Frequently Asked Questions
Why should you buy our fish?
It is important to know that Pacific troll caught Albacore come from a sustainable fishery. The fish are harvested using hook and line methods that result in little or no bycatch. No nets are used in this dolphin-free fishery that targets surface-feeding fish from abundant stocks.
There are many sites selling fish on the web. Nearly all of them buy their fish for resale from other fishermen. Not all fishermen handle their fish with the same care. For instance, albacore swim at 87 degrees F body temperature and must be quickly chilled when caught to below 40 degrees F to prevent histamine poisoning and decomposition. Too many fishermen don't know or don't care how to take proper care of their fish.
You can tell when you open a can. The consistency of quality starts when the fish is removed from the water.
Many people have told me they've tried many of the other private labels and mine is consistently the best. That is plain to me because we know the pedigree of every fish we catch. It's not a "production" boat. My crew is trained to handle each fish in ten steps. (Take a look at our fishing methods to see the steps my crew takes for salmon and albacore.) Every fish is individually treated the same. If we can find a way to improve our quality - we apply it.
So many people tell me once they try our canned fish, they just can't go back to the major brands.
Why else should you buy our fish?
I've fished the Pacific for 37 years and for 28 some years, I've been taking premium care of my albacore and salmon to present the highest quality.
It started in the biggest El Nino of the century back in 1981. I was just one of the production minded fishermen of the Pacific fleet who made a living catching volumes of salmon and tuna. With the El Nino came hot empty waters and lots of guys went out of business. I wondered how to make a living for my family catching fewer fish. The answer was quality! I found I could get more money by taking better care of my fish and selling to premium markets. In 1983 I put an air blast freezer on my fishing boat the EZC. I became the first FAS (frozen at sea) boat in the Oregon fleet. A broker sold my fish to quality minded restaurants across the counry and Japan. After the first load went to market he told me ďHerb, my buyer said there is something wrong with your fish". Stunned, I asked what. The answer was ďHe said he loved them but there arenít enough of them. Catch more!"
After the El Nino waned and the ocean bloomed with feed and fish, I decided I liked catching fewer fish to make the same money. I found a new pride in taking super care of two fish that deserve the best Ė albacore tuna and Chinook salmon. For 70 some years the major canners have ruined what albacore should taste like, and when all the U.S. canners moved their plants to third world countries for the cheap labor pool, the quality dropped again.
Tuna is the most consumed fish in the country every year. Every kid grows up on tuna fish sandwiches. When new people try mine for the first time, they always say where has this been all my life?
Does a fish lose nutritional value in canning?
According to Dr. Ken Hilderbrand, longtime seafood technologist for Oregon State University, our salmon and tuna lose very little in the canning process Ė so itís nearly the same nutritional value as raw fish. The value is locked in the can. Be sure to save the juice that comes with the fish in the can. There is a high percent of Omega-3 oil in that juice.
You want to pour away the liquid that comes with major brand tuna because it has no value. The hydrolyzed vegetable protein will probably come up on you the rest of the day.
Mix the juice in a can of Oregonís Choice albacore or salmon with the fish or drink it, because itís good for you.
Is albacore, the white-meat tuna, always white?
No! The flesh of younger fish is pink, as are fish feeding on krill and shrimp. Fish feeding on squid are yellow or orange in flesh color. Another reason can be extra cook time. We only need to cook our fish once because the quality of the fish is perfect as is, from care and quality handling from the time the fish is caught until it is canned. Other tuna companies must cook theirs twice because the meat is poor quality (brusing from mishandling, etc.) which in turn makes their fish more "uniform" in color from can to can. This is also why they must add oil or water to their fish; while we pack the fish only in it's own natural juices.
Most often it is white, but like other fish, flesh color varies according to what it eats. Farmed salmon would be an unappetizing grey from their pellet diet so that's why chemical coloring agents are used to make them look like "real" salmon.
More Information on seafood
For lots of other pubs and marine related information, visit these other great sites:
Are you seafood savvy?
FishWatch can help you make informed decisions about the seafood you eat by providing you with the most accurate and timely information available on the sustainability of U.S. seafood fisheries. FishWatch is brought to you by NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. authority on marine fisheries science, conservation, and management.
What is sustainable seafood?
If you buy fish managed under a U.S. fishery management plan, you can be assured it meets 10 national standards for conservation and sustainable management. http://fishwatch.noaa.gov
If for any reason you are unsatisfied, all of our products come with an unconditional 100% money back guarantee (excluding shipping costs).
We do not share any of your personal or ordering information in any way, shape for form to any other person or organization.
