The icy waters surrounding Alaska’s 34,000-mile coastline is home to the most abundant and healthy wild seafood stocks in the world. This natural, pristine habitat hosts a variety of seafood with superior texture and flavor and offers some of the cleanest marine, freshwater, and upland habitats in the world. Fishermen, scientists, conservationists and citizens work together to determine how to responsibly manage Alaska’s fisheries so there will always be an abundance of seafood to harvest now and for generations.
Effective, precise management assures Alaska’s fisheries are productive, sustainable, clean and healthy as mandated by the Alaska state government. Since admittance into the Union as the 49th state in 1959, Alaska has served as a model of fisheries management around the globe. One reason for this is that Alaska remains the lone state in the nation with a constitutional mandate stipulating all fish “be utilized, developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle.”
There’s a reverence for seafood that continues to drive Alaskans toward sustainability. And with fishing touching the lives of most Alaskans in one way or another, it is of no surprise that Alaskans are long-standing believers in responsible fisheries management. The Alaska seafood industry directly employs over 63,000 workers in Alaska, making it the state’s largest private sector employer. Many are family fishermen, living in small, remote communities where fishing is virtually the only occupation. Their livelihoods and entire way of life depend on a dedication to healthy wild fish stocks.
Fifty-six percent of the seafood harvested in the United States comes from Alaska. There are five species of wild Alaska salmon including: King, Sockeye, Coho, Keta and Pink. All with a distinct flavor profile, there is a wild salmon species for every palate.
Alaska is home to a variety of whitefish species: halibut, black cod/sablefish, pacific cod, rockfish, sole/flounder, herring, surimi seafood and pollock. The Alaska pollock fishery is the largest sustainable fishery in the world!
Alaska is not only known for its finfish but also its incredible variety of shellfish: Alaska king crab, snow crab, Dungeness, spot prawns, oysters and weathervane scallops.
Alaska’s abundance is not only delicious but it is also good for you too. According to the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans, eating seafood a minimum of two times a week or more can help protect against heart disease. Alaska seafood is an ideal choice for people who want to enjoy optimum health while still enjoying delicious food. It is high in protein and essential nutrients, low in saturated fat, and a natural source of the “good fats” called omega-3 fatty acids. When it comes to heart and brain health, nothing beats the power of omega-3 fatty acids from seafood.
With the abundance of seafood and health benefits, you now know why Alaskans are dedicated to protecting this precious resource and bringing it to your favorite restaurant and dinner table.