Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Know When To Schedule My CSS Delivery?
You may schedule your CSS delivery or pick-up once you have received the email notification that your CSS is available for distribution. The CSS email notification of availability will be sent as soon as the delivery date to our warehouse in Philadelphia is confirmed.
Additionally, the CSS availability of each program shall be indicated on your CSS account information. Once your CSS is available for distribution, your account status will be updated to “on delivery”.
Furthermore, CSS availability status will be posted on our Facebook page. We hope you will like our FB page and welcome our posts and updates.
When Can I Expect My CSS?
In the event that the CSS harvest has been delayed due to weather, unsuccessful fishing, or unexpected vessel repairs then your CSS shall arrive later than expected. Otherwise, you may expect your CSS by the arrival date ETA on your order history available by clicking the description of each CSS purchased.
Throughout the transportation of your CSS to Seattle, WA via barge or to Philadelphia, PA via truck, delays may occur due to limited space and availability of the barge or trucking carrier, limited availability of required temperature controlled containers, either carrier or container breakdown, and/or blackout dates due to national holidays or weather. Otherwise, you may expect your CSS to be available for distribution approximately 25 days after it has been processed. Upon harvest, processing occurs within 48 hours after our CSS has been delivered to the port of landing.
In the event of numerous delays as described above, you may expect your CSS within 6 months of your original purchase or receive a refund less $20 for administrative expenses unless you choose to patiently await the arrival of your CSS.
You may expect to schedule the distribution of your CSS anytime after the CSS has been successfully harvested, processed, barged, trucked, and delivered to Philadelphia. Owing to any number and combination of factors that may impact the schedule and arrival of your CSS, members may be required to wait as long as 8 months to receive their CSS depending upon the severity of the situation(s) of greatest impact to the timeliness of your CSS arrival into Philadelphia.
Why Haven't I Received My Fish Yet?
Once you have received an email notification announcing that your CSS is available for distribution to you , then you must call or email to schedule your delivery or pick up. Distribution of your CSS is provided by Otolith Sustainable Seafood: Email email@example.com or Call 215-426-4266.
If you have not received an email notification announcing the availability of your CSS and it is past the expected date of availability for your CSS, then either the harvest or transportation of your CSS has been delayed. An email may be sent to you describing the cause of the delay.
If you have not received any email from Community Supported Seafood, please contact us for further information, 215-426-4266 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Is Low Environmental Impact Harvesting?
Low environmental impact harvesting is a descriptive term used to identify harvesting gear and practices that have little or no collateral damage to the environment as a result of their harvest except the direct resulting impact of quantifiable fish and wildlife removed from the environment.
Our CSS is caught by fishermen who have made a commitment to use hooks to harvest wild fish and stationary pot/traps to harvest shellfish. CSS accepts the use of gillnets to harvest salmon during peak season provided they are employed by small vessels less that 34 ft that have fish hold capacity of no greater than 10K pounds. All of the CSS approved gear types are designed to target the directed fishery of the intended harvest. Any by-catch resulting from a harvester using hook-and-line, pot/trap and gillnet gear types is of the highest quality and therefore highest value available. All by-catch is handled, processed and sold along with the target species owing to its superior quality and value.
Potential environmental impacts of commercial seafood harvesting include, but not limited to: overfishing, pollution, reducing availability of net protein consumption, reduced wild fish fucundity through habitat modification, wild seedstock collection and other ecological impacts, and social and economic impacts to local and global communities.
Different types of gear used to harvest seafood have various impacts on our environment. For example, a salmon aquaculture farms may use netted pounds in the ocean, fish meal, and at-sea floating facilities to harvest salmon. This gear and type of harvest can have a substantial environmental impact locally to the ocean, to the consumers based on the quality of the salmon, and additionally to the stability of the wild fish resources affected by salmon aquaculture. Farming carnivorous salmon requires large inputs of inexpensive wild fish for feed that must be harvested by other gear types. Wild fish used for feed is commonly harvested by trawlers, large vessels dragging nets through the ocean and harvesting large portions of schools of fish.
