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People often assume that food caught in the wild are inferior to farm-raised ones, but this is actually untrue on several fronts.
The farmed fish industry was created primarily to meet the growing demand for fish consumption. As people are becoming more aware of healthier food choices, these companies offer a quick and convenient way to get their fish fix. However, this isn’t the best way to consume the essential food group, and in some instances can prove to be detrimental to your health.
First things first- what’s the difference between wild-caught and farm-raised seafood? In the simplest terms, wild-caught fish are those that are sourced from natural habitats, such as rivers, lakes and oceans, while farmed ones are sourced from man-made habitats.
You can reason that farm-raised fish are healthier because they’re cared for, and that their environment is better because of human intervention, but again, this isn’t always the case.
Why Wild Caught Fish is Better Than Farmed Fish
Now, this is the part where it gets interesting. People debate on three fronts regarding the farmed fish versus fresh fish argument- sustainability, contamination and nutrition.
A fish farm’s sustainability largely depends on its practice. Unfortunately, not all of them uphold themselves to high environmental standards and most lean towards profit instead of replenishing the world’s supply. When this happens, not only will mother nature suffer in the long run, but ultimately the human race too.
Wild-caught fish companies do not necessarily guarantee sustainable practices as well, but this is when research comes in handy. When making the decision to consume fish caught in its native environment, make sure to dig deeper and see whether they follow an eco-friendly program. If not, then it’s best to move on to the next one on the list.
Farmed fish are more likely to be contaminated with toxins, antibiotics and other man-made compounds for a reason- the ‘tanks’ where they live are more crowded, and they tend to get ill or contract some kind of disease more often. In an effort to keep their fish healthy, fish farm companies rely on medicine, water cleaners and growth hormones to address the demand.
In contrast, fish caught in the wild are in their natural environment. They aren’t as crowded and therefore, are less likely to be sick. There’s virtually zero monitoring or treating involved, and these fish live or die by natural selection.
It’s worthy to note that a fishes’ nutritional value largely depends on its diet. The more varied the kind of foods they get, the higher the nutritional content.
Fish farms tend to focus on feeding their stock with only one variety, which is fortified feed. This can raise the omega 3 levels slightly higher compared to those in the wild, but that’s not the sole nutrient your body will need.
Wild-caught fish tend to have more food choices in their natural environment, i.e., their natural prey and the nutrients you get are more diverse.
The Best Wild Caught Seafood Delivered to You
If you are looking for the best wild-caught seafood delivered to your door then these are the best companies to choose from.
#1 Wild Alaskan Company
Wild Alaskan Company operates via monthly seafood membership, which means you get sustainably-sourced seafood for a monthly price. They offer species that are native in Alaska, including Alaska pollock, pacific halibut, pacific cod, coho salmon and sockeye salmon. You can choose from three plans- the white fish box, the salmon box or the combo box, each with its own specialty. The price is very reasonable for people who are looking to change their diet for the better.
Wild Alaskan, like other top wild-caught fish companies, deliver the fish straight to your doorstep. Sustainability doesn’t stop at Wild Alaskan’s responsibly sourced seafood. Each order is shipped in an eco-friendly insulated cooler with dry ice, to ensure it remains frozen until the end of the day it is delivered. They also explain in detail how their fish are never genetically modified or farmed, with zero antibiotics and other drugs.
Wild Alaskan backs its fish products with a 100% money-back guarantee. You also get access to expert fishmongers who will answer any question you have about the seafood, cooking tips, recipes and more. Customization options are also available in the form of delivery date changes, menu switch and putting your subscription on hold.
What I like about Wild Alaskan Company is that they pack their fish individually according to portions, which makes cooking quick and easy.
#2 Vital Choice
Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics is a variety store that offers more than just wild-caught fish. They also have premium proteins, organic seasoning, fish-based supplements and grilling accessories. In the wild fish department, they have petrale sole, rockfish, sablefish, Chilean sea bass, cod, lingcod, albacore and ahi tuna, halibut, salmon, poke and tataki and wild salmon jerky.
Their subscription service, called ‘Vital Box’ consists of three choices- the Seafood Box, Fish Box and Salmon Box. Each of these has its own selection of fish, e.g., shellfish, salmon and fish-based sausages, dogs and burgers. Vital Choices’ food are 100% gluten-free as well as being antibiotic-free.
It’s worthy to note that the company has some bone broths that are Paleo and keto-friendly. Vital Choice also has a comprehensive guide on how you can prepare and cook fish to preserve the nutrients and make it taste good, too. To entice more customers, the shop offers promotions and rewards such as free shipping and discounts on supplements when you choose automatic delivery. You earn ‘points’ that can be used to buy their fish-based products at a lower price.
#3 Honolulu Fish
Honolulu Fish focuses mostly on wild fish caught on the coastal waters of Hawaii. You may think that the selections are few, but you’ll be surprised at the variety of choices the wild-caught fish company offers.
For starters, Honolulu Fishes’ Signature Cuts save you time from having to prepare them- it comes with the bloodline and skin removed so you can just put them straight to the pan or grill. There’s the Ahi Select, Premium and Ultra fillet, wahoo, northern salmon, albacore ahi, swordfish, sweet prawns, monchong, ora king salmon and sea bass in 3-pound packages.
Shipping options and subscriptions are listed on their website. Honolulu Fish has either the 3 months or the 6-month seafood subscription under the ‘monthly catch’ umbrella. A subscription consists of the owner’s catch of the day and nairagi, kajiki, mahimahi, ono, swordfish, Tombo or ahi, depending on which one’s the freshest and most delicious.
