USDA Purchasing 50 Million Pounds Of Alaska Seafood

Alaska’s place as one of the nation’s biggest producers of seafood is reflected in a massive purchase by the United States Department of Agriculture. Here’s more from the Alaska Beacon:

In all, the Department of Agriculture has put bids on 1.4 million cases of pink salmon, 300,000 cases of sockeye salmon and 15 million pounds of pollock fish sticks and fillets, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute said. Each case of salmon holds 24 cans, with most cans holding 14.75 ounces but some holding 7.5 ounces.

It is a big purchase. In comparison, the USDA last year made purchases from Alaska of 3.7 million pounds of sockeye salmon, 47,000 cases of pink salmon and about 2.2 million pounds of pollock in combined transactions from May to July, according to ASMI. The USDA last year also bought $8 million worth of rockfish from Alaska and the West Coast, according to AMSI.

The purchase is likely timely. Alaska’s industry is coping with a worldwide glut that has driven down prices and made sales much more difficult, ASMI Executive Director Jeremy Woodrow said in a presentation Tuesday at the Capitol.

“Due to inflation, really globally, consumer demand for seafood is incredibly low right now and our inventories are historically high. We aren’t able to push as much product through, so you get that supply and demand crunch,” Woodrow said during a “Lunch and Learn” session.