2013 was a year for the record books, with Alaska seeing the largest salmon harvest ever with more than 272 million fish caught in total. The huge harvest was powered by an incredible number of pink salmon, Alaska’s smallest and most abundant salmon species. The 219 million pink salmon comprised more than 80 percent of the total harvest and surpassed the Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADFG) pre-season forecast for all five salmon species combined. This landmark season is valued at $691.1 million, second only to the 1988 harvest worth $724 million.
Known for their mild flavor, tender texture, and rosy pink flesh, much of Alaska pink salmon is found in shelf-stable canned, pouched, and frozen forms. This convenient and affordable pantry staple serves as the foundation for classic recipes such as croquettes, salmon burgers, soups and chowders, casseroles, salads, and more. Given the huge Alaska harvest, now is the time to incorporate pink salmon into meal planning. Alaska pink salmon are grilled, roasted, and paired with sauce.
Canned salmon has a long heritage in Alaska. Dating back to canneries in the late 19th century, Alaska salmon serves as the primary economic backbone of dozens of communities across the state. Passed down from generation to generation, Alaskans consider fishing more than just a job—it’s a way of life. In fact, seafood resources are considered so precious that their sustainable management is mandated by the Alaska constitution.
“We’re proud of the heritage of our salmon fisheries and our commitment to their sustainability. This year’s record-breaking harvest was especially exciting, and we’re hoping to spread the word about the excellent taste and versatility of Alaska pink salmon,” says Tyson Fick, ASMI communications director. “Pink salmon is the most affordable wild salmon species available, and many consumers prefer its mild flavor.”
In addition to its flavor, wild Alaska pink salmon offers numerous health benefits, as they are a source of protein, omega-3s, calcium, selenium, phosphorous, and potassium. With the American Heart Association and the FDA recommending that everyone enjoy two servings of seafood per week, and with only 1 in 5 American adults and 1 in 10 American children meeting that recommendation, Alaska pink salmon are an easy, family-friendly way to eat more healthy seafood.
Wild and sustainable Alaska pink salmon can be found at retailers across the country in the canned seafood aisle, frozen seafood section, or at the seafood counter.