Copper River salmon descend on Seattle via Alaska Airlines

It’s become an annual rite of passage for the U.S. Northwest – the arrival of fresh salmon in Seattle. Only this salmon didn’t swim upstream, it flew in.CopperSalmon

This morning more than 9 tonnes of Copper River salmon landed in Seattle on an Alaska Airlines flight with much fanfare, launching the start of what is expected to be a 45-tonne season.

Each year the airline works with three of the region’s largest seafood processors – Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Copper River Seafoods – to “deliver the first catch of the coveted wild Copper River salmon from the state of Alaska to Seattle and on to points across the country.” All of this first load of fish is delivered “within 24 hours of being caught,” said Jason Berry, Alaska Air Cargo managing director.

By the end of the day, an additional three flights, carrying up to 3 tonnes of the prized salmon, will pass through Seattle for redistribution throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Alaska Airlines' prized "Salmon-thirty-Salmon".

Alaska Airlines’ prized “Salmon-thirty-Salmon” 737.

“As the salmon season gets into full swing, our team is standing by to transport fresh Alaska salmon to restaurants and consumers throughout the U.S.,” added Berry.

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Charles Kauffman

Charles Kauffman is the Senior Editor of Air Cargo World Magazine, and the publication's sister newsletter, Cargo Facts. Charles holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington, and an MA in International Relations from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He speaks Mandarin and Spanish.