Bumper harvest of sockeye salmon means great deals for US consumers

March 22, 2023

With an unusually large harvest of sockeye salmon from Bristol Bay last year, Alaska has led to prices dropping 7% since early 2022 according to a new report from the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA).

The bumper haul of 60 million fish, from what is the source of more than half the world’s sustainable, wild sockeye salmon, was 46% higher than its previous five-year average.

As a consequence, the average price per pound of wild sockeye salmon on sale at grocery stores is down 7% since early 2022, compared to an increase of 12% for farmed Atlantic salmon fillets, the report said.

Producers are urging shoppers to go for the omega-3 rich salmon, rather than opting for the more expensive Atlantic salmon. According to the report, the wild sockeye surplus comes at a necessary time to meet increased demand, while seafood consumption in the US remains higher than during the pre-pandemic year 2019 and is expected to grow at a rate of 4.9% in 2023.

Andy Wink, Executive Director of the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association (BBRSDA), commented: “If you’re seeing sockeye salmon in the grocery store or on menus in 2023, chances are it came from Bristol Bay, Alaska. This is a great opportunity for more people to enjoy delicious wild salmon and help make the most of this gift from nature.”

Wild sockeye salmon, which predominantly comes from Bristol Bay, Alaska, is known for its brilliant ruby red colour, delicious taste and nutrient density, the statement said. It is said to be one of the most popular salmon species due to taste and texture, which make it perfect for almost all preparation techniques, including grilling, broiling, sautéing, roasting, poaching, steaming and smoking.

Bristol Bay sockeye salmon is also guaranteed to be wild and sustainably caught, with the fishery adhering to strict sustainability standards upheld by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, BBRSDA said.

BBRSDA Marketing Director Lilani Dunn, added: “Now is the time to stock up on Alaska sockeye and consumers can feel good about having this wild, sustainable fish on their tables. In addition to home cooks, we encourage retailers, wholesalers, restaurants, and importers to reach out to us to collaborate on ways to showcase this tremendous protein.”

Wild sockeye salmon can be found fresh or previously frozen in the seafood case, as well as frozen, canned and smoked year-round. Bristol Bay fishermen often freeze their catch just after it leaves the water, locking in nutrients, maintaining quality and helping to reduce food waste throughout every step of the supply chain. Consumers will appreciate that wild sockeye salmon can be cooked directly from frozen and hold up well to virtually any cooking method, making it easy to get a delicious dinner on the table in minutes. Visit Bristol Bay Sockeye for more information, cooking tips and more.

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