The U.S. Department of Agriculture featured for the first time a whole grain-breaded fish stick made with Alaska pollock in its latest catalogue. It is the first processed pollock offering in the national school lunch system.

The Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers has been working with the USDA to get a new item included in the catalogue since 2009.

“I think overall, it’s going to increase sales to school districts because it’s going to allow districts that can’t even participate now to participate,” said Pat Shanahan, GAPP program director.

Alaska pollock fish sticks. GAPP photo.

Alaska pollock fish sticks. GAPP photo.

The new item is a secondary offering to the pollock in block form, which is still a part of the catalog. The school districts then have to turn that block into a dish, which may not be as appealing in districts with tighter budgets for pantry items and kitchen staff. Now those schools can serve Alaska pollock with less hassle.

Shanahan anticipates the USDA will make its purchases for the 2017-18 school year this spring.

Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers represents 15 of the largest companies in the $1 billion pollock industry, all of which are based in Seattle.

Since pollock has been included in the USDA catalogue, the GAPP website has maintained a resource for the product on their website that includes nutritional information, recipes and answers to frequently asked questions.

Have you listened to this article via the audio player?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

Samuel Hill is the former associate editor for National Fisherman. He is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine where he got his start in journalism at the campus’ newspaper, the Free Press. He has also written for the Bangor Daily News, the Outline, Motherboard and other publications about technology and culture.

Join the Conversation