Trawling has an environmental impact too. Because the nets used in trawling do not discriminate, many different incidental fish are harvested at once en mass in addition to the targeted species. The incidental fish are termed by-catch because they are not the targeted species. The mortality rate for trawled seafood is 100%, and by-catch cannot be returned to the ocean alive. Trawling is commonly used to harvest fish low on the food chain that are a necessary as part of a balanced food web and required to feed other fish such as salmon, tuna and many other higher trophic species. Incidental by-catch as a result of trawling is primarily discarded. It is difficult for current fishery management to assess the impact of discarded by-catch. By- catch is reported and discarded at the discretion of the vessel. Another potential environmental impact of trawling that is difficult for fishery management to assess is the impact of scale and relative volume of each harvest on the biological instincts of the remaining fish that have not been swept up into the net. Wild fish accustomed to the security of a school may experience reduced fecundity after repeated extreme stock depletion resulting in insufficient biomass to support the remaining population of fish. Finally, large scale harvests of trawlers impede the authority and control of fishery managers.
Many fisheries are opened and closed with only a day of notice before a closure and in some cases only hours. Vessels that harvest smaller volumes can collectively submit their catch records in real time allowing for appropriate closures when total allowable catch [TAC] has occurred. Numerous trawlers, and similarly large scale vessels, harvesting and reporting in real time have in the past and may continue to report catch records in real time that are collectively in excess of TAC limits.
To continue learning more about the environmental impact of commercial seafood harvesting please check out the links below. If you wish to share your insight, experience, knowledge and/or ideas related to reducing the environmental impacts of commercially harvested seafood, please visit our Facebook page.
Affect of Aquaculture on World Fish Supplies
Fish Biodiversity and Fishing Gear Impacts
The consequences of different scenarios in the management of the gillnet and purse-seine fisheries targeting Pomatomus saltatrix and Cynoscion guatucupa in southern Brazil: a bio-economic approach.
Where Is My Fish Harvested?
CSS salmon, prawns, and shrimp are harvested separately in Southeast Alaska’s inside passage, an archipelago of underwater mountains rising up from the ocean and forming the region’s numerous characteristic islands while providing protection from ocean winds and storms for all manner of vessels. Southeast Alaska’s islands are part of a temperate rainforest located to the west of and bordered by Canada’s Mountains. Its deep cold ocean like salt water provides feeding and breeding habitat for numerous commercially harvested species of seafood.
CSS rockfish, sablefish, and halibut are harvested in SE Alaska and/or the Gulf of Alaska (GOA). Spanning 3K miles, the GOA is bound by SE Alaska to the east, the Aleutian Islands (AI) to the west, Prince William Sound to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the south.
Is Fresh Fish Better Than CSS?
No, wild caught fresh fish sold outside its port of landing is usually 5 days old upon delivery and up to 8 days old at a local fish market or fish counter in your local grocery store. CSS fish is blast-frozen within 48 hours of harvest.
Because fresh fish dehydrates quickly and can be over a week old and missing valuable water soluble essential fats, minerals and other nutrients at the time its eaten, CSS fish tastes superior, has more characteristics of freshness, and is better for your health.
What Is Blast-Frozen or Fresh-Frozen Seafood?
A blast freezer is a freezer which is extremely cold. It may also be known as a shock freezer. Such freezers are intended to rapidly bring the temperature of foods down, freezing them extremely quickly.
When food is frozen, the water inside it crystallizes. If freezing takes place at relatively warm temperatures, the ice crystals which form will be large. In a blast freezer, the extremely cold temperature promotes very rapid freezing, which creates small ice crystals. The smaller the crystals, the less damage to the food, as large crystals can rupture cells. Once the food has been frozen, it can be moved to a more conventional freezer for storage, as long as the freezer stays cold enough to keep the food frozen.
What is Sushi Grade?
Sushi grade seafood has been frozen at or below -20°F and is stored frozen at -10°F or below to assure that any threat of possible pathogen contamination has been eliminated. Most food born illness related contamination will not survive the sub-zero freezing standards of sushi grade compliance.
However, it is necessary to thaw seafood properly before eating it raw, raw seafood must be handled properly and stored at 40°F or below, and seafood that has been improperly stored above 40°F must not be consumed raw. To assure the greatest possible standard of safety when serving or eating raw seafood, always use blast-frozen seafood that has been thawed 6 hours or less and stored at 40°F or below.
