Letters to the Editor

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2001

Alaska salmon industry needs help on all fronts

The later part of July and the beginning of August, I sent letters to all the newspapers in Alaska to notify the citizens of Alaska that Costco of Anchorage did not have fresh Alaska salmon on their shelves. Instead, they were only carrying Atlantic foreign-farmed salmon.

After many e-mail letters to them from various people and organizations such as UFA, (United Fishermen of Alaska), fresh Alaska salmon is now being sold at all three of their Alaska Costco stores.

Thank You!

I spoke with Chris Ostander, manager for the Northwestern states for Costco, and he told me that I have his word. As long as Costco can get fresh salmon, they will be carrying it, and that they will carry it until October.

The foreign-farmed salmon is killing our market. I feel that we need to make sure that Costco and all Alaska stores have fresh Alaska wild salmon on their shelves from May to October, and even better yet to also have frozen salmon, because you obtain better quality.

We need to stand together as an industry and creatively educate the Lower 48 (our domestic market) that Alaska wild salmon is much firmer in texture, redder in color and richer in flavor.

It's like comparing hamburger to a rib-eye steak. You can't beat it, and foreign-farmed salmon doesn't compare.

For people in the Lower 48, you need to demand from your supermarkets -- Alaska wild salmon.

The more the stores hear from you, the more they will begin supplying it to you, instead of offering you foreign-farmed salmon.

If it says Canadian or Atlantic salmon it is "foreign-farmed."

It is going to have to start from the fisherman to the tender to the processor, to bring up the quality of our fish. We already have the quality but we need to bring it up more, if we stand a chance to compete against farmed salmon.

There are enough educated and intelligent people in this industry to make a change to deliver a quality product.

What does our future look like for us, I don't know. But, if we lose at least I want to go out with a fight.

Do what you can, write your legislators, governor and congressmen to support the Alaskan Commercial Salmon Industry. Prayer won't hurt either.

We are an American industry being over taken by the foreign market. If we die out it is going to hurt the state of Alaska and many other businesses in the Lower 48. This is a god-given product, raised in its natural environment.

It can't get any better than that.

Now is the time to act, so let's go.

Mary Edminster

F/V Restless

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