Arctic Char

Beautiful Arctic Charr in Canada Photo by Nils Rinaldi from Lausanne, Switzerland, via Wikimedia Commons

Arctic Char is a cold water fish that is, native to alpine lakes and arctic and subarctic coastal waters. It is closely related to both salmon and lake trout, and has many characteristics of both. The flesh colour can range from a bright red to a pale pink.

Research in Canada has aimed at determining the suitability of Arctic char as a cultured species has been going on since the late 1970s. Arctic char were first investigated because they were expected to have low optimum temperature requirements and would grow well at the cold water temperatures present in numerous areas of Canada. Icy Waters has been farming since 1985 and quickly became a world leader in Arctic Charr Aquaculture.

In 2006, Monterey Bay Aquarium "Seafood Watch" program added farmed Arctic char as an environmentally sustainable Best Choice for consumers, stating: "Arctic char use only a moderate amount of marine resources for feed. In addition, Arctic char are farmed in land-based, closed systems that minimize the risk of escape into the wild." Icy Waters Ltd. is Ocean Wise™ approved and on the “Best Choice” list on Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch™

According to : smartchoices/species_char.php “Most Arctic char is sold at the foodservice level, where chefs often choose it as a better environmental choice than similar-tasting farmed salmon. The taste of Arctic char is generally considered somewhat milder than either king or Atlantic (farmed) salmon, and its high fat content makes it suitable for dry heat cooking methods such as broiling and grilling. It also makes an excellent smoked product.”

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