Families engaged in subsistence fishing on Kanakanak Beach in Dillingham donated a portion of their catch to families in several Yukon River villages and Chignik who were unable to get their own fish this year due to low salmon returns in July 2023. Photo courtesy of ALFA

In an effort coordinated by SeaShare, over 60,000 pounds of frozen wild Alaska king and chum salmon donated by Kodiak and Bristol Bay processors was delivered in mid-August to Yukon River villages. Residents of these villages have been banned from fishing because of poor runs of returning fish. 

“This wasn’t a spur of the moment opportunity,” said Jim Harmon, executive director of SeaShare, a Seattle nonprofit which engages with the seafood industry and related entities to provide healthy seafood to food banks and feeding centers nationwide. He said it took a month to put together the donations of fish from Trident Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Silver Bay Seafoods, and North Pacific Seafoods, for the third annual donation of salmon from those Kodiak processors. 

Approximately 16,000 pounds of the whole and headed and gutted frozen fish came from Kodiak, plus another 45,000 pounds from Bristol Bay.  

SeaShare coordinated with the processors and recruited the U.S. Coast Guard to fly the fish north from Kodiak.  

“This is the third year they’ve flown to Fairbanks for us and the 10th year we’ve recruited them to fly fish for us overall, including seven years to Nome and Kotzebue,” Harmon said. 

In addition, Bristol Bay processors donated 45,000 pounds of salmon to villages on the Yukon.   


Air freight was donated by several partners, including Lynden, Everts and Northern Air Cargo, to get those fish to the Yukon Delta Fisheries Development Association in Emmonak. 

Overall, over 60,000 pounds of frozen salmon was donated at zero cost to the receiving villages, he said. 

“I want to thank the generous fishermen and processors who donated these fish. I also I want to thank Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak and crews for flying the Kodiak to Fairbanks mission again this year,” Harmon said.