Federal government buys pink salmon

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2002

JUNEAU (AP) -- The federal government will buy $1.3 million in Alaska pink salmon for its food assistance programs.

The purchase is part of a $16 million deal announced last August by the Department of Agriculture, said department spokeswoman Kathryn Mattingly.

The department will buy 75,000 cases of canned salmon for school lunch and other food assistance programs to complete that deal, Mattingly said.

Gov. Tony Knowles lauded the program for aiding fishermen struggling with low salmon prices. Alaska fishermen landed 84 million pink salmon this season, down from a record 146 million in 1999, Knowles said.

The Department of Agriculture has bought $71 million of Alaska salmon in seven years, Knowles officials said.

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