Sea Fare Pacific
Sea Fare Pacific (Oregon Seafoods), Charleston, Oregon
Mike Babcock, a native Oregonian, had grown up with home canned tuna; not uncommon along the coast. Home canned tuna is flaky, sumptuous, and full of flavor, and in its natural juices with no preservatives or fillers.
That’s when Mike realized that if he could take the tuna and process it like home-canned tuna, he could create a product that everybody would want. And, at the same time, he could add value to local tuna, and help the fisherman.
He did his homework, got advice from peers, and dove in creating a million dollar seafood plant in Coos Bay (just down the road from their new facility in Charleston).
“Sea Fare Pacific is going to have a big impact for fishermen and fishing communities as we grow. It just doesn’t make sense to send our premium pacific caught fish to another country for processing when we need to support family’s here in the US,” Mike says. From the guy in the fillet room to the person delivering the finished package, there are many key people along the way that appreciate and benefit from this local business.
Big tuna brands say things like “pole & line caught, “responsibly wild caught” or even non-GMO, making you think their tuna is romantically caught by small boats. Typically, these brands also include broth, soy or even pyrophosphate, an emulsifier. All tuna is wild caught. Some brands mention their tuna is from the Pacific West Coast, but look closely, they pack in Asia...because it's cheaper.
There are 2 types of lines to catch albacore. Longlines which can be up to 50 miles long with thousands of hook lines dangling along the way, used in deep seas by big boats. And line-catch which smaller jig boats use close to shore.
Sea Fare Pacific’s line caught tuna is only from the Pacific Northwest, caught by mostly family run, jig boats. This tuna is younger, so it’s less likely to have unsafe levels of mercury. In fact, it’s been tested at 0.14 ppm (parts per million), which is half of what some big brands advertise, and well below the FDA 1.0 ppm guideline.
Aside from hand-filleting the fish, one of the most unique things they do is put a proportionate amount of tuna belly (about 12%) into every pouch or can of tuna. I've seen them weight it out! Nobody does that. What you get is once cooked tuna and the natural healthy Omega 3’s.
Sea Fare Pacific is my everyday tuna. I’ve sold them to restaurants, hotels, and caterers for years. They are a small company with a big impact. I’ve been fortunate to have visited them twice, and I love their story. I know you will love their tuna.