What Size Are The CSS Filets or Portions?
All portions are generally of similar weight averaging from 3⁄4 pound up to 1 pound. While the average weight is consistent, the size of any CSS portion may change relative to the amount of fat in the fillet. Fattier pieces of fish are larger in size than leaner portions of equal weight because fat weighs less than protein.
Depending on the size of the harvested fish, each CSS fillet may be portioned from either the tail, body or collar. The portion of the fillet cut nearest to the collar of the fish is higher in fat content than both the body and tail portions. Additionally, sablefish and king salmon are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other salmon, halibut and rockfish.
Are there bones in my CSS?
Some CSS fillet portions may contain a small amount of obvious bones. The processing of CSS fish includes cutting fillets from the fish bones however, there are additional bones that bisect some fillets, and these bones are located perpendicular to the spine of the fish. The perpendicular or bisecting pin-bones can not be cut out, rather they must be removed with tweezers and pulled from between the individual flakes of fish. Pin bones are typically only found in center body portions rather than tail and collar portions.
CSS halibut portions do not contain any bones unless the fillet has been cut incorrectly. CSS halibut is a boneless and skinless portioned fillet that does not contain pinbones.
The tail portions of salmon and sablefish are boneless and have skin on one side. All rockfish and salmon fillet portions cut from either the body or collar are semi-boneless.
Because CSS tastes so fresh, it feels like fresh fish too and its meat is secure to any bone or tissue that has not been cut directly away from the fillet using a sharp bladed knife. It is therefore difficult to remove pin-bones without increasing the costs of processing.
How do I eat fish with pin bones?
Pin-bones can be removed using tweezers on either cooked or raw fillets. When removing pin-bones from raw CSS fish be sure to have a clean substantially tight pair of tweezers or needle nose pliers to firmly grasp each pin-bone. Pin-bones will always occur in a straight line across the fillet portion approximately ¾ to 1 inch from the thickest side of the fillet. Placing your fingers across the top of the fillet, you can easily feel the pin-bones poking up through the flakes of fish.
The easiest way to remove pin bones is after the fish has been cooked first, then easily remove the pin-bones with your fingers or tweezers once the fillet has become soft and tender from cooking.
Finally, one can easily eat our CSS filleted fish containing pin-bones because the pin-bones are distinctly large unlike most fish bones commonly found in typical Atlantic variety seafood. North Pacific fish are larger than their Atlantic cousins and so are their pin-bones.
It is important and can be fun to familiarize oneself with the proper awareness of potential pin-bone containing fillets. Children without developmental delays as young as five years old can enjoy eating delicious wild fish fillets with their hands and removing the large and obvious pin-bones while they eat and enjoy. Another advantage of leaving the pin-bones in place while cooking is the benefit to the flavor and even cooking of the fillet.
The bones radiate the heat evenly through the thickest portion of the fillet and reduce the time required to cook the fillet evenly thus reducing the total cooking time required to a manageable duration of 10 minutes per inch of thickness at 400°F or 30 minutes per inch of thickness at 225°F.
What Payment Methods Are Available?
We currently only accept eChecks or ACH transfers.
The most common uses of ACH are online bill payment, mortgage and loan repayment, and direct deposit of payroll. ACH payments are an efficient and cost-reducing alternative to paper checks and credit cards.
We use this method because it is efficient and cost effective, allowing us to pass on those savings to our customers.
Why Does CSS Use ACH?
Convenience. There is no check to write, no stamps to buy and no credit card debt. You will receive a confirmation number and e-mail acknowledgment of your debit payment request immediately. The system is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, from your home or office.
Do I Have To Provide My Bank Routing Number To Join CSS?
To complete an ACH transaction, you must provide your name, bank routing number, account number, and payment amount. This is the same information you would provide on a written check.
By entering the required banking information, you authorize a debit to your checking or savings account for the amount you specify, for a single occurrence.
Is My Bank Information Secure?
Yes, we use industry standard encryption systems to ensure your bank information is secure.