Over eight tonnes of fresh Copper River salmon arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at 6.30am on Friday 17 May marking the start of the salmon season.
The fish arrived on an Alaska Airlines flight, and by noon Alaska Air Cargo had delivered over 22 tonnes of Copper River salmon to the Lower 48 with more scheduled on later flights.
Jason Berry, managing director of Alaska Air Cargo says: “Supporting the Alaska seafood industry has been a core part of the airline’s history. We applaud the state of Alaska and our seafood partners for setting the standard for sustainable fishing practices, which allows salmon lovers to enjoy some of the best fish in the world.”
Copper River salmon shipped with Alaska Air Cargo arrives to supermarkets and restaurants across the nation thanks to cold chain processes, an annual training programme required of all airline employees handling perishables.
Seafood processors and Alaska Airlines follow cold-chain standards to provide a temperature-controlled environment for proper food handling.
Christa Hoover, executive director of Copper River Marketing Association says: “This is a really exciting season in Cordova, Alaska. There is always a sense of optimism as fishermen launch their boats and put on their freshly hung nets. Everyone has a smile on their face and an extra bit of a bounce in their step.”
Hoover says the forecast for Copper River king salmon is up this year with around 55,000 expected to return to the Copper River this season, joined by close to 1.5 million sockeye salmon.
Every year Alaska Air Cargo partners with the state of Alaska’s three largest seafood processors, Trident Seafood, Ocean Beauty Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods to bring fish to Seattle and Anchorage where it will be delivered to restaurants and shops across the Pacific Northwest and the country.