The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is looking to buy more Alaska canned pink and sockeye salmon as well as Alaska pollock for fish sticks and frozen fillets.

The new government bids are for 15,522 pounds of frozen Alaska pollock fillets and fish sticks, 173,599 cases of canned sockeye salmon and just over 1.1 million cases of canned pink salmon.

The programs distribute USDA food and other nutrition assistance to children, low-income families, emergency feeding programs, Indian reservations, and the elderly.

Without money coming in, Alaska seafood processors in 2024 continue to struggle under bloated balance sheets from 2023 and face high pack loan interest rates. They have turned to the USDA over the past year in a flurry of requests for the USDA to stabilize the US seafood market, blaming Russia as well as food inflation.

"These purchases are badly needed to help stabilize market conditions and decrease inventories prior to the 2024 season," Alaska lawmakers wrote in the letter to the agency in January. "Timing is critical as seafood processors will soon be attempting to obtain financing for the 2024 pack."

The lawmakers are largely referring to the record salmon harvest during the 2022 Bristol Bay sockeye salmon fishing season in Alaska that drove prices to extreme lows. The fallout from this is still affecting processors as they prepare for the 2024 summer salmon fishing season.

Alaska's pink salmon fishermen were also impacted by a flood of pink salmon both in Alaska and Russia that hampered the domestic market.

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