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Pink salmon sales multiply in Korean market


May 27, 2005

Alaska's fishing industry is making substantial progress in entering the Korean market, according to the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Although details of the business transactions are confidential, at least three Alaskan processor-marketers have made new pink salmon sales to four buyers in Korea for 2005. Their product lines include skinless, boneless fillets and cans. Additionally, sales for a test-market of salmon burgers are being sold to a Korean fast-food chain.

At the start of his administration, Governor Frank Murkowski directed the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development along with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and the Division of Trade and Market Development to bolster their overall fish marketing efforts worldwide. Working in harmony, their respective marketing arms have focused on highlighting the health benefits and delicious flavor of Alaska seafood to new markets around the world. These efforts are paying off in many seafood sectors. Exports of Alaska's fish in 2004 went directly to 44 countries-up from 34 countries in 2002. In 2004, fish exports increased 21 percent, $289 million more than the previous year for a total of nearly $1.7 billion.

Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development Commissioner Edgar Blatchford said he is happy to see pink salmon marketing efforts pay off in Korean. "King salmon has been a favorite in Korea for years. Last year, for the first time, an Alaska processor sold 500 metric tons of pink salmon fillets to a distributor in Korea" said Blatchford. "This year we're seeing 4 times the amount of fillets (2,000 metric tons) being sold to Korea and added sales of $3 million cans of pink salmon."

Sun Kim, Project Manager for the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development said the Koreans have reported a positive response from consumers there. "Canned salmon is being sold in super stores, not traditional grocery stores," said Kim. "It's being sold as a premier product to health conscious customers."

Commissioner Blatchford said proper marketing of Alaska's seafood lets the world know about products that may have been undervalued previously. "Alaska's king salmon, halibut and king crab have been world-wide favorites for years," said Blatchford. "Allowing the world, through marketing efforts, to sample the more than 100 varieties of seafood products found in Alaska waters, opens doors to make room for additional sales in new and existing markets."



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