Alaska seafood tops list of all protein brands

The year 2015 was good for the Alaska seafood industry, according to the 2016 annual report from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

ASMI is a marketing organization that consists of a public/private partnership between the state and the seafood industry that works to promote Alaska seafood in the domestic and international marketplace.

According to the report, Alaska seafood finally tops the list of all other protein brands in U.S. restaurants, after having sat at number two for several years.

It beat out such luminaries as Kobe and Angus beef and Louisiana seafood.

Research shows that 94 percent of diners are more likely to order seafood if it says “Alaska” next to it.

One of the challenges of marketing Alaska seafood has been the strength of the dollar, which, as of December 2016, was 8.5 percent higher than in 2015, and 30 percent stronger than in 2012, making Alaska seafood more expensive to overseas buyers.

By contrast, the currency of major competitors such as Russia, Norway and Chile have been especially weak, and the euro is at its weakest point compared to the dollar since 2003.

However, exports to Japan rose 15 percent, in part due to the strength of the yen.

Another bright spot is Spain, which is the fourth largest importer of all seafood in the world, which is officially out of its long recession.

The seafood industry remains an economic driver in Alaska, as well as a major employer, with about 60,000 people, mostly Alaska residents, working in the state’s seafood industry. More than half of those, around 31,580, are fishermen, operating 8,600 vessels and delivering fish to 176 processing plants along Alaska’s 6,640 mile coastline.

Alaska’s largest fishery by volume remains pollock, which topped 3 billion pounds, but salmon remains the largest in dollar amount, coming in at over $540 million in ex-vessel value, in spite of an anemic pink salmon harvest last year.

One of ASMI’s goals as stated in the report is to increase ex-vessel values by 0.5 percent annually.

The collective ex-vessel value of key species in 2015 declined by 7.9 percent; however, the report points out that harvest volumes and values fluctuate from year to year, and it is important to look at the big picture.

Over the past ten years, 2006-2015, the ex-vessel values increased 22 percent.

Cristy Fry can be reached at

More in Opinion

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. (Photo provided)
Point of View: Immunize when you winterize

An annual flu shot plus the COVID-19 vaccine protects Alaskans and our health care system, too.

Claudia Haines
Point of View: Honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October

Pink flags show support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Oct. 21, 2021.
Letters to the Editor

Tillion was a visionary public servant Former State Sen. Clem Tillion, who… Continue reading

Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Oct. 14, 2021.
Letters to the Editor

Foundation support for Pier One appreciated In June of 2021, Pier One Theatre… Continue reading

Les Gara, who represented Anchorage in the Alaska House of Representatives from 2003-2018, is running as a Democrat to unseat Gov. Mike Dunleavy in the 2022 general election. He told the Empire in an interview he wanted to ensure oppportunities were available in Alaska in the future. (Courtesy photo / Les Gara)
Point of View: We can still work together to end COVID-19

When the COVID-19 pandemic started, I assumed we would come together to… Continue reading

Larry Persily
Opinion: Revenues should be determined before more PFD spending

The governor believes the dividend drives the entire calculation. Sadly, he has it backwards

Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Oct. 7, 2021.
Letters to the Editor

Freight alternative Mayor Ken Castner and the Homer City Council were right… Continue reading

Ronnie Leach. (Photo provided)
Point of View: For Domestic Violence Awareness Month, #weareresilient

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and this year it is important… Continue reading

Michael O'Meara's cartoon for Sept. 30, 2021.
Letters to the Editor

Dogs in public places The City of Homer Parks, Arts, Recreation and… Continue reading

Most Read