USDA to buy up to $13M in canned pink salmon

Fishing fleets caught 219 million pink salmon last year. (Photo courtesy NOAA fisheries)

(Photo courtesy NOAA fisheries)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has agreed to buy up to $13 million in canned pink salmon to ease a glut that has weighed down prices for Alaska fishermen.

In July, Gov. Sean Parnell asked USDA to buy $37 million worth of canned salmon under a federal law that allows for buying surplus food from farmers and donating it to food banks or other programs.

This came on the heels of the agency earlier in the year purchasing $20 million worth of canned salmon.

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski said she wasn’t focused on a specific dollar amount as much as wanting the government to consider using existing funds to take excess salmon off warehouse shelves and provide a nutritious food to Americans in need.

Murkowski announced USDA’s plans on Wednesday.