Ocean Beauty, Alaska Airlines Team Up for Copper River Promotion

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
May 22, 2008

Seattle resident Corey Chu bid 200,000 Alaska Airlines miles to receive a 40-pound Copper River king salmon.

Chu's highest bid made him the winner of a promotion Alaska Airlines and Seattle processor Ocean Beauty Seafoods held to benefit the airline's Charity Miles program. The Make-A-Wish Foundation, Angel Flight West, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Alaska Shriners and Hero Miles are among the program's beneficiaries.

Chu, a fan of Copper River salmon for more than 15 years, was on hand when the first 7,500-pound delivery of Copper River salmon arrived from Cordova, Alaska, at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport just after daybreak last Friday via an Alaska Airlines 737 freighter. He will also receive a 10-pound box of Copper River salmon fillets for the Fourth of July.

"Someone willing to bid their coveted Alaska Airlines miles shows the value of wild Alaskan salmon," says Tom Sunderland, director of marketing for Ocean Beauty, who presented the fish to Chu on the Sea-Tac runway. "He was definitely excited and somewhat amazed at the size of the fish. He'll be eating salmon for awhile."

Chu hosted a dinner for friends last Saturday night.

"I grill it with just a little olive oil and let the fresh flavor stand on its own," says Chu, who's giving the head and bones to his mother for her fish soup.

The Copper River salmon fishery opened a week ago today for 12 hours, but the harvest was marred by driving rains, 50-knot winds and 12- to 15-foot swells, yielding only 2,400 sockeyes and 800 kings.

The weather improved for Monday's 12-hour opener, which produced 26,000 sockeyes and 2,000 kings, reports Copper River salmon fisherman Kurt Goetzinger. Fishermen received $4.80 a pound for reds and $6.80 for kings, he adds. Ex-vessel and wholesale prices of Copper River salmon usually drop as the fishery progresses.

The next 12-hour opener is scheduled for today. The weather forecast calls for cloudy skies and 10-mph winds.

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