Last week a number of worldwide representatives from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, or ASMI, were in Kodiak to discuss how to better market the state’s bounty around the globe. Joe Jacobson is the international program director for ASMI.
“Every year, twice a year, we get together with all of our overseas reps, and all of the ASMI international program staff for an annual meeting. And we try to do at least one of those meetings in an Alaskan community. So this year we’re here to meet among staff and also have our international marketing committee meeting. Which is generally comprised of, you know, the lead international sales staff of the major processors and some smaller processors and fishermen who are from around Alaska and then also in the Washington area.”
ASMI has a presence in about 21 countries around the world, but Jacobson said a greater demand in the U.S. domestic market has really boosted the price of certain Alaska seafood.
“One thing that the Japanese can attest to is a lot of the products that they initially pretty much bought all of – sockeye salmon, black cod – have really found a home in the U.S. domestic market and elsewhere. And I think right now the strength that you’re seeing in sockeye prices is coming from the U.S. domestic market where a lot of it is going in fillet form. And U .S. consumers now really, and even in Germany there’s a lot of people who really like sockeye, but the U.S. domestic market is really driving the high prices there. Because instead of going out as a headed and gutted fish, frozen fish, and then being processed somewhere else, it’s being filleted in Alaska and then going back to the U.S.”
ASMI’s representatives from Brazil, Europe and Russia spoke on KMXT’s Talk of the Rock last week about the demand for Alaska seafood in their respective countries. This week the show will feature representatives from the Asian markets of China and Japan, as well as the United Kingdom and France. Tune in to KMXT’s Talk of the Rock today at 12:30 p.m. for round two with ASMI’s international marketeers.