Frequently Asked Questions about Fish Processing and Shipping Fish from Alaska
Planning your Alaska fishing trip with Boardwalk Lodge? Get answers to your most pressing questions about fish processing, shipping, and storage here. We cover everything from custom fish processing to maximizing the shelf life of your catch.
Fish Processing and Shipping FAQs
- Can I bring my catch home with me?
- How much fish can I bring home?
- Can I customize how my fish is processed?
- How do I ship my fish home?
- Are there any restrictions on shipping fish internationally?
- How long will my fish last in the freezer?
1. Can I bring my catch home with me?
Yes, you can bring your catch home with you. At Boardwalk Lodge, we offer custom fish processing services to ensure your fresh fish is properly handled for its journey back with you. At the end of the day, (as you relax and prepare for hour d’oeuvres and dinner), your fish will go through our fish processing facility, where it will be filleted or cut into steaks, portioned, vacuum-sealed, labeled, and frozen to maintain freshness. We follow food safety guidelines to ensure the highest quality of your fish product.
We can pack your frozen fish into a fish box, suitable for airline travel. If you're flying, Alaska Air Cargo offers reliable services for shipping fish from Alaska. Alternatively, you can take your fish with you as checked luggage. We'll pack your fish in airline-approved containers, making it easy for you to take your catch home with you. We use refrigerants like dry ice or gel packs to maintain the shelf life of your seafood shipment.
2. How much fish can I bring home?
The amount of fresh fish you can bring home depends on the species you catch and the fishing regulations in place, as well as airline restrictions if you're flying. Different fish species like king salmon, black cod, and halibut have specific limits, which we adhere to in line with sustainable fisheries practices.
In terms of shipping fish from Alaska, airlines often have weight restrictions. Alaska Air Cargo, for example, has specific guidelines on the maximum weight for each fish box.
3. Can I customize how much fish is processed?
Yes, you can customize how your fish is processed at our on-site fish processing facility. Whether you prefer your catch to be filleted or cut into specific portion sizes, we offer custom fish processing to meet your preferences. Our skilled staff adheres to stringent food safety standards to ensure the quality and shelf life of your processed fish. You can choose to have your fish vacuum-sealed for longer shelf life or placed in foam boxes with gel packs for optimum freshness during transport.
Whether you're catching salmon, black cod, or halibut, our facility is equipped to handle a variety of fish species.
4. How do I ship my fish home?
Boxes of fish will remain frozen for 48 hours outside of a freezer. If your journey home exceeds 48 hours, you can rent freezer lockers at both Ketchikan and SeaTac airports to store your fish. Most hotels you may stay at en route are also equipped to handle frozen "luggage," ensuring your catch remains in top condition.
We do not recommend using delivery services to ship your fish home. Instead, you can carry your securely packed fish boxes as checked luggage on your flight. Boardwalk Lodge staff will assist you with all packing and logistics, so you can enjoy your fresh catch when you get home.
5. Are there restrictions on shipping fish internationally?
Yes, there are restrictions on shipping fish internationally. The rules vary depending on the destination country and its specific import regulations for seafood products. Customs laws govern the import of fishery products like salmon, halibut, and other fish species. It's essential to check the regulations of your destination country concerning food safety, processed fish, and commercial fishing products.
To ensure compliance with international shipping rules, consult with your airline and the customs department of the country to which you are shipping. Remember that international shipping may affect the shelf life of your fish, as the transit time could extend beyond the 48-hour frozen window we guarantee for domestic travel.
6. How long will my fish last in the freezer?
The shelf life of your frozen fish depends on the type of fish and how well it's been processed. At Boardwalk Lodge, we use custom fish processing techniques to maximize the quality and longevity of your catch. Generally, properly processed and frozen fish like salmon, halibut, and other common fish species can last up to a year in a good-quality freezer.
To maintain the best quality, keep your fish in a freezer set at 0°F (-18°C) or lower. Our fish processing facility adheres to food safety standards to ensure your catch is well-preserved. This includes proper filleting, packaging, and storage methods that contribute to extending the shelf life of your fish.
Be sure to label your fish with the date it was frozen to help you keep track of its age. Always check the fish for signs of freezer burn or off-odors before consuming.