The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s new massive bid request for 7.942 million pounds of frozen Alaska pollock will push the agency’s pollock purchases to near-record levels.

With the latest acquisition, the agency will have purchased nearly 18.3 million pounds of Alaskan pollock for the fiscal year 2021, Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers CEO Craig Morris told SeafoodSource.

It will “firmly place the fiscal year as the second-highest Alaska pollock purchase year for USDA,” Morris said.

Bids on the contract, for use the National School Lunch Program and other Federal Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs, are due by Aug. 6. The agency is purchasing frozen pollock fillets, nuggets, and strips.

The USDA will announce the winning bidders by midnight on Aug. 13. The suppliers will make deliveries from October through December 2021.

In late May, the USDA also awarded significant pollock contracts to Seattle, Wash.-based Trident Seafood and Channel Fish Processing in Braintree, Mass.

“These recent substantial purchases of wild Alaska pollock by the [Biden] administration to provide a domestically caught and processed sustainable and healthy protein to our nation’s most vulnerable means so much our industry,” Morris told SeafoodSource in May.

Alaska pollock has moved up to fourth place on the list of most-consumed seafoods by Americans, Morris said.

“USDA is clearly giving their recipients what American’s are already choosing to buy more and more [of],” Morris said.

This article was originally published on SeafoodSource.com and is republished here with permission.

Christine Blank is a contributing editor for SeafoodSource.com and a veteran freelance writer and editor who covers all aspects of the seafood industry, from fishing to processing to selling and serving the final product.

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