Alaska seafood now tops the list of all other protein brands on the menus of 500 national restaurant chains, besting Angus beef, Kobe beef and Louisiana seafood. And research shows that 94 percent of diners are more likely to order a seafood dish when the word “Alaska” is on the menu.
That’s the take away message from the 2016 annual report of the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. The Alaska seafood brand had been sitting at the number two spot for popular brands for several years. ASMI announced the breakthrough to the top spot this week.
The ASMI report is filled with user-friendly information about Alaska’s seafood industry and how it plays out at home and around the world.
Here’s a sampler:
About 60,000 people, mostly Alaska residents, work in the state’s seafood industry. More than half (31,580) are fishermen, operating 8,600 vessels and delivering their catches to 176 processing plants around the state.
One third of Alaska’s resident commercial fishermen live in Anchorage and the south central region, more than any other region of the state.
Pollock is still Alaska’s biggest catch, topping three billion pounds last year. Salmon came in as the most valuable catch, however, topping $540 million.
China is the number one export customer for Alaska seafood, followed by Japan, Europe, Canada and lately, Brazil.
So if you’re not in the fishing business in Alaska, why should you care about the price of fish?
Taxes on all Alaska seafood landings are three to five percent, split 50/50 between state coffers and the towns where the fish are delivered. The volume of all that seafood is typically five to six billion pounds a year.
Adding just one penny per pound makes a difference of nearly a million dollars for the state and local communities each.