All products are shipped via FedEx or USPS, ground.
To contact us directly, please call 877-752-8862.
Why is Oregon's Choice Albacore so low in mercury?
The longer the fish has been in the ocean, the more time it has to accumulate mercury. Our fish are young - mostly 2, 3 and 4 year old fish have not had the time to accumulate mercury as compared to the large amounts of mercury found in the large old fish favored by major canners. The younger fish swim closer to the surface of the water, which is where we fish; while the older fish swim closer to the ocean floor. More information about very low levels of mercury in Albacore can be found on the American Albacore Fishermens Association website. Also, Environmental Defense has not issued a consumption advisory for hook and line caught Albacore tuna because of our fishing methods. Click here for our mercury analysis report.
How much salt is in your albacore tuna and salmon?
Sea salt is what we use to salt our salt added products. Our salt added albacore contains 135 mg sodium per 55 g serving (with about 3 servings per 6 oz. can and 4 servings per 7.75 oz. can). The salmon contains 240 mg per 55 g serving.
The no salt added products have small amounts of naturally occurring salt - albacore is 20 mg per 55 g serving and salmon is 25 mg per 55 g serving.
What does the liquid in the can contain?
Nothing but fish oil rich in Omega 3s. We add nothing (except a little salt in the salt added products) in the canning process.
What is the shelf life of your albacore tuna and salmon?
If the can is undamaged (no rust or punctures), it is good for 10 years before the quality starts to fade.
How are the pet treats packed and are they suitable for human consumption?
The pet treats are packed in their own natural juices. They are safe for human consumption, but they are made from the red meat of Albacore tuna. The red (dark) meat is a lot more fishy tasting, but in some countries it is considered a delicacy.
How are your smoked products prepared?
All of our smoked products are smoked in an old fashion smoke house with Alder wood or whatever hard wood is available at the time. We do not add liquid smoke.
How are the shrimp harvested?
Shrimp are caught by dragging big nets, similar to those Forrest Gump used on the gulf coast, except modern excluders are added to prevent the incidental catch of other marine life. Our shrimp fishery is approved by the Marine Stewardship Council, so it doesn't have any environmental issues.
How are the oysters harvested?
Oysters are cultured in some of our coastal bays and are closely inspected by our WA and OR Departments of Agriculture. We can our oysters only at the time of year when they are at their fattest, away from the spawning time.
How are the sardines harvested?
Sardines are seined with big nets in the ocean off the Columbia River. There are only two short seasons (July and September) on these large fish, which can grow up to 10". They are harvested at their fattest, away from the spawning season.
Remember Steinbeck's Cannery Row about how fisherman "annihilated" the sardine resource off Monterey California? Well now we know that sardines have been cyclical for eons, disappearing all by themselves, without the help of man. About twelve years ago they showed up again off the Oregon coast in great numbers. An old fishery was renewed after a long absence.
What are the shipping rates?
Can you ship to Alaska and Hawaii?
For shipping to Alaska and Hawaii, we use the USPS flat rate boxes. Either a half case (any size cans) or a full case (6 oz. cans only) will fit in those boxes. Each full case ordered will go in one flat rate box. We will contact you by phone if additional postage is required for your order.
Do you have a retail outlet?
We sell online or via phone, toll free - 1-877-289-8862
We do have our products in some select stores thinly scattered around the country. For a listing, see the next FAQ.
Are there any stores which carry your products?
