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That's a nice Christmas gift. Ketchikan waits anxiously each year about this time, just like the kids do for Christmas morning, to discover what the next cruise ship schedule looks like.

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With a drop in oil prices limiting revenue for state capital and operating budgets, Alaskans will have to think frugally for the time being.

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A.J. Dennis, 77, of Silver Creek, Washington, died Dec. 18, 2014, after a long illness.
Phillip Dean Nehl, 59, died Dec. 10, 2014, in Ketchikan after a long battle with heart failure.
2/27/2014
Distribute pinks

What a terrific problem to have: Too much fish.

The record pink salmon harvest in 2013 glutted the market.

Alaska fishing fleets caught 219 million pink salmon last year, and, according to Ocean Beauty Seafoods, it is being sold. The supply exists, and the demand is being met.

As long as sales continue, the large inventory won't be worrisome. Processors aren't terribly concerned. If they aren't, then neither should Alaska be.

The Department of Agriculture is expected to buy $20 million of canned pink salmon for nationwide distribution for food assistance. That's more than it's bought in previous years.

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and others promoting the state's wild salmon have been successful. Alaska's congressional delegation is among them. Alaskans, and the tourism industry, have done their part in selling the idea of the superiority and health benefits of wild salmon.

More salmon is showing up in frozen dinners at supermarkets — even in Alaska. As the word about wild salmon, particularly the wild salmon in the clean waters of Alaska, spreads throughout the nation and world, sales will increase.

In addition to federal food assistance outlets, the salmon should be directed toward schools, retirement homes, hospitals and any number of other institutions where health is an immediate concern.

The solution to the glut is wide and far distribution. It will happen because Americans like to eat, and they like to eat well. A well balanced meal includes Alaska salmon.