Matt Marinkovich, commercial fisherman. Catching fish for YOU!

Matt Marinkovich gillnets for salmon out of Friday Harbor, WA.
He sells his catch locally on San Juan and Orcas Island.

He catches sockeye, pink, chinook (king), coho (silver), and keta (chum) salmon. Every fish is bled and iced immediately, then dressed and packed in ice shortly after. Matt fishes close to home so the fish are usually available within hours of being caught.

To be notified when the next batch of fish is available,
join the Fish List and we'll send an email when the fish are in!
(Be sure to select between the San Juan, Orcas, or Seattle lists)

Friday, December 17, 2010

King, Sockeye, Keta, All Caught by Matt Marinkovich, Still Available!

Hello Fish Eaters!

The fishing season is over, but we have been selling our fish, frozen, vacuum-packed, with all bones removed, at Compost It AND at the San Juan Island Food Co-op.  It's the same price  at both places, but if you buy over 30-pounds from us you'll get 10% off.

Since the Co-op is closed while it is moving to it's new location next to Bakery San Juan (opening mid-January) I have stocked up with extra fish at Compost It.  Here's what is available:
  • King Salmon fillet portions (from Samish Bay): $12 per pound
  • Sockeye fillet, whole sides (caught right off San Juan Island!): $9 per pound
  • Keta Salmon (chum) fillet, whole sides (caught near Seattle): $6 per pound

This fish all has no bones, was all processed in a family-operated cold storage plant in Burlington, and is all from fish that I personally caught.  It's all REAL GOOD STUFF!

Thanks, and Happy Holidays!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Healthy Return of Frasier River Sockeye Sparks Excitement of the "Old Days."

There has been a buzz around town regarding the Salish Sea Sockeye run this summer.  We experienced the largest return of salmon since 1913.  Some of the fishermen had some big days this year--a nice reminder that Puget Sound fishermen used to make a living right here at home without relying on Alaskan watersheds.  Aahhh, it was nice.  Plus, the sockeye were ESPECIALLY tasty, having to do with their fat content or what they ate or something.  Some of our customers became aware of this extra tasty Sockeye and came back for more every week, so that was fun, too.

This blog is filled with important information, some of it feels pretty doom and gloom about the state of the Frasier River system.  I wanted to retain the good feelings of a great sockeye season but also wanted to address this question that many of you have been wondering:

If the Frasier River is not doing well, then how do you explain this sockeye run?

So, Are Frasier River Salmon In Trouble? or what?

Sockeye Face (photo from Alexandra Morton's webpage)
I've been wondering how this run of salmon could be so great after dismal returns to the Frasier River in recent years. I would like to direct you to Ms. Morton. Please read the following paragraph and then click the link to the rest of the article. This is your official homework. For those of you new to our fish list. I feel it is important for us to stay current on fish news and politics, so occassionally I make parts of these emails "required reading". Because we enjoy eating this wonderful resource for dinner, please take the time to read about our friend salmon:
The 2010 Fraser Sockeye return is a phenomena. The fishermen have not seen it this good for 50 years. They keep thinking the last sockeye has entered Johnstone Strait, but the fish just keep pouring in from the Pacific at both ends of Vancouver Island. I go and float with them every morning in Queen Charlotte Strait and watch them finning all around me, rolling at the surface like porpoises, always pointing south, never stopping. Hundreds of miles away newspapers in Fraser River towns are reporting an economic boon from all the people pouring in to the fish. (read the rest of this article)

Other News

T-shirt Logo
Along with the fresh batch of fish, we have a fresh batch of Matt's Fresh Fish t-shirts (and Compost It t-shirts). These shirts come in all sizes and colors so be sure to purchase one while you are at the shop (or online).  You can wear these t-shirts with pride for several reasons.
  1. We only use t-shirts made with organic cotton or recycled content so you can help save Mother Earth.
  2. We use a local screen printer/artist (Jennifer Rigg of Loea Design) so you can help build local economy-TWICE!
  3. Jennifer also uses environmentally-friendly soy-based inks.
  4. You really can feel pride because Matt Marinkovich really does care about you and the food you eat. He bleeds, cleans and ices while he is out there fishing so you get the freshest, tastiest fish available. There is no comparison when you know who harvested your food and they can tell you all about it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Shot of Sunlight III

This is the boat that caught the sockeye you ate for dinner recently.   Thanks for being great and loyal customers!  Photo credit goes to Sid Peterson who is a crew member of F/V Katya Dawn, (Matt's brother's boat).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Update on Bristol Bay Sockeye Heading Your Way...

