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Wild Caught Arctic Char & Turbot from Baffin Island, Nunavut.

All of the Arctic Char and Turbot from Papa Earth comes from the coast of Baffin Island. The fish are wild-caught and have traveled from the fresh, clean waters of the Canadian Arctic down to Nunavut.

If you haven’t heard of Baffin Island in Nunavut, here are some quick notes:

  • It is the fifth largest island in the entire world and by far the largest island in Canada. It’s over 500,000 square kilometers big!
  • In late June and early July, some parts of the island get almost 24 hours of sunshine per day. This is because of how far North the island stretches.
  • The island has over 14,000 residents and home to a large Inuit population. The island has been inhabited for over 3,000 years.
  • The Northern Lights, the beautiful and natural light show put on by the Earth’s atmosphere, shine brightly on Baffin Island between April and October.
  • As a fun fishing fact, the capital of Nunavut is Iqaluit, which is an Inuit word for ‘the place of many fish’

Because it is difficult to reach, Baffin Island has majorly preserved its ecosystems and natural landscapes. The waters are some of the planet’s cleanest due to the small human impact and the fish we are able to source are exposed to extremely low levels of pollution and contaminants.

The Inuit fishermen of two larger Inuit settlements just off the coast of Baffin Island, Pangnirtung & Qikiqtarjuaq, catch all of our Arctic Char and Turbot. To ensure freshness, the fish is flash within hours of being caught and remains frozen until purchased or smoked. This preserves the flavour and keeps the fish from separating like it could if it were frozen the slower, more conventional way as meats and fish typically are in grocery stores.

Arctic Char

Arctic Char is a cousin of the very familiar Salmon. Like the name implies they come from the waters of the Arctic Ocean. If you’re in to your textures, you can expect that cooked char will be similar to trout and salmon but with a more subtle and mild fish flavour.

Arctic Turbot

Turbot is a fish you might be surprised to see. They are a type of flatfish. This means that they swim on their side and usually have both eyes on the top of their heads. The turbot, however, has one eye on top and the other on the side of its head. Turbot are found in very cold waters in the northernmost countries. Just like the Arctic Char, they are particularly in the Canadian Arctic. In terms of taste, turbot can be compared to a very tender halibut. Turbot is smaller than halibut but the taste is richer.

Sustainably Fished

Of course, sustainability is important to Papa Earth. Like all of our products, Our Arctic Char and turbot is caught using local and sustainable methods. The methods used to catch these fish is a traditional, many thousand-year-old Inuit way that respects the biodiversity of the region and helps preserve the small northern township economies. Though they may use modern boats and snow machines to get to fishing spots, the trek is still long and the catch quotas are low. Fishermen travel hundreds of kilometers, both ways, across the mountain lakes and use only nets and long lines to catch the fish through up to 8 feet of ice, for minimal disturbance to the environment.

To protect the sustainability of the lakes and oceans, there is an official fishing limit set by the Nunavut Department of Fisheries & Oceans. As the Inuit people are and have been the watch guards and advocates for the land, the local quotas are set by the elders in the communities to be mindful of the areas’ ways of life and prosperity of the regions. This is a double quota system that legalizes the commercial-preservation compromise that both parties set and both Papa Earth and our suppliers respect and support.

Premium Quality Seafood

There are studied health benefits linked to the consumption of fish, including healthy heart function and brain development. These two types of fish have some added edge as well. Arctic Char & Turbot are known to:

  • contain more Omega-3 oils. This is because fish from cold temperatures like those of the arctic circle retain more oils to keep their bodies functioning;
  • contain very low (if any) mercury;
  • be low-fat and and high-protein. This due to them being wild-caught, meaning free-moving and leaner, than them being farmed with limited movement, increasing fat content.

The Arctic Char and Turbot is promptly flash frozen which preserves the fish’s beneficial oils and processed at the CFIA certified facility in Pangnirtung and then flown down to be portioned for market by Fisherfolk in Toronto.

Supporting Inuit Communities

Our Arctic Char and Turbot source is Fish First. They are a non-profit organization that helps remote communities establish sustainable fisheries. All of their profits are reinvested into the local communities, supporting the Inuit fishermen. Surpluses can also be used for other local activities that will benefit the Inuit communities such as arts and tourism developments.

Want to try out Arctic Char or Turbot? Start by building a box here.