USDA planning another big Alaska pollock, salmon purchase

Alaska pollock being packed.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is planning to purchase 15.2 million pounds of Alaska pollock, along with 173,000 cases of canned salmon.

The USDA is asking suppliers to bid on 7.6 million pounds of frozen pollock fish sticks and 7.6 million pounds of frozen pollock fillets. Bids are due by 22 February.

If the USDA fulfills all its new contract requests, it would be the third-largest single award the USDA has filed in its history, the Genuine Association of Alaska Pollock Producers CEO Craig Morris told SeafoodSource. It would also make this fiscal year, which ends 30 September, the fourth-biggest year of USDA pollock purchases on record.

“With expected additional purchases between now and the end of USDAs purchase year, this year could move up even higher on that list,” Morris said.

The new USDA purchase announcement “could not come at a better time for our industry,” Morris said.

“Our fleet is now just underway with our A season that started on 20 January, and our member companies are heading into the trade show season to discuss sales contracts with customers for the upcoming year," he said. "With the USDA now showing its strong support for our industry through this substantial purchase announcement … our members can factor that into our supply and demand outlook.”

In the same notice, the USDA said it is also asking for bids on 174,000 cases of canned red salmon.

Separately, the government agency is asking for bids on 1.14 million cases of canned pink salon under its Section 32 authority. Bids on all salmon contracts are also due 22 February.

“The USDA’s Section 32 purchase announcement is great news for Alaska – almost USD 100 million [EUR 93 million] of Alaskan seafood for people experiencing food insecurity," U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement provided to SeafoodSource. "This purchase won’t just bolster Alaska’s seafood industry and support our coastal communities but will help bring the highest-quality and healthiest seafood products in the world to families in need. I am grateful for the USDA’s investment in our fishermen and the health of Americans."

At the end of 2023, the USDA purchased more than USD 9 million (EUR 8.4 million) worth of wild-caught domestic salmon for youth nutrition programs and other domestic food distribution programs.

Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.-based Trident Seafoods landed the largest contract, while Clackamas, Oregon, U.S.A.-based Pacific Seafood, OBI Seafoods, and Sitka, Alaska, U.S.A.-based Silver Bay Seafoods split the rest of the award.

Photo courtesy of Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute


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