FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Greg Smith, Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute
(907) 465-5562, [email protected]
USDA Purchases Wild Alaska Sockeye Salmon
JUNEAU, AK — July 26, 2023 The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute is pleased to report the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently approved purchase of 3.7 million pounds of wild Alaska sockeye salmon, 4 ounce fillet portions and 716,800 cases (24 cans/case) of half pound cans of wild Alaska sockeye salmon. Additionally, the USDA purchased $8 million of Pacific rockfish fillets which includes product from both Alaska and the West Coast. These purchases were made through Section 32 under the Secretary of Agriculture’s authority and are valued at approximately $68 million to participating Alaska seafood suppliers.
The Section 32 program has benefitted U.S. fisheries, responding to supply chain disruptions and various other market difficulties. It provides food insecure Americans with high-quality, healthy, and sustainable seafood protein. This purchase will supply food banks and other food-aid distribution outlets around the country starting in July through the end of the year.
This purchase comes on the heels of an earlier June 2023 purchase of 47,000 cases of 1 pound (tall) canned pink salmon for food banks and 910,000 pounds of Alaska pollock block for the National School Lunch Program beginning in September of 2023. In May, USDA announced a purchase of 1.3 million pounds of wild Alaska pollock frozen sticks and fillets portions for schools and food banks with deliveries starting in August.
The USDA is buying more seafood to help school kids, countless nutrition and feeding program participants, and food bank consumers to approach the USDA’s Nutritional Guidelines for Americans recommendation of two servings per week of seafood. Alaska seafood is a win-win for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service programs, as it provides the consumer with the highest quality seafood from Alaska’s pristine waters that is sustainably harvested and wild.
About Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute:
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) is a partnership between the State of Alaska and the Alaska seafood industry promoting the benefits of wild and sustainable Alaska seafood and offering seafood industry education. The seafood industry is Alaska’s largest basic private sector employer with nearly 60% of all wild seafood and 90-95% of wild salmon harvested in the U.S. coming from Alaska. In addition to wild salmon, Alaska is known for its crab and whitefish varieties such as Pacific cod, sablefish, halibut, Alaska pollock, sole and rockfish – available fresh or frozen year-round.
Alaska has been dedicated to sustainable seafood for more than 50 years and is the only state with a constitution that mandates all seafood be managed under the sustained yield principle. Alaska has taken a leadership role in setting the global standard for precautionary resource management to protect fisheries and surrounding habitats for future generations and leading to an ever-replenishing supply of wild seafood for markets worldwide.