ASMI Reports to Legislature

On the first day of the new legislative session in Juneau,
the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute was there to testify before the Senate
Labor and Commerce Committee on ASMI’s progress over the past year.
With Alaska facing a $3.8 billion budget deficit due to a
drop in oil prices, a primary source of state revenue, cuts are expected across
the board. ASMI’s proposed budget for fiscal 2017 is $24.4 million, including
$16.5 from a voluntary tax on the seafood industry, $4.5 million from the
federal market access program and $3.4 million in state general funds.
Performance details provided to the committee talked about
the increased economic value of Alaska seafood resources, including the 0.5
percent increase in the first wholesale value of selected Alaska salmon
First wholesale value is the revenue received by processors
recorded when they sell processed seafood resources outside of their network.
The performance report also showed cumulative value of
Alaska salmon permits is up 182 percent since 2005, from $300 million to $846
million in 2014.
ASMI communications director Tyson Fick talked about recent
challenges – including the strong US dollar against weaker currencies, and the
Russian ban on US products – and accomplishments, including advances in
international marketing in Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and other

His presentation noted, for example, that ASMI’s 2015 pavilion
at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, which supports 20 Alaska companies, drew
on-site sales of $50 million, up 400 percent from 2014. Projected annual sales
from that expo are $650 million, up 20 percent from 2014. And a three month
online and in-store campaign in Germany with smoker Gottfried Friedrichs
quadrupled normal sales, reaching $2.3 million in three months. That promotion
featured 300,000 retail units of Alaska salmon with special packaging to “win a
trip to Alaska.” Prize winners accompanied a trade/media mission to Ketchikan,
Juneau and Kodiak in August.