Farm-Raised Salmon? Not on This Yacht

Chef Sara Ventiera is setting off on a three-week trip to the Bahamas, manning the kitchen on a 91-foot yacht. She will file regular updates from the waters about what it's like to work on a yacht, from pretrip provisioning to seaplane produce delivery.

wildsalmon.jpg
Farm-raised salmon isn't going to cut it for this trip.
As soon I saw the "Norwegian Atlantic Salmon" label on the box, I started to flip. It was Friday afternoon, and I was unpacking a $2,500 order for the yacht. I called my provisioner immediately. "Kathy, we have a problem."

My boss' wife specified a mostly organic diet, and I have a strong aversion to farm-raised fish. This farm-raised salmon was definitely not organic. Besides, I am one of those crazy animal-welfare and sustainability people. Yes, I am that person who feeds my dogs organic food, supplemented with wild salmon oil. If I can see the stark difference in their coats between using wild and  farm-raised salmon oils, I can only imagine the effects on our bodies. Since I am the one planning the menu, I get to impose my views upon anyone who is going to eat my food.

When it comes to cooking on yachts, the job begins long before the guests arrive. Provisioning for nine people, with limited storage, for two weeks can be a delicate process. You need to be able to accommodate for multiple diets and multiple dining scenarios. It is not unheard of to find out while at sea that one guest adheres to a raw vegan diet while another is a strict Atkins fanatic.

For this trip, it seems I don't have much to worry about. The one request: Meals must be light and healthy. In compliance, I stuck to ordering mostly seafood and chicken. To make matters easier for myself, I used a provisioning company. This is common practice in yachting. For the most part, they can get you almost any ingredient needed and deliver straight to the dock. Obviously, for this sort of convenience you do pay a premium, which tends to be the trend when it comes to yachts.

Although you do pay for this convenience, this is not to say that it's hiccup-free. Luckily, we have a good relationship, and my provisioner, Kathy, has always catered to my anal tendencies. We have been working together for years now, and when you are spending this kind of money, whether it's yours or not, you have the right to be picky.

Kathy agreed to take back the salmon. I've made planning for the trip a bigger pain in the ass, since I now have to make a separate trip to pick up the new salmon. There have been many incidents in the past where provisions have been delivered last minute with no room for mistakes.

Fortunately, I got an extra day. At 9:30 on Sunday morning, I received confirmation that we are not leaving Monday morning as planned. Big surprise. Last-minute changes are to be expected in yachting. Winds are too strong. Seas are too rough. The good news is that I have the day off. I was planning on picking up my produce for the trip, but now I can push that to tomorrow -- meaning I get to spend another day with my dogs.
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12 comments
pet food
pet food

Salmon are found in both the atlantic and pacific oceans, with a record weight of 100 pounds. They have been part of the human diet for centuries, and play a powerful role in the mythology of many western native american nations. Salmon are members of the salmonidae family of fishes

Guest
Guest

There are some protection precautions that must be seen in the luxury yacht or vessel you are driving. Boat entrepreneurs must take observe factors to make sure a safe and fun journey.

D D Gamache
D D Gamache

Great article, looking forward to more!! Say hi to Petunia and Shady!!! :) dg

Decocrafts
Decocrafts

A good insight. Thanks for sharing.

salmonfarmscience
salmonfarmscience

Did you know that wild salmon cannot be certified as organic? There is no way to determine what they have been eating. On the other hand, you can expect to see farmed salmon certified as organic soon, because everything in their diet can be traced. As well, several producers have been able to eliminate antibiotics from their fish diets completely. 

Perhaps you should reconsider farmed salmon. 

Bjarne Betent
Bjarne Betent

So far there has been no way around the antibiotics when it comes to fish farming. The other concern is the damage the non-eaten feed that sinks to the bottom of the sea does. Since there is n o way to single-feed a farm fish, this will remain a problem for the fish itself, i.e. the fish being kept in waters contaminated by the food it eats and other long term effects of sea bed polluting.

Johnv1122
Johnv1122

I do not blame you for not taking the Salmon. When I see farm raised Salmon in the stores it always says color added

salmonfarmscience
salmonfarmscience

That's a legal requirement in some states. The colour comes from astaxanthin in the fish feed, which is also an antioxidant fish need. It's no more "coloured" than chicken or egg yolks, which also get their nice brown skin colour and deep yellow yolk colour from similar compounds in chicken feed. 

Wild salmon get their colour from the things they eat too. 

WGFCI
WGFCI

Good for you for not feed the Norwegian "fish" to your guests.

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