New Marketing Association Hawks the Taste of Sole

An Alaska yellowfin sole. Photo: Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.

Major producers of Alaska flatfish announced in late January that they’ve formed the Wild Alaska Sole Association (WASA), with the intent of convincing seafood lovers in domestic and international markets that for a delicious center of the plate protein “you gotta have sole.”

“Our fish has significant advantages over inferior farmed whitefish options,” Jim Johnson of Glacier Fish Co. and North Star Fishing Co., LLC, and the newly installed president of WASA, said.

“It’s an abundant and conservatively managed fishery that can provide consistent, high-quality supply,” he remarked. “Best of all, it offers all of the benefits the U.S. consumer is looking for – great taste, a unique eating experience, tremendous nutritional benefits and certified sustainability.”

Seafood marketing expert Pat Shanahan of Seattle is serving as the association’s executive director.

WASA’s initial plans are to research and analyze the global flatfish market, conduct consumer research in U.S. markets and select European markets, then use the findings to develop a global brand for wild Alaska sole, with consumer campaigns and product promotions.

WASA members include Fishermen’s Finest, North Star Fishing, Ocean Peace, O’Hara Corp. and U.S. Seafoods, with Glacier Fish Company and American Seafoods as associate members.

Also named as officers of WASA along were Frank O’Hara III of O’Hara Corp. as vice president, Annika Saltman of Fishermen’s Finest as secretary and Pat Tracey of Ocean Peace as treasurer.

“Our initial research shows that those consumers who are familiar with wild Alaska sole have a very positive impression about the fish,” Johnson said. “We are committed to making sure that more consumers learn about our fish, its great taste, and sustainability, so Wild Alaska Sole will be top of mind when deciding what to eat for dinner.”