Fish Radio

Salmon sales low and slow for wild and farmed fish

August 11, 2015

Salmon is America's #2 favorite seafood. Buy up, USA! Credit:

Salmon is America’s #2 favorite seafood. Buy up, USA!

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Salmon sales are low and slow. More after this –

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Reports of salmon sales are almost non-existent as the fish keep on coming in Alaska. The catch is approaching 164 million fish – of that, 50.5 million are sockeye and nearly 100 million are pinks – 66 million from Prince William Sound!

The combination of those big Alaska runs, a depressed farmed salmon market and the continuing strong U.S. dollar against other currencies is “wreaking havoc among salmon suppliers and processors,” according to market watcher Seafood Source. (

Most of Alaska’s pack goes out as frozen, headed and gutted fish -the wholesale  prices for sockeye salmon have fallen roughly 20 percent since late 2014.    Frozen  sockeyes  are selling for as low as $3.40 to $3.65  per pound on board to Seattle.   Japan-based major Maruha Nichiro, owner of Peter Pan Seafoods and many others, reported a 31 percent drop in its first fiscal quarter due in great part to losses in the frozen and canned salmon markets.

Meanwhile, the farmed Atlantic salmon market is at an all-time historic low, which also cuts into sales of wild fish.  Doug Roan, procurement manager for Pacific Seafoods called the prices “scary low,” adding that the biggest challenge to US sales is the strong dollar which is hurting all exports. At the same time, sellers are sitting on tons of fish holdovers in freezers and cans from last year.

Some relief will come from a $30 million purchase of canned sockeye salmon by the federal government for the nation’s food bank network. And a big win at the Great American Seafood Cook Off  last weekend in New Orleans will help raise the  Alaska salmon profile. Beau Schooler , owner of The Rookery Café in Juneau, along with sous chef Travis Hotch, beat 11 national competitors for their nose to tail sockeye salmon.

Find links to Alaska catches and more 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.