Honolulu Fish is founded by Wayne Samiere and is among the top seafood distributors in the US. The company serves Pacific water fish to more than 3,000 customers and chefs. It’s also the only wild-caught fish distributor to offer 14-plus sashimi-grade seafood. Also, HFC promises eco-friendly and sustainable fishing practices and hand-selected fish carefully chosen by top sashimi experts.
#4 Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood
Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood is a different company from Wild Alaskan Company, though they source from the same waters. It’s a fisherman family-owned business and manned by an experienced individual named Captain Tony. Aside from subscription-based and wild-caught fish delivery services, Wild Alaska Salmon & Seafood regularly shows up at farmer’s markets around the U.S.
The wild-caught seafood company doesn’t offer a subscription service but they make up for it by offering frequent free shipping promotions. As for the wild fish department, you can choose from wild Alaskan varieties such as lox, salmon burger, salmon candy, sockeye salmon and king salmon, or rockfish, ahi tuna, Alaskan halibut, pacific cod, Alaskan black cod, jumbo shrimp, jumbo sea scallops, Alaskan red king crab and wild Alaska rub. Pick your own selections in single orders or choose the ‘Build Your Own’ Salmon & Seafood Box for variety and save a few dollars in the process.
Wild Alaska says that they’re committed to sustainability, and their products are certified by the ASMI, or Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. In particular, salmon fishing in Bristol Bay is largely regulated by the Alaskan government, and Wild Alaska is among those permitted due to their practices.
On their website are tips on how to cook, store and prepare salmon and recipes that focus on maximum nutrition and taste.
#5 Sea to Table
Sea to Table is a popular seafood delivery service that’s recently expanded to offer subscriptions. The company’s mantra is ‘Eat Better Fish, more often’ via wild-caught American seafood. The catches are cut to proportion, cleaned and flash-frozen before being delivered or sold, ensuring freshness.
Like all other wild-caught fish companies, Sea to Table has a variety of fish for its customers. Their ‘Salmon Lover’s Box’ consists of 3 packs of sockeye and coho, the ‘Sea to Shining Sea’ has a combination of West Coast dover sole, Gulf shrimp and Maine redfish, while the ‘Kosher Kit’ is made up of sockeye salmon, coho salmon and Maine redfish. You can also personalize your own ‘box’ with choices of Atlantic winter skate, sockeye salmon, Maine redfish, Wild Gulf shrimp, pacific cod, Atlantic sea scallops, coho salmon, Maine lobster tails and dover sole.
After you place your order, the company will send it within 3 days frozen and proportioned. Sea to Table boasts zero antibiotics and hormones on their fish due to them being caught in the wild.
#6 Sitka Salmon Shares
Sitka Salmon Shares offers a ‘boat to doorstep’ service on wild Alaskan seafood. Their packages are called ‘shares’ and range from bundled products such as the Premium Sitka Share, Taste of Summer, Sitka Salmon and Sitka Seafood to seasonal ones, depending on the month and fish caught.
Sitka has a pretty interesting recipe list that can be filtered according to fish type. The photos are enticing and range from spicy to healthy and everything in-between. You can prepare the shares you bought at Sitka with ingredients and eat a different meal every day.
The wild-caught fish company’s delivery process is outlined on their website. First, you enroll in a CSF, or community-supported fishery in 3 to 9-month intervals. The small boat fishermen catch Alaskan seafood varieties such as halibut, albacore tuna, dungeness crab, spot prawns, rockfish, yelloweye, pacific cod, black cod, black bass, lingcod, keta salmon, coho salmon, sockeye and king salmon.
After the fish are caught, they are prepared and flash frozen. You receive an email a week before the shares are sent. Details such as where and when the seafood was caught and who caught it are provided as well.
#7 Catalina Offshore Products
Catalina Offshore Products mostly operate within the Catalina Island, selling wild-caught fish such as sea bass, halibut, snapper, rockfish, grouper and swordfish among others. It’s worthy to note that the company sells sushi-making kits so you can prepare the sashimi you buy from them right in the comfort of your own home.
Catalina Offshore has free shipping when you make a purchase above $300, and they accept major credit cards too. On shops, they sell shellfish, premium fillets, shrimp, sea urchin, salmon, lobster, crab, caviar & eggs, yellowtail and tuna varieties. They have been featured in news and shows about sustainable wild-caught practices and are renowned in their particular region.
Ordering online is easy and works just like e-retail shops. Put the items you want in your shopping cart, then check out and pay with your preferred method. You can sign up for an account and log in every month for deliveries. Unfortunately, Catalina Offshore doesn’t have a subscription plan so you’ll have to do it manually.
Their website is sparse and navigating may be a bit difficult, but you should be able to get to the wild fish selection without any problems. Sign-ups are optional and provide additional discounts.
The best part about eating wild-caught seafood is that you can have it delivered straight to your doorstep. For the health-conscious individuals and families who’d love to get all the nutrients of fish without additives, hormones or antibiotics, this is certainly the way to go.
The cost difference between farm-raised and wild-caught are minimal, and as long as you’re eating healthy why not go for one that’s organic and natural? Your body will thank you for it!
Ryan is a former college wrestler and lifelong fitness fanatic. He has run half marathons, done mud runs, placed in body transformation contests, coached wrestling and now coaches girls soccer. Not to mention he has also tried literally hundreds of supplements over the years and has a vast and thorough supplement knowledge. He has written for Muscle & Strength, Testosterone Junkie, The Sport Review and other publications. He is also the editor in chief of this website. Feel free connect with him on his LinkedIn page below.