At about $17 per pound, with or without free shipping, pink salmon prices are among the lowest for wild Alaskan salmon. Still, given that pink salmon accounts for about 2/3 of the total fish and about 1/2 of the total pounds for wild Alaskan salmon in odd-numbered years, it’s reasonable to wonder why it’s not the clear-cut winner for best wild salmon prices? There is no definitive answer to this question, but a lot of contributing factors.

For one thing, just because there are more pink salmon doesn’t necessarily make them easier to harvest. As you can read more about in our resource for wild-caught pink salmon, a different harvesting method is preferred for catching pink salmon.

You need more boats and bigger boats to catch 100+ million fish. You still have to get commercial fishing permits from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. You still have operating and maintenance costs for individual fishing vessels. You still have labor costs. Smaller fish mean more cleaning, cutting, and processing per pound of fillet or portions.

Moreover, the shipping costs are reduced by the size of the order, not the individual species. In other words, you’re almost surely going to find a better pink salmon prices by ordering 50lbs of sockeye or coho salmon than by ordering 10lbs of pink salmon. It’s the size of the shipping package, not the overall salmon supply, that matters for most home and business delivery orders.

Pink Salmon Prices: A Different Kind of Supply for a Different Kind of Demand

Company Min. Pink Salmon Order Price/lb Shipping* Go To
Marx Foods 12 lbs $17.25 FREE
Loki Fish Company 6 lbs $12.00 $68.69
Wild for Salmon 2 lbs SOLD OUT $65.00

The lower oil and fat content of pink salmon make this species slightly less desirable for nutritional value, but it also means the salmon will last longer. The fat and protein slowly break down and turn rancid spoiling the salmon. Whereas king salmon can go bad in as little as 3-4 months in the freezer, pink salmon is often fine for 6-9 months if not longer.

The species’ smaller size may mean more processing per pound and create a less impressive fillet on the plate. Seafood distributors can deploy commercial-scale processing. How it looks on the plate is also not an issue with smoked and canned salmon, salmon that’s cooked into a stew, or other recipes.

This helps explain why there aren’t more online delivery seafood companies out there actively marketing pink salmon to residential customers. Residential customers tend to look for higher grades of wild salmon and buy in smaller quantities. Why try to compete with sockeye, king, and coho salmon for residential customers when you can simply wait for a restaurant or commercial business to come along? In fact, often, these commercial customers place their orders for pink salmon far in advance, meaning a good portion of the annual pink salmon harvest

You can still get pink salmon delivered to your door and typically for a little better price than other types of wild salmon. However, the difference in pink salmon prices is not as big as you might think given the abundance of the supply. Thus, while there are reasons why someone might prefer to cook with pink salmon, most seafood lovers are up for spending a couple extra dollars per pound for what’s considered some of the best salmon in the world.