The clean, cool waters of Oregon provide seafood defined by its freshness and variety.
“From albacore tuna to pink shrimp and everything in between – Chinook salmon, Dover sole, Dungeness crab and Pacific whiting – Oregon’s seafood bounty is second to none,” says Hugh Link of theOregon Dungeness Crab Commission. “Our waters are healthy, our fisheries are well managed, our stocks are harvested sustainably and our fishing fleet is committed to delivering the finest seafood available – from our boats to the customer’s plate.”
The independent family fishermen that make up the majority of Oregon’s fishing fleet care passionately about maintaining sustainable fisheries, the health of the ocean and the wholesomeness and variety of the fish. Many of Oregon’s fisheries have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), a designation that assesses and recognizes sustainable practices. Oregon boasts the first cold water shrimp and Dungeness crab fisheries in the world to earn MSC certification. In addition to good management practices, Oregon’s seafood industry is renowned for producing delicious fish and shellfish.
“The state’s seafood industry is no different than Oregon agriculture in its abundance and variety. Last year, Oregon’s fleet caught more than 60 species of fish and shellfish,” says Brad Pettinger of the Oregon Trawl Commission.
The bounty from Oregon’s waters has spawned a number of seafood processors. Micro-canneries put up many of the line-caught albacore tuna while larger companies like Hallmark Fisheries, the family-run Bornstein Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and industry leader Pacific Seafood provide fresh, processed and frozen Oregon seafood worldwide. Founded in Portland in 1941, Pacific Seafood has grown to the 10th largest seafood company in the world.
“One of the reasons that we have been able to be successful is the abundance of really wonderful seafood right off our coast here in Oregon and the greater Pacific Northwest,” says Pacific Seafood’s Larz Malony.
“Oregon pink shrimp are recognized domestically and internationally as some of the best cooked and peeled cold water shrimp in the world,” Malony says. “And while albacore tuna is caught around the world, the Oregon albacore is special. This is a young run of albacore, between two and four years old. As it happens, that’s when tuna have the highest Omega-3 oils and are the healthiest to eat.”
“This is a beautiful fish and is in high demand in other parts of the world that have their own albacore fisheries, like Japan and Europe, two parts of the world that are serious foodies when it comes to seafood,” Malony says. “The same is true of Oregon Dungeness crab and so many other fish and shellfish thriving just off the Oregon coast.”