Published on:

USDA to Purchase Millions of Pounds of Alaska Seafood

AlaskaSeafood-300x157On Tuesday February 14th, 2024, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will make a significant purchase of Alaska salmon and pollock in support of food and nutrition initiatives.

The ASMI stated that the purchase of seafood aims to support people experiencing food insecurity as well as school lunch programs. These purchases are being made possible through Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935. This program assists U.S. agricultural food markets by purchasing commodities to relieve market surpluses, which in turn stabilizes agricultural income and prices.

“USDA’s Section 32 purchase announcement is great news for Alaska—almost $100 million of Alaskan seafood for people experiencing food insecurity. This purchase won’t just bolster Alaska’s seafood industry and support our coastal communities, but will help bring the highest-quality and healthiest seafood products in the world to families in need. I am grateful for the USDA’s investment in our fishermen and the health of Americans,” said Sen. Murkowski.

According to the ASMI, the USDA has released bids for over 1.4 million cases of canned Alaska pink salmon, 300,000 cases of canned Alaska sockeye salmon, and 15 million pounds of Alaska pollock fish sticks and fillets.

In contrast, last year the USDA procured significant quantities of seafood from Alaska, including 3.7 million pounds of sockeye salmon, 47,000 cases of pink salmon, and approximately 2.2 million pounds of pollock in combined transactions between May and July. Additionally, it is reported that the USDA invested $8 million in rockfish from Alaska and the west coast during the same period.

This purchase appears to be well-timed, as Alaska’s industry is currently dealing with a global surplus that has led to price declines and low sales. Less consumer demand, higher inventories, and rising inflation has led to these lower prices for processors and fishermen alike.

“This is great news for the Alaska seafood industry and food insecure Americans around the country, who will benefit from these nutritious and desirable products through USDA’s food and nutrition programs this year,” ASMI officials said. “This purchase will be a boon for Alaskan fishermen, processors and communities who have faced challenging market conditions in 2023.”

“ASMI and the Alaska seafood harvesters, processors and industry appreciate the USDA’s partnership to support the Alaska seafood industry while providing products with exceptional nutrition to consumers across the country,” the institute said in a prepared statement. “ASMI encourages USDA to continue to expand access to high quality, health promoting, sustainable wild Alaska Seafood for its program participants and align their offerings with dietary guidelines that recommend two servings of seafood per week for all Americans, starting at one year of age.”

Contact Information