Fish Radio
Market updates and outlooks
November 22, 2016

Russia won't buy US seafood, but the US is still buying theirs. Go figure ...

Russia won’t buy US seafood, but the US is still buying theirs. Go figure …

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Seafood updates and outlooks heading into next year. More after this –

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Alaska seafood goes to roughly 120 countries around the world and competes in a tough commodities market. An annual update by the McDowell Group shows that the value of Alaska seafood at the docks has dropped seven percent from 2011 through 2015 to $4.3 billion.

Salmon was tops for dockside values over the past two years at $541 million, or 29 percent of the value of all Alaska catches; pollock ranked second at $477 million, 26 percent of the value.  Pollock is Alaska’s largest fishery by volume at 54 percent.

Outlooks for whitefish indicate cod markets are steady but with low prices; the same holds true for pollock fillets and there’s a lot in the pipeline, notably from Russia.

The McDowell report says the halibut market for next year is likely to remain flat or may go down a bit. Fishermen’s prices were in the $6 to $7 range all season.

Prices for king and snow crab could be record setting, but again, competing Russian imports to the US are up 58 percent and 35 percent respectively.

For salmon, global farmed production won’t regain steam until 2019 and reports are circulating widely that the healthy omega 3’s in farmed fish are down by half due to their plant-based diets.

Meanwhile, Alaska salmon continues to make a big splash, especially in US markets.

Demand keeps going up. It’s really a bright spot there. More and more people are turned on to salmon and have the opportunity, especially with the huge sockeye  harvests,    and then two out of four years being record harvests when you look back,  there’s been a lot of people who’ve had the opportunity to try wild Alaska salmon and then look for it the market later on.  We have a larger target market to shoot for to introduce them to the good stuff.  

Tyson Fick is Communications Director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, which commissioned the McDowell report.

Alaska’s total salmon supply picture for this year is down 58 percent – once again, the wild shortfall will be made up by Russia, whose salmon catches increased 34 percent this year.

The Russia mentions stem from its embargo on all US seafood purchases, now entering its third year. That’s a $60 million hit each year to Alaska alone. At the same time, the US continues to buy millions of pounds of competing seafood from Russia.

Find links to the Alaska Seafood Industry Updates at our website –

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.