon fishermen. As millions of sockeye and pink salmon return from the Pacific Ocean to the Fraser River, these fishermen harvest them using the ancient art of reef netting – a method used nowhere else in the world.
Native Americans fished this wayfor centuries, using cedar canoes and nets made of cedar bark rope. Although the boats have gotten a littlebigger, and winches are used to pull the nylon nets, the method isfundamentally the same today. A net issuspended between two stationary boats as “spotters,” standing on towers, watch for schools of salmon to swim along the reef and over the net. When a school is observed, the net is quickly pulled up and the salmon are spilled intoa netted live well to relax.The fish are then sorted and any unwanted and protected speciesare harmlessly diverted backinto the water.
Reef netting often is referred to as the world’s most sustainable method of salmon fishing. In addition to avoiding unwanted bycatch, no fossil fuel is used to chase the fish, and there is very little disruption of marine mammals, birds or the environment. Reef net salmon are among the highest in omega-3 oils because they still have the energy (beneficial fats) they have stored for their long journey. This high fat content, as well as thoughtful, careful processing of the fish when caught, makes for rich, succulent flavor. To learn more about the ecological and historical practice of reef net fishing around Lummi Island, visit www.lummiislandwild.com.