April 12 2013



This is Fish Radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. It’s time to add more value to Alaska herring. Hear more after this . . .  


Federal grants are available to help  Made in America  companies compete with imports and save US jobs. Learn more at www.nwtaac.org.


 Alaska leads the world in sustainable fisheries management. It’s even written in the state constitution. Learn more  about Alaska’s fisheries from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute at www.alaskaseafood.org.


For centuries herring has been served up pickled, canned, smoked, or even raw. It is a highly marketable product that is affordable and flavorful, to Europeans  it is an everyday staple. Alaska herring is most valuable for their eggs, but to Bruce Schactler and Renee Erickson there is so much more packed into the small fish.


“Canned herring is eaten all over the world. In Europe they eat it for breakfast.”


Bruce Schactler is the USDA food aid program coordinator for the Alaska Global Food Aid Program with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute in Kodiak. After many years of sending canned salmon to food relief groups all over the globe, As of last year  Schactler along with ASMI began to target Alaskas herring.


“ The reason we are doing this is to show everybody whether it be the end users or the NGO’s that do the programs, the department of agriculture, everybody that this is a good product, that it is going to work really well, and that everybody will like it and will eat it and that is super nutritious.”


Schactler continues to develop a food market for Alaska’s herring and will be canning  fish for the food aid program in Kodiak at the end of the month. In the city of Seattle Washington Renee Erickson serves up unique dishes in several of her restaurants.


“We do whole grilled herring, we pickle it and sometimes serve it raw. It’s really fun.”


At The Whale Wins, Erickson serves up herring butter on toast. She says customers are hesitant at first, but with it’s wow response it becomes an instant favorite.


It’s available it’s good for you, it’s delicious and has a really fresh, bright flavor. It’s not super fishy, but definitely flavorful.


Erickson uses the roe as well, but hopes to see the other products gain face appeal in the Alaska herring market.


“I hope that it becomes more common because  it is way more exciting to cook with a variety and things that are interesting and new. Especially when we have such a seafood network here it’s really exciting.”


Both agree that by getting herring products out there and letting people try it will only boost the Alaska herring fishery.


“So we could increase production in Alaska a little bit, and we could bring the value up considerably, if this works out. Using one hundred percent of it instead of just half of it. I could see more herring being produced in the state and get more money for them. Because we are expanding our markets and expanding our products that are used for those same fish.”


Find links for these stories and more at www.alaskafishradio.com    – a one stop shop for Alaska fish news.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, celebrating 101 years of partnership with Alaska’s coastal communities. www.oceanbeauty.com  In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.