Matt is fishing and has caught a total of four fish.  The run always starts off slow and builds to a crescendo.  I will know more soon as to when you will be able to enjoy this treat from the waters of Bristol Bay.

In the meantime, voice your displeasure about the lack of sockeye available to you in your own Salish Sea.  Norwegian Salmon farms dotting the Frasier River directly in the migratory paths of wild salmon are decimating Frasier River's wild sockeye.  Marine Harvest Canada is a large corporation eating small sustainable fisheries for lunch (Norwegian corporations own 90% of all salmon farms in B.C.).  The loss is to the environment and to the people who live in the Salish Sea and as Alexandra Morton says, "This is a loss to humanity.".  The corporation's first concern is their shareholder, not local economy or quality of life.

Please watch video explaining this problem.

Send the Premier of British Columbia your thoughts.

Every fish customer of our needs to watch this video.  Every fish customer will hopefully take the time to write a short note or donate to the Adopt-A-Fry organization.  Let's not watch foreign corporations destroy any more of our country from Sea to Shining Sea.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sockeye Coming Soon!

I will be shipping down a batch of FRESH SOCKEYE salmon from Bristol Bay. I will catch these fish and take care of them like little babies so you can have the best possible fish-eating experience possible. The price is $6.00 per pound. I'm just guessing, but I could have the first batch here as soon as Friday, June 18.

This is possible because I am working with a guy who self-processes and direct-markets 100% of his Bristol Bay salmon catch (that's no small feat), and he will process my fish and have them on a flight to Seattle in short order. From there I work with a cold-freight mover to bring them to Marine View Cold Storage in Burlington, who will repack them in totes with LOTS of ice, then Heuristic Enterprises will bring them back to Friday Harbor for you to come and buy from Compost It!

I know it is a lot of effort to get them down here, but since we have not had a sockeye fishery for THREE YEARS here in the San Juan Islands, I figured I would assure our fish-eating pubic an opportunity to sink their teeth into a FRESH sockeye by shipping them from the abundant harvest of Bristol Bay.

If you want to do something to help bring our local sockeye back to the San Juan Islands, please become involved in the fight against farmed salmon in B.C. There are numerous fish farms located on the out-migration routes of the salmon smolt, which fall victim to out-of-control (controlled by nasty chemicals) sea lice, which latch onto the tiny smolt and suck them dry like a vampire. There's no wild fish left in Norway; we have to do something to keep Canada from having the same fate.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Open-Container Fish Farms (Marine Harvest Canada), Pebble Mine (Northern Dynasty and Anglo American) and The Gulf of Mexico Spill (BP Global)

An oil-soaked pelican takes flight after Louisiana Fish and Wildlife employees tried to corral him on an island in Barataria Bay on Sunday, May 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert).  For the source of this photo and to see many more please click here.

Giant corporations are having large negative impacts on the environment.  Please take action against Pebble Mine.  Please take action against open-container fish farms in our Salish Sea.  Please stay disgusted.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oil Spill in The Gulf of Mexico

Deepwater Horizon in flames before sinking. Photo provided by D.Becnel

Matt and his boat are signed up with the Marine Spill Response Corporation (MSRC). When he took his HAZWOPER (Hazardous Work Operations and Emergency Responses) training class years ago, the instructor told him, "the most important thing is to look like you're doing something." Keep that in mind when you are listening to the news about the clean-up in the Gulf of Mexico. Following is an email I received from my friend Erik including a link to this article:

"I don't know if you all know Greg Palast any, but he's one of the few real deep-investigative reporters that I know of. In the years I've been reading his stuff, it's always been spot-on, and under-reported in the mainstream media.

He did extensive work on the Valdez situation up in Alaska, and apparently BP was up to its eyeballs in stingy corner-cutting there that helped a minor grounding turn into a major ecological disaster (which still hasn't been fully cleaned or paid for by Exxon or BP).

Anyway, food for thought, at least.


-- Erik"

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Drill rig hose dumping grey slurry into the tundra, Pebble East. Photo by Erin McKittrick for more photos click here.

