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Sockeye Salmon

Fishermen Resources 5

Sockeye salmon is a high-oil content species of salmon known for its rich flavor and distinctive deep red flesh, which retains its color throughout cooking.


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Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus nerka, alaska known as red salmon


Wild Alaska sockeye salmon has the highest protein and vitamin D content per serving of all five species of salmon.

2 certifications

The Alaska sockeye salmon fishery is certified under two independent certification standards for sustainable fisheries, RFM & MSC.

3 years

Wild Alaska sockeye salmon spend 3 years in the ocean before returning to freshwater to spawn.


Vitamin B-12
3.8mcg (158% DV)
Omega 3
Vitamin D
14.2mcg (71% DV)
Wild Alaska sockeye salmon is chock-full of high quality protein.

Benefits of complete high quality protein include building and maintaining lean body mass, metabolism regulation, improved satiation—leading to lower intake and possible weight loss, and stronger muscles, resulting in greater mobility, strength, and dexterity.

Wild sockeye salmon also provide marine derived omega-3 fatty acids, essential to the human body. DHA and EPA in wild Alaska sockeye salmon are the most studied, beneficial, and readily usable healthy fats for the body.

Benefits of DHA and EPA are improved heart health, improved brain function and they are vital nutrients for growth and development of prenatal babies and infants.

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DV = Daily Value // 3.0 oz = 85g Source: USDA Standard Reference Release 28

Harvesting & Seasonality

Alaska sockeye salmon is available fresh from mid-May through September and frozen year-round.

Seasonality & Harvesting 4

Alaska sockeye salmon are harvested primarily by gillnetting and purse-seining.

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Sustainability & Environment

In Alaska, the future of wild sockeye salmon and the environment are more important than the immediate opportunities for harvest.

As a wild resource, there is variability in the number of salmon that return to freshwater to spawn annually. Managers in Alaska set ‘escapement goals’ using the best science available to ensure enough fish return safely to the freshwater spawning grounds to reproduce. Biologists account for natural fluctuations in returns of salmon by managing the fisheries in-season to ensure the sustainability of Alaska’s wild sockeye salmon.

This principle of sustainability is written into Alaska’s state constitution. In Alaska, fish are to be ‘utilized, developed, and maintained on the sustainable yield principle,’ ensuring wild sockeye salmon inhabit Alaska waters for generations to come.

Wild Alaska sockeye salmon also have cultural significance. Wild Alaska sockeye salmon are not only important ecologically, they are intrinsically tied to subsistence fishing in rural Alaska. Families in Alaska’s coastal communities depend on subsistence salmon fishing to survive. In Alaska’s salmon fisheries management, subsistence has priority before sport, commercial or personal use fishing.


The Alaska sockeye salmon fishery is certified under two independent certification standards for sustainable fisheries:

Well traveled, sockeye salmon spend their time in salt water swimming and feeding in the Alaska Gyre in the Gulf of Alaska before returning to their natal streams to spawn.

Choosy eaters, the sockeye eats more crustaceans and plankton than other species, which leads to its darker colored meat.

As a wild-capture fishery, Alaska sockeye salmon are harvested and then transported to processing facilities located in small fishing communities scattered along Alaska’s coastline.

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Product Forms & Availability

Alaska sockeye salmon is available both fresh and frozen in the following product forms: whole, or dressed whole without the head, in portions, fillets, canned and smoked. Sockeye salmon is also prized for its roe.

Wild Alaska sockeye salmon are well known for the brilliant red hue their fillets possess both raw and after cooking. This is due to their natural diet of krill and plankton which possess a carotenoid pigment called astaxanthin. This powerful compound not only provides a deep color and strong (but not fishy) flavor, but also is an antioxidant, may help prevent cancer, promotes skin and heart health, and can alleviate joint pain.

Find Alaska sockeye salmon in your local grocer in the frozen section as well as in the fresh case seasonally. Unsure about origin? Just #AskforAlaska.

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This firm, robust and vividly colored fish has a high oil content making it difficult to overcook and is a perfect star of the plate when prepared by baking, broiling, grilling, poaching, sautéing, smoking, sushi/sashimi, roasting or steaming.

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