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Did you know that salmon is the second-most consumed seafood in the U.S. (after shrimp)? And most of that comes to you as filets, very often with the skin removed. So did you ever wonder what happened to that skin? Sadly, most of it goes to waste—some finds its way into pet food, some into fertilizer, and the rest is simply discarded.
Yet the skin contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other part of the fish. Surely that’s worth rescuing?
A Fish Tale
Enter Justin Guilbert and Douglas Riboud, founders of Goodfish. They had a plan to revolutionize the snack market by “making the idea of up-cycled fish skins into a new option for the American diet.” And that they did with their line of Crispy Salmon Skin snacks (see box below for details).
They knew they wanted to create a product that would be beneficial on many levels—for the consumer, for the fishermen, for the planet. So they committed to using only wild-caught salmon from Bristol Bay in Alaska, one of the best-managed fisheries in the world, and to add only organic and non-GMO ingredients to the skins.
With Goodfish, Everyone Wins
So it’s good for consumers because salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids and marine collagen, both of which have numerous proven benefits such as supporting heart and brain function, and maintaining skin and bone health. And it’s good for the fishermen because it increases their revenue and economic independence, and supports sustainable and responsible fisheries.
As for the planet, increasing the viability of salmon products in Alaska and specifically Bristol Bay helps to protect its fragile ecosystem from development and degradation—definitely a good thing.
Navigating Uncharted Waters
Despite the obvious benefits, the process of turning salmon skin into a viable product turned out to be more challenging than they could have imagined. “Our preconceived notions and perhaps simplistic opinion on the issues surrounding the wild salmon industry were consistently given a reality check,” says Guilbert. “There are no bad guys or good guys, just networks of interests, cultures, and legacies that must coexist and thrive to preserve the very land (and sea) that puts a roof over their heads.”
Navigating those networks, and the operational challenges required by innovation, demands mental stamina and heartfelt dedication. But in the end, it’s all about Goodfish’s ultimate goals: “Better food from source to stomach for all, and leaving the world a better place than we found it.”
Goodfish cofounder Justin Guilbert knew that salmon skins, with their high omega-3 content and crunchy texture, had too much going for them to end up in the trash.
Goodfish Crispy Salmon Snacks feature wild Alaskan Salmon skins, salt, and organic palm oil. They come in five flavors: Sea Salt, Sriracha Lemongrass, Chili Lime, Spicy BBQ, and Tart Cranberry.