Click on the Pebble Mine logo in right column to learn more about Pebble Mine.  You can also view a beautiful slideshow of the region where Pebble Mine may be destined to set up shop.  We can stop this.  Don't let large corporations come in and destroy fragile ecosystems and viable commercial fisheries.  Let's keep the headwaters of Bristol Bay clean and pure.  If BP has a cap on the amount their financial responsibility in the Gulf of Mexico, then any mine malfunction or disaster in Bristol Bay will ultimately cost to the environment and the people who make Alaska their home.  Just say no to companies who's (remember when corporations used to be that and not who?) goal is essentially to make a profit for their shareholders--at all costs.  Say yes to innovative fishermen and people who want to make a living or a home for themselves and their families without destroying their environment and health.

Friday, April 23, 2010

BB-RSDA Results--Congratulations, Matt!

Robert Heyano: 424
Write-in candidate: 1

Seat D (Non-Alaska Resident)
Nick Lee: 412

Seat G (Open Residency)
Buck Gibbons: 197
Matt Marinkovich: 286

The election returns have been certified, and Matt Marinkovich has been elected to replace Buck Gibbons in the Seat G (Open Residency) position. On behalf of the board, I extend our congratulations to Matt, and our gratitude to Buck.

From the very earliest days, when a few of us first started talking about forming an RSDA, right up until the present, Buck has been a force for this organization and for our fishery. It has been a real pleasure and honor to work with Buck over the past several years. I look forward to Matt Marinkovich joining the board.

- Robert Heyano, President

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Matt is running for the BBRSDA --Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association

Matt writes,

I would like to sit on the BBRSDA board because I feel my outlook is different than that of the current board. I would bring my ideas to the board with a spirit of cooperation so the board can continue doing good things that bring positive changes to our fishery.
I understand the importance of chilling fish, and I applaud the efforts of the current board and the programs they have created. Ice on the grounds, for example, is a vitally important building block in the infrastructure needed to bring Bristol Bay sockeye to another level.
I see an important area that is not being addressed by the current board, and that is fishermen’s direct marketing and/or self-processing of their product. When fishermen control their product from catch to the end sale, there becomes a whole new meaning to the phrase “Independent Fisherman”.
There are already a hand full of fishermen who are set up to process their entire catch of fish in Bristol Bay. These fishermen aren’t concerned with the price the processors are paying because they are getting their payments from the end customer, or a wholesaler just one step back from the end consumer. The numbers are working for those doing it, and I’m sure there will be more fishermen doing this as well.
I don’t have a giant plan laid out that will magically create 20 new small processing plants in Bristol Bay, but I do think this is a very realistic number, and eventually it will happen on its own. I would like the BBRSDA to listen to fishermen who are already active in, or plan to start, self-processing or direct marketing their fish, then act on suggestions that would make it easier for these plants be started up. With that spirit of cooperation with this growing sector in Bristol Bay, maybe there actually will be 20 small plants in a few years.
If 20 small plants processed the fish of 30 fishermen, that is the same as a new processor entering the Bay. The difference is that this 30-boat “fleet” would tirelessly market their catch on the domestic market, reaching consumers on a grass-roots level with an effectiveness that no other marketing plan could come close to matching. Nobody can sell a fish better than the person who caught it, and nobody is more innovative than a Bristol Bay fishermen (especially when they have a bunch of debt to pay off).
Not only would these self-processor/marketers make a difference on the sockeye market, they would also have a very positive impact to the local economies of Naknek, Dillingham, or where ever these progressive fishermen choose to set up their plants. All of the existing small plants I know about are set up on property owned by local people who are a part of the communities. These micro-processing plants create local money that stays in the community, which will help build the economy around fishing, which I feel it is vitally important so these communities will not resort to resource extraction companies that could have a devastating impact on our fishery.
Please consider adding a new viewpoint to the BBRSDA board, and vote for Matt Marinkovich.

This is an example of how Matt cares for your dinner.

One of the ways Matt delivers a quality fish is by slush icing.  P.S. There are a distinct lack of sea lice on these wild caught salmon.  Watch the video below and get grossed out by open container fish farms, then help get out migration and walk with Alexandra Morton up in B.C. Earth day to Mother's Day.   

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Let's support Canada and the Salish Sea and Walk with Alexandra Morton!

Wild Salmon are sacred, the Get Out Migration

We cannot match the corporate Norwegian fish farm PR machine, nor their lobbying power. So we are simply inviting people worldwide to make our rejection of this destructive industry visible to the world by joining us on foot, electronically and by mail. This will be a peaceful, colourful, musical, fun, family-oriented act of humanity to preserve a fish that feeds our world – wild salmon. Unless we all stand up our fish will continuing dying of politics that no longer serve the people, nor our living world.

