The harvest season of the nation’s largest fishery, Alaska Pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), opened in Alaska. The 2011 Alaska Pollock Total Allowable Catch (TAC) for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Island and Gulf of Alaska is 1.37 million metric tons, an increase from last year’s TAC of 0.89 million metric tons. This increase is due to the significant growth in the Alaska Pollock biomass in the Bering Sea/Aleutian Island and Gulf of Alaska from 5.4 million metric tons in 2010 to near double that, 10.5 million metric tons, for 2011. Alaska Pollock accounts for approximately 30% of the nation’s wild seafood landings by weight.
The delicate, mild whitefish is a popular ingredient in a variety of seafood dishes and consumer products, including breaded fish sticks, fish sandwiches and Alaska Surimi Seafood products. Alaska Pollock is delicious poached, baked, broiled, steamed, sauteed or deep-fried. The popular whitefish is high in protein and long-chain omega-3s and low in fat. A recent University of Alaska study showed it to be the most easily digestible protein followed by Alaska salmon when compared to beef, pork and chicken. Visit www.wildalaskaflavor.com and www.alaskaseafood.org for more recipes and nutrition information.