Pisces Albacore Tuna

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Oregon AlbacoreA new pick this time around at Eugene’s Tuesday Farmers’ market is troll-caught North Pacific Premium Albacore by the fishing vessel Pisces. This couple once sold their handpacked tuna and salmon to area grocery stores, but soon grew disappointed with the effects of high markups. “We want our fish to available for everyone, not just rich people,” they lamented. Now they sell direct to their customers at the Tuesday and Saturday Farmers’ Market in Eugene and also the market at Coos Bay. A 7.75 oz can of troll-caught (this means they are fishing sustainably- and not drag netting!) Albacore is $3.75. As I stood dreamily munching on an Albacore Dip sample, a woman sidled up next to me to pick up her regular order of a case of tuna. “Why not?” She beamed, “I eat a can a week!”

Pisces’ Albacore Dip
Combine:

  • one 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
  • half a large can of drained crushed pineapple
  • one thumb’s worth of minched fresh ginger

Fold in:

  • one can of undrained Pisces Albacore
  • 1-2 Tbs of chopped cilantro

Pisces is intent on educating their customer on the advantages of troll-caught fish. Their booth is decorated with newspaper articles on the decimation of the fish communities off the West Coast aided by drag net techniques and over fishing.

From the back of Pisces’ Albacore can:

You are holding North Pacific Albacore Tuna, hook and line caught by the fishing vessel Pisces, the hand packed by a quality Oregon microcannery. Our albacore is filleted and canned with no additives except 15 grams [reader edit: grains] of sea salt. Unlike commercial canners’ methods of cooking the fish first, then again while canning it, our procedure retains the health-promoting Omega-3 essential oils. This product is humanely harvested with no accidental capture of other species. Dolphins play at the bow while we fish!

To reserve a case of Pisces’ Albacore or Salmon or to ask about Pisces’ market schedule call them at (541)266-7336 or (541)821-7117.

21 Comments

posted June 18th, 2005 at 10:22 pm

Just to be clear, troll-caught means that a fishing pole and fishing line is used to catch the fish.

That said, I have another nit to pick.

Just because something is caught with a pole instead of a net does not, by itself, make the fishing process sustainable.

Sustainability is achieved through a combination of harvesting techniques and operating principles which specifically do not deplete the productivity of the local environment so rapidly that the area can recover preventing future harvests from being impacted negatively.

Drift nets are more widely viewed to be an unsustainable fishing practice because they easily facilitate larger harvests (“over fishing”) and a higher rate of kill for non-target species which also play an important role in sustaining the local populations.

Missouri Botanical Garden:

Dolphins are a non-target species. Non-target species are animals that are accidentely killed when fisherman go after one species (such as tuna) and get other animals caught in their nets.

Fisherman who want to catch as many fish as possible use driftnets and trawlers. These are two ways to easily catch a lot of fish, but also catch many other types of animals. Driftnets are huge, sometimes mile long, nets that simply stay in the ocean and catch everything that passes through them.

Different species sometimes share the same habitat. Dolphins, for example, love to eat tuna and are known to follow schools of tuna. When driftnets and trawlers go after tuna, they sometimes catch dolphins, which are in the area. Dolphins are not the target of the fisherman, but because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time they get caught in the nets.

Seals, sharks, dolphins, turtles, manatees, squids, and sometimes sea bird are all non-target species. They are killed in large numbers when fisherman go after targeted species.

It is easy to overstate, or take for granted, the importance of the practices of our favorite local farmers, ranchers, and fishers. I am very excited about McAuliflower’s find, and we had fabulous tuna sandwiches today with lunch. I just want to be sure that we are careful to include some idea of what makes it special and why it matters.

posted June 22nd, 2005 at 4:26 am

Do they have a website?

Unfortunately no- otherwise I would have posted it :)

— McAuliflower

posted August 25th, 2005 at 3:48 pm

Just for clarity: We don’t use fishing poles, but rather,hand lines that trail behind the boat.Our fishery has been termed low impact, sustainable both because of zero bycatch, as the label states, and because the breeding pairs are not captured. It is our experience that dolphins and tuna hang out together not because the dolphins are eating tuna, but because both species are eating small bait fish congregating in balls in the area.(We see the baitballs recorded on sonar.) Often whales are feeding in these life- rich zones also.
Mostly, the educational materials we present speak about the devastating habitat degradation inherent in the vast fish farms the government proposes to allow corporations to place off the Pacific coast.( plus Atlantic, Gulf, Alaskan, Hawaiian, Midway Island coasts from 3-200 miles offshore. See Oregonian newspaper, June 8, 2005. Also see Ecotrust.com for a description of concerns re farm fish.) Turning a public resource into a private corporate resource for corporate profit, with coastal communities losing the benefit the marine interface provides, without the consent of the public is a very serious issue we all stand to lose greatly from.
We (hook & line fishermen) are keenly aware of the environment that supports us, and of our role as family food producers. Ours is a highly selective harvest, much more than longline, purse seine (net) or the illegal wall-of-death driftnets. (of which there have been recent reports of violations by foreign government financed boats) Americans catch a very small percentage of the annual worldwide tuna harvest.

  • Thank you for further clarifying your means and ways. You have nicely encapsulated the essense of why supporting your local community businesses ties back into the land/sea.