The Migration

 Salmon Are Sacred GET OUT MIGRATION

I have decided it is time to take the issue of industrial salmon farming to the people in an unprecedented way. I have written letters, done the science, met with government and industry around the world, engaged in government processes, talked to thousands of people, been the subject of international media and films and today I stand facing a vertical wall of impenetrable denial. Nothing has brought reason to this situation. We will lose our wild salmon if government continues to carelessly put farm salmon before wild salmon every time.

Because there has been no significant progress in spite of this enormous effort and time spent by many, I no longer feel there is hope of reforming this industry. Government is allowing Norwegian salmon farmers to continue denying even the most basic issues, like sea lice and ISA virus introduction. If we let this play out our wild fish simply will not survive

So it is time for the Get Out Migration. I am not talking about all aquaculture. I am referring specifically to the massive scale Norwegian feedlots. There are Canadian fish farmers who know how to use tanks on land who are not impacting our wild salmon and herring. This is about saving wild salmon and all of us who depend on them.

Alex and ahta
I will begin deep in the beautiful Ahta River in late April with the salmon and move by boat through the Broughton Archipelago to Sointula. On Earth day I will simply start walking to Victoria and ask people join me to stand up along the way and be counted. I will communicate our progress and connect the countries facing this industry through the website We hold salmon as sacred because they so generously feed our world. They built the soil of this province with their flesh, they grow our children, they feed the trees that make the oxygen we breath, they are food security in a world losing ability to even pollinate flowers.

When we get to Victoria, we will meet with representatives from government.

We cannot match the corporate PR machine, nor their lobbying power. So I am simply inviting people to make themselves visible by joining us on foot, electronically and by mail. This will be peaceful, colourful, musical, fun, family oriented. Unless we stand up and become visible, government will continue to degrade the laws of Canada to the benefit of the salmon farming industry, as suggested in the most recent throne speech. The salmon farming industry must be free to grow relentlessly to meet their responsibility to their European shareholders. We will carry a message to the Federal government – do not degrade the Fisheries Act again so that it no longer protects the fish that belong to the people of Canada.

Please stand up for wild salmon by joining a migration emerging from the Broughton Archipelago on then leaving Sointula on 22nd April and closing with a blessing in Victoria on Mothers’ Day (9th May). If you are interested in hosting other events, leading a migration arm from the Fraser River Valley, Gold River or other places in B.C. or just joining us for one step of the way please let us know.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Alexandra Morton Speaks to a Packed House

Alexandra Morton hauls in a net she uses to catch salmon fry. After testing the fry for sea lice, she releases them back into the ocean. (Nik West)

Brad Bird, Oceanside Star

Published: Thursday, February 04, 2010
(for the full article click here)

"It's really now or never. This is not a dress rehearsal. These (wild) fish are going down," she said. "But we can turn it around."

Morton lives in Echo Bay in the Broughton Archipelago, near Port McNeill, surrounded by about two dozen fish farms which she has documented are harming wild salmon stocks. Her home has become a stopping point for various marine researchers. She raised her children there and has lived in that wilderness setting since about 1980.

She began her talk by saying how some people suggest she is on a crusade. Others say she has a vendetta against the industry.

"No," she tells them, she's just "a woman cleaning house."

The power to change things isn't really with government, she said, but with each of us.

"The power of one is all we have, but we all have it."

Click Here for Full Article

What I really like about the article is the power we have as individuals to effect change. 

In the same vein, there is more good news: The National Animal Identification System (NAIS) championed by Cargill and Monsanto has been abandoned. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund also says that "The change in USDA policy is due to the thousands of people who spoke up in opposition to NAIS."

(Click Here To Read More about this topic)

 So you see, YOU are important.  Every phone call you make and every letter you write makes a difference.  Stay passionate and as Matt says, "Think Fish!"

Sea Lice Video by Georgia Strait Alliance--Very Good

Sea lice on a salmon smolt. Sea lice naturally occur on wild adult salmon but die as soon as the adult salmon swim up stream into fresh water. Adult salmon have a natural defense against these parasites, scales; and therefore the lice are benign. Unfortunately, the salmon farms are breeding grounds for billions of sea lice. These sea lice are then easily transferred to the vulnerable young salmon as they migrate from the rivers, pass the farms on their way to open ocean. Since many of these young salmon do not have scales yet, they do not survive the sea lice infestation from the farms. This smolt is too small for sea lice; it will most likely not survive. @Carrie Vonderhaar, Ocean Futures Society/KQED

Sea Lice and Wild Salmon Video. Educate Yourself. Great for Kids!