The U.S Department of Agriculture is planning a major purchase for Alaska salmon and pollock for its food and nutrition programs, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute announced Tuesday.

The USDA recently released bids for more than 1.4 million cases of canned Alaska pink salmon, three hundred thousand cases of canned Alaska sockeye salmon and 15 million pounds of Alaska pollock fish sticks and fillets, according to ASMI.

Canned salmon cases include 24 cans, regardless of size. All of the pink salmon will be in "tall" cans that contain 14.75 oz; the sockeye salmon will be split between 14.75 oz "talls" and the smaller 7.5 oz "halves". 

“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.”
At the request of the seafood industry, ASMI initiated requests of the Secretary of Agriculture for assistance under Section 32 of the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1935. This program assists U.S. agricultural food markets by purchasing commodities to relieve market surpluses. 

Bruce Schactler, ASMI’s Global Food Aid Program Director, worked closely with USDA, industry and the Alaska delegation in Washington, D.C. throughout the process, which relies on economic review of the sector to gauge need. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Sen. Dan Sullivan (both R-Alaska) and Representative Mary Peltola (D-Alaska)  were instrumental in supporting the requests and securing approval from the Secretary of Agriculture.

 “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.”   

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