    –McAuliflower

- PISCES
posted August 25th, 2005 at 5:14 pm

This is the best canned tuna I’ve ever eaten. I first tried it when I lived in Central Point, and couldn’t get over how great it was. Name brand grocery store tuna now seems like catfood to me in comparison. I have cases shipped all the way to the Deep South, my new home, because it’s fabulous, and worth every penny.

I can also speak from personal experience and interaction that the couple that is PISCES are good and ethical people, interested in preserving the environment for future generations of humans as well as fish.

Carolyn

  • I agree! One of these days I’ll take a picture of a popped open can. It won’t do justice to the flavor, but it might begin to convey that this tuna really is different.

    –McAuliflower

- Carolyn
posted August 28th, 2005 at 8:16 pm

I love this tuna, I am so pleased to get it by internet. Good job, and excellent product!

- Jeanne B.Zoppo
posted January 17th, 2006 at 2:09 pm

If I had your E mail addy, I could forward a copy of a report that appeared in Ashland CO-Op’s newsletter about tuna for your perusal.

  • Go ahead:
    Send Mail

    btw, my email address is under “About McAuliflower”. thanks!

    –McAuliflower

- Sally
posted March 6th, 2006 at 10:13 am

I just tried a can of Pisces tuna. I will never go back to cat tuna (aka: chunk light)

I am ordering a case immediately!

- Alicia Jones
posted May 18th, 2006 at 7:44 am

Awesome blog. Peace out until next time TabathaOster

posted August 30th, 2006 at 11:14 am

Best tuna ever and we have had several brands of hand-packed, troll-caught tuna. Pisces has spoiled us and we love tuna!

- Sherryl Simonsen
posted January 21st, 2007 at 7:00 pm

Hi, Sally! I lost sight of you and your old email address doesn’t work for me. Contact me and let’s talk tuna! Go girlfriend!!! Jeanne

- Jeanne B. Zoppo
posted November 28th, 2007 at 5:46 pm

how do i order this tuna online?

I don’t think you do. You call the phone number included in the above post and figure out a pick up point.

–cheers

McAuliflower

- christine
posted July 25th, 2008 at 10:46 am

I was on vacation in Oregon the second week of July and bought two cans of Pisces Tuna at the Ashland Co-op Natural Foods Store. I should have eaten it before I came home because it was the BEST tuna I ever had! Now I clamoring for more. So, I am hoping that they ship anywhere in the US.

- Karyn
posted August 22nd, 2009 at 1:44 pm

I am a huge fan of this tuna and am writing an article about it for the Alberta Grocery Co-op in Portland, OR. I wanted to add a minor edit to your information. The tuna contains 15 “grains” not grams of sea salt. This may make a difference to those watching their sodium intake. Thanks for promoting this wonderful product!

grains? really?
thanks

–McAuliflower

- Em
posted July 24th, 2010 at 10:25 am

I am pregnant and do not eat red meat or chicken, so I get my protien from fish and other sources. I love tuna and tried your delicious tuna recently. A friend told me that the tuna you catch are very small and would thus be low in mercury content even though most albacore tuna is rather high in mercury. Is this true? Are you aware of your tuna’s mercury content? As you might imagine, I want to be very careful since I am expecting, but tuna packs a lot of protien and Omega 3, so I would love to make this a regular part of my diet.

- Maryam
posted October 9th, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Hi. Do you have canned salmon? If so, do you have any that is packed without salt?

Ditto tuna. Also, are they packed in oil or water — or in their own juices?

Do you come to Saturday Market in Eugene? If so, I’d like to pick up some there.

How much is a case of salmon (and how many cans per case)?
Ditto tuna.

Thank you! (My telephone number is 541-343-1744.)

- Christiana Dugan
posted January 12th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I am a friend of Monte Simmons who bought albacore tuna from you and shared it with us. He mentioned that you have had an experience with Parkinson’s and that you had found some medication that worked. I have lost track of what that medication was, and would like to touch base with you for information. I can be reached at that email address above, and would appreciate some feedback. Thank you, Joel Evans, Yachats, OR. If you’re in the vicinity, maybe you could get in touch. Joel Evans (541) 547 3968. And the albacore was delicious!

posted May 27th, 2011 at 8:02 pm

I would like to purchase a case if your jalapeño garlic tuna. Do I need to place an order to pick up at the Eugene Tuesday market?

How much would the case be?

Susan Cohen

- Susan Cohen
posted August 9th, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Bought the albacore, now looking for recipes besides salad -albacore patties? Suggestions? Appears they don’t have a website – also, since it isn’t cooked can you still eat it out of the can? Graci!

- Audrey
posted August 27th, 2012 at 4:53 pm

They have A+ product and service!!!

posted January 27th, 2013 at 5:51 pm

[...] know Pisces isn’t a sign – it is the name of the very best canned tuna http://www.browniepointsblog.com/2005/06/15/pisces-albacore-tuna/ (Coos Bay, OR) in the [...]

posted March 1st, 2013 at 11:06 am

More nits: Comparing Albacore to chunk light is like comparing apples to oranges. I switched from chicken of the corporate sea albacore to their chunk light cuz it’s lower in mercury and higher in oils. Hit us up wit those mercury numbers my seafaring friends!
The label say how it isn’t cooked. How is it cooked?

- Steve

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