Sustainable Fishing For Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil
Rosita Real Foods is a Wahls Protocol® Seminar and Retreat Sponsor. We have fostered this relationship for a few years now not only because of the purity and potency of the product but also because of the sustainable practices they use to source and process their unique fish oil. Dan Corrigan and I had a great chat about what makes their Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil so unique.
But what I am most intrigued and pleased about is the philosophy behind the sourcing of their product.
Here are some highlights:
How important is sustainable fishing to the Rosita family in Norway?
Rosita Real Foods was actually featured in a documentary that’s streaming on Amazon Prime Video right now called “Revolution:Food.” It’s all about the farmers and fishermen who are revolutionizing today’s food industry with natural, sustainable practices. Sustainability is what defines the Rosita family. They have the utmost respect for the water and the harvest it yields. They live and teach gratitude for nature and the food on our tables, which all stems from sustainability.
Where are the cod for Rosita’s oil caught, and how are they caught?
The wild codfish (Gadus morhua) are sustainably fished from the crystal clear and pristine waters of the remote Norwegian fjords, near where the Rosita family lives in Donna Norway.
They are caught in the wild, far from any types of farmed fish.
To ensure total control over sustainability, quality and freshness of cod livers, Rosita employs its own small artisan fishing boats, rather than commercial fishing boats.
The boats put out sea bird-friendly long lines baited with fat slices of frozen mackerel or herrings.
Here’s some history: The liver oil from deep-sea cod was highly prized and sought after by the ancient Norse people, who considered it to be the most potent in terms of therapeutic properties. It was also known to have a more smooth consistency.
The Rosita family’s ancestors were masters of deep-sea fishing and their fishermen today stem from that lineage. They are expert fishermen who live to carry out this grueling yet rewarding work.
Comparison to commercial CLO: Manufacturers of commercial cod liver oil do not specifically fish for deep-sea codfish. They will often purchase codfish on the open market or from brokers, which can be problematic regarding the freshness, source, and even fish species.
MSC certification: People say oils are MSC certified with traceability. Really what that means is most companies are buying from different fishermen. MCS certification is a good effort to help minimize fraud, which is rampant in the seafood industry. But, Rosita isn’t MSC certified because they control the whole process from fish to bottle – they don’t need it. What makes Rosita unique is they have their very own boats and fishermen.
By using freshly-caught fish and not importing frozen products, we believe quality is optimally maintained and the properties of the raw materials will not deteriorate during long transport, freezing, etc. Line-caught fish are a much better alternative to fish that have been caught by destructive trawling methods. And sustainable, fresh cod tastes so much more clean and sweet!
As a sustainably fished and produced handcrafted cod liver oil, how stable is the availability of the codfish population?
Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil is created in small batches. They go fishing based on the orders coming in. They harvest the livers fresh, extract the oil while it is fresh and bottle it fresh within a very short period of time. They control every aspect of production. What you receive is a bottle of fresh, raw, wild-caught Atlantic cod liver oil with all of the nutrients intact just as nature intended.
With this, Rosita catches the cod carefully to protect the population.
The Norwegian government sets quotas for the long-term survival of wild Atlantic cod in Norway. (Norwegian fisheries are a highly regulated industry with stringent quotas and licensing requirements.) Rosita is not allowed to overfish, and the amount of fish caught must be recorded.
And, when they clean the fish on board they throw out the other bits to the sea birds so that nothing is wasted.
It’s also important to note that Norway has long, harsh winters and some of the most rugged waters in the world with steep mountains lining the deep fjords, rocky coasts, and vicious waves at times. These waves can be very dangerous and so great care is required. When conditions get too bad, the fishing and harvesting of codfish have to be postponed. That means there are ebbs and flows in production of the cod liver oil. The best months for fishing, going back all the way to the Norwegian Vikings and Scandinavian fishermen, are in the months ending in “r,” which are characterized by a general lack of sunlight.
It is Rosita’s goal to meet demand while remaining true to the Ancient Norse process for the creation of genuinely wild and raw cod liver oil. Rosita absolutely refuses to cut corners. Instead, they’ve expanded their production capabilities with more efficient measures, such as a modern bottling facility and a greater number of fishing boats. Further, Rosita’s entire production line is made to reduce carbon footprint and even their oil cleaning procedure makes use of a simple natural substance from the ocean and does not involve chemicals that can cause contamination to the environment or heat.
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