Top Reasons Wild-Caught Fish are Better

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If you’re a seafood lover, you probably already know that eating wild-caught fish is much better than farm-raised (or mystery-origin) fish. One of the biggest challenges of getting fish from a supermarket or from a restaurant is that there are very few rules and regulations about how fish has to be labeled, so it can sometimes be hard to tell what you’re really getting.

A 2019 report found that anywhere from 20% to 33% of fish sold in a restaurant or grocery store was “fraudulent fish,” meaning that it is mislabeled. There are several ways it could be mislabeled, but the most common are:

So what is it about wild-caught salmon, halibut, and rockfish that makes it the gold standard for delicious and nutritious seafood? Let’s examine some of the reasons—and the best way to make sure you get wild-caught fish every time you want to eat fish.

Line-Caught Fish are More Sustainable

Not all wild-caught fish are good for the environment, because overfishing can remove important species from the ocean and disrupt the ecosystem. But when you catch them in a sustainable way with responsible local fishermen, they definitely are better for the environment.

Wild fish caught by line fishing is one of the most sustainable options for eating fish today. Compared to net fishing—which uses massive nets that ensnare huge numbers of fish, along with other sea mammals, birds, and sea turtles—line fishing is the best way to catch the fish you plan to eat. It protects the environment from overfishing and leaves plenty of fish to reproduce so there is a ready supply in future years.

Wild-Caught Fish Generally Eat Better Diets

The global demand for fish like salmon has increased significantly in the past 20 to 30 years. That is likely due to awareness about the nutritional value of fish like salmon being high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is versatile for cooking in several types of dishes. With such high demand, catching salmon from the ocean isn’t feasible. That’s why global salmon farming production has increased from 27,000 metric tons to more than one million metric tons per year.

Like any business, fish farms want to produce as much fish as they can as quickly as possible to sell and meet the demand. These companies usually feed fish a highly processed diet that is higher in fat and protein so fish will grow bigger and more quickly. Processed fish feed is much different from the invertebrates that wild salmon eat as part of their regular diet. That changes the nutritional value of the fish when it’s consumed.

Wild-Caught Fish Have Different Nutritional Value

The diet that a fish eats changes the nutritional value to the person who consumes it. Wild-caught fish that eat a broad range of invertebrates from the ocean are going to have a different composition than farmed fish that eat the same processed fish feed from the time they are born until they are sold.

In a comparison of farm-raised and wild-caught salmon (198 gram serving), farm-raised have:

  • About 46% more calories (412 versus 281)
  • More than twice as much fat (27 grams versus 13 grams)
  • Between 20% and 200% more saturated fat, depending on the diet of the fish

Farmed fish do have slightly higher omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but those benefits don’t usually outweigh the downsides of eating farmed fish. Wild-caught fish also have higher levels of vitamins and minerals like potassium, zinc, and iron.

Wild-Caught Salmon Have Fewer Contaminants

Beyond the nutritional value, several studies have shown that wild-caught salmon have far lower levels of contaminants than farm-raised. This includes:

  • Polychlorinated biphenyls
  • Toxaphene
  • Dieldrin
  • Dioxins
  • Polybrominated diphenyl ethers
  • Pesticides

Many of these are known carcinogens that can increase your risk of cancer. The levels of these organochlorine contaminants may be high enough in some farmed salmon that it negates other health benefits of eating fish as part of your regular diet.

Farm-Raised Fish Need Antibiotics

Farmed fish are raised in very densely populated conditions because it is much more cost-effective, but these conditions also make the fish more susceptible to disease and infections. Aquaculture facilities use antibiotics in fish feed to prevent disease, allowing these antibiotics to get into our food system. The overuse of antibiotics increases antibiotic-resistant bacteria that could be dangerous to humans and is a problem throughout the food industry. It could also increase the risk of eating these fish for someone who is allergic to antibiotics.

How to Get More Wild-Caught Salmon

Now that you know how much better it is to eat wild-caught fish instead of farm-raised, the next question that most people ask is how to get it. Since you can’t always trust the labels or sources in your local grocery store, really the only way to guarantee you’ll get fresh, wild-caught fish is to go out and catch them yourself.

Now it might seem impractical to do that, especially if you don’t live near a fish-filled ocean. But there is one way you can get a huge supply every year: come catch them on an all-inclusive Alaskan fishing vacation at Pybus Point Lodge.

Every guest who comes to stay at our lodge gets to go home with 50 pounds of wild-caught fish from the pristine waters off the west coast of Alaska. Our expert fishing guides will help you find the best places to fish for a seasonal catch, which may include:

  • King salmon
  • Coho salmon
  • Halibut
  • Pink salmon
  • Keta salmon
  • Rockfish
  • Ling cod
  • Pacific cod

Our guides will even clean your fish and package them so they can go right into your freezer when you get home, preserving them for several months until you can get back up to Alaska to refresh your stash.

Book your all-inclusive trip today to get delicious wild-caught fish that you know came from sustainable fishing methods and pristine fishing conditions.

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REVIEWS

65% OF OUR GUESTS ARE RETURN CUSTOMERS

Discover why people like you can’t stop talking about Pybus Point Lodge. More than 30 years ago, Pybus Point Lodge opened as a simple fishing camp, drawing a devoted following in spite of basic accommodations. With new owners and experienced captains and crew, our corner of Alaska has become an unbeatable all-inclusive fishing and eco-tourism resort.

Andrea Tate

Incredible Experience!

Pybus Point Lodge has some of the most stunning scenery I’ve ever seen. I mean absolutely breathtaking! In addition to the amazing fishing, I hiked to a beautiful secluded lake, soaked in some hot pots, saw several waterfalls, went whale watching, saw bears and all kinds of wildlife and marine life. As a photographer, photographing a wedding under a waterfall will remain a highlight of my life.

Shirley Johnson

Pybus Point Lodge - WOW!

We had the best time! This was our first visit to Pybus, but it definitely will not be our last. The stunning scenery, amazing fishing experience, and the joy of meeting new friends – all outstanding! We did not want to leave!!! If you are thinking about this trip – don’t think any more, just book it. You will not regret it!!!

Sharon Hedding

Trip of a Lifetime!

We had such an amazing time the staff was so wonderful and the lodge was fantastic! capt Joe was so helpful and always doing what ever he could do to make each day special. a special thank you to both Scott and Jody for taking the time to make us feel like family. can't wait to go back next year

Jason Nielsen

Wonderful and Magical Place

We had an amazing business retreat to Pybus Point Lodge.  Everything was top notch... the fishing, the staff, the boat captains, the food, the accommodations, and especially the scenery.    I really liked that Pybus took care of everything from start to finish. Chef John is an amazing cook. We had delicious hot meals the entire trip.  The cabins were amazing and very comfortable.  The fishing was awesome and that’s coming from a guy that doesn’t fish that much.

Brandon Foote

We brought home 100lbs of fish!

My wife and I spent a week at Pybus Point this Summer. We had a beautiful, private room overlooking the bay and our own new, ensuite, private bathroom. What an amazing place for couples to get away together. We set our own breakfast time, met our boat captain after, fished the day along, and returned to clean up and enjoy a nice dinner at the restaurant. Next time Alaska is on the trip list, Sherrie and I will go together, and it will be to Pybus Point!

Kent Danjanovich

Fun in Alaska

This was my first trip to Pybus Point. I stayed in one of their new cabins. The accommodations were incredible, the view onto the bay in the mornings was stunning. I loved the staff and the food was really very good. All of this and they have new boats to take you out onto fairly calm waters to fish. The fishing guides were great. Overall a great experience. Definitely going back.

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