We do have a few selected stores scattered thinly around the country:
AJs - #61 1836 S Val Vista Drive Mesa, AZ 85205
AJ's #63 7141 E Lincoln Drive Scottsdale, AZ 85253
AJ's #64 5017 N Central Phoenix, AZ 85012
AJ's #70 10105 E Via Linda #110 Scottsdale, AZ 85258
AJ's #75 Pima Rd. 23251 N Pima Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85255
AJ's #87 7131 W Ray Road. Chandler, AZ 85226
AJ's #90 31311 N. Scottsdale rd. Scottsdale AZ 85266
AJ's #117 20050 N 67th Ave Glendale, AZ 85308
AJ's #118 15031 N Thompson Peak Parkway Scottsdale, AZ 85260
AJ's #122 2805 E Skyline Drive Tucson, AZ 85718
AJ's #159 4430 E Camelback Road Phoenix, AZ 85018
AJs #173 18271 N. Pima Rd. Scottsdale AZ 85255
AJs - #61 1836 S Val Vista Drive Mesa, AZ 85205
Healthy Way - 1015 Cass St. Suite 2 Monterey, CA 93940
Healthy Way 3251 Mission dr. Santa Cruz, CA. 95065
Lassen Health 2857 E Thousand Oaks Blvd. Thousand Oaks, CA 91362
Mind and Body Fitness Ctr 2074 sea village cir, cardiff by the sea CA 92007
Mountain Song 134 Morgan Way Mt. Shasta, CA 96067
Natural Foods Coop 745 Frecis St. San Louis Opispo, CA 93401
Hestand's in the Heights 5915 R. Street Little Rock, AR 72207
Harmony Healing 714 kimbark st. Longmont CO 80501
Nature's Oasis - 1123 Camino Del Rio Durango, CO 81301
Atkinsons Ketchum Graccobi square 451 4th st. E. Ketchum ID 83340
Atkinson's Bellevue 757 n. main st. Bellevue ID 83313
City Mkt. & Wine 323 Dienhard ln. suite B, McCall, Id. 83638
Heritage Health 4051 W. 183rd Country Club Hills, IL. 60478
Back In Time Naturals 2983 S. County rd. 300 E. Danville, IN. 46122
Formaggio Kitchen 244 huron ave. Cambridge, MA. 02138
Good Food Grocery 38 Old Hwy 22 Clinton, NJ 08809
Metaphysical Center of NJ 74 Fenwick rd Augusta NJ 07822
The Sunflower Seed 38 Old Hwy. 22 Clinton, NJ. 08809
Biscuit Store 367 Flatbush Ave. Brooklyn, NY 11238
Captain's Table 8 Sunset Heights Monroe, NY. 10950
Dean & Deluca Madison Ave. 1150 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10028
Dean & Deluca Soho 560 Broadway, New York NY 10012
Rising Tide Natural Market 42 Forest Ave. Glen Cove, NY 11542
The Herb Shoppe 15 Jersey Ave. Port Jervis, NY 12771
Bare Essentials Natural mkt 273 Boone Heights Dr, Boone NC 28607
Fuel Fitness 19832 W. 130th st. Strongsville OH. 44136
Summitt Natural Wellness Center 1680 Akron Peninsula Rd. Suite 103 Akron, OH 44313
Ashland Food Coop 294 1st St. Ashland, OR 97520
Barnacle Bill's 2174 N Hwy 101 Lincoln City, OR 97367
Bella Store 2023 Main St. Baker City, OR 97814
Flying Dutchman Winery 915 1st St. Otter Rock, OR 97369
First Alternative Coop 1007 SE 3rd St. Corvallis, OR 97333
First Alternative Coop - North Store 2855 NW Grant Ave. Corvallis, OR 97330
Food Front 2375 NW Thurman St. Portland, OR 97210
Gourmet Lady 373 Hwy 101 North Yachats, OR 97439
JC Market 107 N Coast Hwy Newport, OR 97365
Just Rebecca's 10841 Pacific Coast Hwy., Seal Rock, Oregon, 97376
Lambs Market 8255 Wilsonville Rd. Wilsonville, OR 97070
Mother Natures 298 Laneda Ave. Mansanita, OR 97130
Mt. Scott Nutritional Center 7815 SE 114th Ct. Portland, OR 97266
Strohecker's 2855 SW Patton Rd. Portland, OR 97201
Market of Choice 885 McKinley Eugene, OR. 97402
Newport Ave. Mkt. 1121 NW Newport ave, Bend. Or. 97701
New Seasons Orenco Station 1453 NE 61st Hillsboro, OR 97124
New Seasons Raleigh Hills 7300 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy Portland, OR 97225
New Seasons Sellwood 1214 SE Tacoma St. Portland, OR
New Seasons Arbor Lodge 6400 N Interstate Portland, OR 97217
New Seasons Cedar Hills 3495 SW Cedar Hills Blvd. Beaverton, OR 97005
New Seasons Lake Oswego 3 Monroe Parkway Lake Oswego, OR. 97035
New Seasons Concordia 5320 NE 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211
New Seasons PDX 1214 SE Tacoma St. Portland, OR 97202
New Seasons 7 Corners 1954 SE Division St. Portland, OR 97202
New Seasons Mountain Park 3 Monroe Parkway Lake Oswego, OR 97035
New Seasons Happy Valley 15861 SE Happy Valley Town Center Dr 97015
NW Kitchens 410 sw bay blvd. newport or 97369
Oceana Coop 159 SE 2nd St. Newport, OR 97365
Pasta Works 3735 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97214
The Olive and The Grape 14559 Westlake dr. suite A Lake oswego OR 97035
Trillium Natural Foods 1026 SE Jetty Ave Lincoln City, OR 97367
Whole Foods - Bend 2610 NE Hwy 20 Bend, OR 97701
Whole Foods - Bridgeport 7485 SW Bridgeport Tigard, OR 97224
Whole Foods- Fremont 3535 NE 15th Ave. Portland, OR 97212
