A shortage of salad shrimp caused by crashing Atlantic Ocean stocks has small fish processor Tonka Seafoods trying to restart a fishery that was once a mainstay in the Southeast Alaska town of Petersburg.
Salad shrimp are small, cold-water shellfish. Also called pink shrimp, about 125 fit in a 1-pound package. While Americans prefer larger, warm-water varieties, salad shrimp are extremely popular in Iceland, Norway and Sweden.
But warming North Atlantic waters have depleted European stocks and shut down several fisheries on the East Coasts of Canada and the United States. In Europe, prices have jumped from $5 per pound in 2005 to $15 per pound.
Alaska is home to one of the most prized species of salad shrimp, Pandalus borealis. In Petersburg, Tonka Seafoods has just three boats permitted for salad shrimp fishing, but is looking for more as demand for the Alaska species soars.
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