Where can I buy farmed Arctic char?
Northern Canada is the prime supplier, with Iceland close behind. These two are also the major suppliers of farmed char. The typical market size for the fish is between 2 and 8 pounds. Some farms raise pan-sized fish weighing 8 to 10 ounces. In Canada, gillnets, weirs and trap nets are used to harvest wild Arctic char.
How are Arctic char fish raised?
Arctic char are raised in land-based systems. Arctic char eggs are hatched within specialized hatchery facilities. The young fish remain in the hatchery until they reach ~100 grams; the fish are then transferred to tanks at the grow-out facilities. Each of these tanks is capable of holding 5000 fish.
Can you eat Arctic char?
For a more responsible option, choose to eat farmed Arctic char. Arctic char thrive in environmentally-friendly fish farms. They grow quickly and healthily in self-contained pools or tanks that are separated from natural water sources.
How do Arctic char farms keep fish from escape?
In the United States and Canada, Arctic char farms employ partial recirculation and water treatment technology, screens, and secondary capture devices to prevent fish from escaping, according to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Any that do escape are unlikely to survive, making the risk to wild populations quite low.
Tilapia that’s been raised responsibly is a great option. Tilapia is fish that has lots of nutrients, but doesn’t have the fishy flavor that turns some people away from seafood. Farms like Regal Springs raise their Tilapia in floating pens. That means the fish eat only the vegetable-based diet they’re fed by the farmers.
Salmon is one of the most popular fish to eat in the United States, which means we have to be very careful not to overfish it. Eating farmed salmon is one way to make sure that the wild stocks have enough left to keep the population healthy.
Arctic char is a popular fish choice due to its slightly sweet taste, but wild char from remote northern waters are in limited supply. For a more responsible option, choose to eat farmed Arctic char. Arctic char thrive in environmentally-friendly fish farms.
Responsibly farmed catfish are tasty and clean. Farmed catfish from the United States are grown in controlled ponds and are fed a vegetarian-based diet. And since catfish farms stagger production throughout the year, farmed catfish is available year-round. It takes the fish 18 months to reach maturity.
Char and Salmon share much of the same habitat, migrating between freshwater and saltwater in the northern reaches of North America, Russia, and Europe. The main difference is that Arctic Char are, well, Arctic. They live much further north, thriving well into the Arctic Circle where most Salmon species couldn’t survive.
Arctic Char is a delicious, mild fish that sits somewhere between Trout and Salmon, leaning toward Trout. It’s quite fatty, which makes it easy to cook, as it won’t go dry or tough unless you really overdo it. Char also has a very delicate skin that crisps up beautifully.
This is where Char really shines. We’ve covered seafood sustainability in much more detail elsewhere if you’re interested. For now, let’s just say that both fish are usually farm-raised, but because Char can live in freshwater long-term, it’s much easier and more sustainable to farm.