Alaska Seafood Suppliers: The Fishing Industry in Alaska

Nick Mirev
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    Fishing is one of the biggest industries in the state of Alaska. The iconic wild salmon king crab are among the most popular types of Alaska seafood. They have been harvested for centuries, even before Alaska became American territory. The majority of seafood restaurants in the US serve some type of fish or seafood products that were caught near Alaska. That’s because more than half of the seafood in the US comes from that region. Besides the fishing sector, there are other parts of the seafood industry in Alaska. That includes various processing plants, wholesale seafood distributors, marketing institutes, international seafood distribution companies, and other parts of the global seafood supply chain. In this article, we’ll share more about the Alaska seafood and fishing industry and share some of the best wholesale seafood suppliers.

    Key takeaway: The Alaska seafood industry supplies the majority of fish and other seafood products in the US. There are various seafood suppliers in Alaska. Most of them offer popular products like wild-caught salmon, crab, cod, or Alaska pollock. Some seafood distributors in Alaska also offer shellfish or seaweed products.
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    The Fishing Industry in Alaska

    The fishing industry is considered to be the second largest source of gross state product after the oil and gas industry. It is estimated that around 10% of the workforce of the state is in the fishing industry. Since the sector is known for its seasonality, a lot of people that are employed in the fish harvesting industry work during the peak summer season. Here are some interesting facts about the Alaska seafood industry.

    1. The sector faces multiple challenges. The fishing industry is known for its hard working conditions. But that’s not the only challenge that employees and companies face. The supply of seafood has plummeted in recent decades due to overfishing and climate change. Furthermore, despite the multiple seafood benefits, it is often a more expensive meal. Thus, inflation and poor economic conditions can lead to decreased demand.
    2. Technologies and innovations are reshaping the Alaska seafood industry. The sector invests a lot in various technological advancements and marine research. Most of the scientific research is done in fields like fish stocks, ecosystems, and environmental impacts.
    3. Export plays a big role in the Alaska seafood sector. Although the majority of the harvested fish is sold by bulk fish in the US, a large percentage of it is also exported to Asia, Europe, and other regions. Alaskan salmon and king crab are used by chefs across the world.

    Types of Seafood from Alaska

    There are various types of seafood that are harvested in the region. Here are some of the popular ones.

    1. Salmon. The wild-caught salmon of Alaska is used by seafood businesses around the world. Chinook and sockeye salmon are the most popular species.
    2. Alaska pollock. This fish is one of the best options for surimi. Furthermore, pollock filets are also used in seasonal seafood dishes.
    3. Crab. King crab is the most popular crab species harvested by the Alaska seafood industry. Snow and Dungeness crab are also among the common species.
    4. Cod. The Pacific cod and the black cod are common for this region.
    5. Herring. In addition to its tasty meat, the herring is also harvested for its roe.
    6. Shellfish. Although the Alaska seafood industry is not popular for shellfish, they are still found in the area. Scallops and clams are the popular species in this category.
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    Top Alaska Seafood Suppliers

    Alaska Seafood Company

    With more than 35 years of history in the industry, the Alaska Seafood Company is among the best distributors of seafood in Alaska. They offer both wholesale and retail products to their customers in the US. They also work with international customers interested in purchasing bulk seafood.

    Alaskan Pride Seafoods

    Their wild-caught and sustainable seafood products have made them a reputable Alaska seafood supplier. The Alaskan Pride Seafood is a family-owned business that offers their products to retail customers and to businesses that look for the highest quality seafood on the market.

    Copper River Seafood

    Based in Anchorage, Alaska, Copper River Seafood is a premium supplier of seafood products. They offer their high-quality products to grocery retail chains across the country. They also work with restaurants, food manufacturers, and other businesses in the food industry.

    Copper River Seafood partners with another company – Alaska Fresh Salmon, a retail and wholesale seafood supplier that offers their products in the Midwest.

    Ivanoff Seafood

    Although they are a small enterprise, Ivanoff Seafood offers their quality products to both retail and wholesale customers. They specialize in different types of salmon and crab, but also offer other delicious seafood products.

    New Sagaya

    This employee-owned company offers not only Alaska seafood products but also deli meats, fruits, baked goods, and other food categories. They operate a couple of markets across Anchorage, AK. They also have a wholesale program for restaurants, grocery stores, food manufacturers, and other businesses in the food sector. They specialize in Alaska seafood but can also offer bulk quantities of other food categories.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about the Alaska Seafood Industry

    Whether you’re wondering how to become a seafood distributor or you’re looking for wholesale seafood vendors, BlueCart is the place to be. Our software has helped dozens of seafood businesses find new customers or automate their business processes. On our website you’ll also find useful tips, seafood business ideas, and other valuable information.

    How Big Is the Alaska Seafood Industry?

    According to estimates, the Alaska seafood sector is estimated to be around 6 billion USD in size. Around 60% of the US-produced seafood is supplied by the Alaska seafood industry. In addition to supplying wild salmon, crab, and other seafood products to the US, businesses in this sector export their products to various regions of the world. The Alaska seafood industry faces multiple challenges. The fluctuating prices of fish products and the reduced numbers of fish caught due to overfishing and climate change are among the major ones.

    What Other Regions in the US Have Large Seafood Industries?

    The Northeast coast has one of the biggest seafood industries in the US. Among the species found there are haddock, cod, the American lobster, and Atlantic sea scallop. The Southeast and the Gulf of Mexico also have a well-developed fishing sector. Among the main seafood species found in this region are the three major species of shrimp -- pink, brown, and white. Stone crabs is also an important seafood found in the area. The Western Pacific is also an important region for the fishing industry of the US. It includes the Hawaiian Islands and other island groups in the Pacific like the Northern Marianas. The majority of the species caught in this area are highly migratory species like tuna, swordfish, and shark. They are usually caught in international waters.

    What Are the Trends in the Alaska Seafood Industry?

    Sustainability is the biggest trend in the Alaska seafood industry and fishing sectors around the world. Overfishing has led to reduction of different types of fish worldwide. That’s why seafood sustainability standards like the ASC or MSC have been established. Precise fishing methods are another trend in the fisheries sector. The most popular method is selective harvesting. As a growing number of consumers search for sustainable seafood dishes, the seaweed farming industry has grown a lot. When it comes to the Alaska seafood industry, kelp is the most popular seaweed farmed there. Other types of red, green, and black seaweed are also gathered in the region.

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