It used to be that freshness alone was what established a good Seafood Department. Now, where our seafood comes from, how it’s caught or raised, and what effect those practices have on the environment have rightfully become important factors in the sustainability, quality and humanity of the seafood industry as a whole.
We’re aware of the health and sustainability issues that affect some kinds of fish. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch guide is one place we turn to when we want to know more about the fish we’re eating.
As with everything Union Market carries, our seafood program is committed to bringing you the best fish available at the best price we can give you without ever compromising on either quality or principles.
Our suppliers must follow clean, humane and responsible farming and farm management practices. This includes a meaningful degree of freedom of movement for the fish as well as the restricted use of hormones, antibiotics, preservatives, genetic modification and animal byproducts in the feed. Further, the farms themselves must be environmentally responsible in protecting the ecosystem around them.
Sustainable Wild Seafood
The demand for wild seafood has caused some waters to be overfished, and endangered the existence of certain species. Restricting the catch in these instances will often allow the breed to replenish itself. Our suppliers work with fisheries that monitor overfished waters or breeds of fish, and restrict the practice of bycatching (catching a type of fish that's not the one you're fishing for). We follow the guidelines of the Marine Stewardship Council and the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch.
Fresh, Never Frozen
We strive to carry only fresh-caught seafood. We know this is not always possible, particularly with shrimp and squid, but virtually all the fish we currently carry were netted 36-48 hours prior to reaching our stores.
While keeping an eye on sustainability, we always want to have wild seafood available for our savvy shoppers. We always carry Pacific Northwest wild salmon during that glorious season from the spring through the summer, as well as locally caught striped bass through the fall and winter, and North Atlantic cod, line-caught tuna and Pacific halibut all year long.
Whatever seafood we bring in, full disclosure of the origins and handling of our seafood products is non-negotiable with our suppliers. We expect our seafood vendors to provide the most information available, from the names of fisheries and farms to sea captains and their boats. Not only to know the facts, but also to celebrate those dedicated individuals and entities who care about the food as much as we do.