Whole Foods - Gresham 2077 NE Burnside Rd. Gresham, OR 97030
Whole Foods- Lake Oswego 17711 Jean Rd. Lake Oswego, OR 97035
Whole Foods - Laurelhurst Laurelhurst 2825 E Burnside St. Portland, OR 97201
Wizer's 330 1st St. Lake Oswego, OR 97034
East End Food Coop 7516 Meade St. Pittsburgh, PA 15208
Good Life Market 3141 Banksville Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Nature's Way 796 Highland Ave Greenburgh, PA 15601
Loves to Cook 1211 North Main St. Logan, Utah 84341
Healthnut Nutrition 113 Tradewynd Drive Lynchburg, VA 24502
Rebecca's Natural Foods 1141 Emett St. Charlottesville, VA 22903
Sunnyside Farm Market 337 Bay. St. Washington,VA 22747
Vibrant Health 36020 SE fish hatchery rd. fall city, WA. 98024
Whole Foods- Mill Plain 815 se. 160th ave. Vancouver, WA 98683
Dr. Daniel Newman 315 E Evergreen Blvd. Vancouver, WA 98660
Grassway Organics N600 Plymouth Trail New Holstein Wi. 53061
How much Omega-3 is there per serving?
We've had our canned albacore tested and the results state that there are 2.45 grams (2450 mg.) of Omega-3 Fatty Acids per 55 gram serving of our albacore tuna.
The nutritional facts on a pouch of Starkist's best premium albacore proudly proclaims Omega-3 content of 450 mg. per 55 gram serving- Ours is five times higher (and ten times lower in mercury, not to mention a billion times better tasting!) Check our articles tab for more info from Captain Herb on Omega-3 content and why ours is so much higher than the "leading store brand".
What if I get a dented can?
Dented cans are 100% safe to eat. The modern can design has no solder-seams that could (when dented) deteriorate and flake into the food inside the can. Our cans are made from steel and have an enamel coating to ensure the safety of the food. We eat dented cans every day and have never seen a spoiled can. We do not send out dented cans from our facility. If you have questions please call us at 877-752-8862.
How much actual meat is there in one 6 oz. can?
Unlike other seafood companies, there is actually 6 full ounces of meat in one of our six ounce cans. The other guys are only required to have 3.5 oz. of meat in a 6 oz. can, and do so.
What are Oregon's Choice Pet Treats?
We now have the dark meat from our Oregon's Choice Albacore and Chinook Salmon for pet treats! Please see our current issues page for more information from Captain Herb.
Can I buy just a couple of cans to try?
Yes! If you would like to sample our products by just ordering a couple of cans, call customer service at 877-752-8862.
Do you have non BPA cans available?
All of our 6 oz. albacore products are packed in Non-BPA cans, as well as the smoked albacore, jalapeno garlic albacore and the sardines. Our goal is to have every product canned in non BPA cans. As the new cans become available they will be posted under the products page.
What is the mercury content of your Albacore?
We get a lot of calls about just how low the mercury levels are in our fish: "You say its low mercury, but where is the proof?" Until now, we've been sending our mercury analysis data to our customers along with their orders. See for yourself!
Updated albacore testing results can also be found on the American Albacore Fishing Association website - www.americanalbacore.com
Are your products all caught and processed in the US?
Yes, all of our products are caught and processed in the Pacific Northwest. We only catch and can what is local to us here in Oregon, and work exclusively with other small local businesses.
I'm concerned about fallout from the Japanese tsunami.
The information we have about albacore tuna caught in Oregon is that it is safe to eat. NOAA, EPA, and FDA have been monitoring seafood since the nuclear meltdown. Radiation does not last long in the water, and the tuna were expected to be far off shore at the time of the meltdown. There was radiation linked to this event found in Bluefin tuna, however, the amounts found at very low levels, and were within FDA approval.
This is a link to the NOAA-FDA-EPA fact sheet, and also to the NOAA Seafood Inspection website.
Another site with helpful information that is frequently updated is NOAA's Japanese Tsunami Marine Debris website. http://marinedebris.noaa.gov/tsunamidebris/
Has your albacore been tested for radiation?
We had our Oregon's Choice albacore (caught in 2013) tested by an independent laboratory. The results show that any radiation that may be present is too low to be measured. See for yourself!