The Seattle Post Intelligencer had a human-interest story (or fish-interest story, if you will) a few weeks ago on the arrival of the first Copper River salmon of the season at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport:
It has become a yearly tradition to wake up before it gets light and head on down to Alaska Air Cargo at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) to welcome the season’s first Copper River Salmon. When that alarm goes off early in the morning, it is easy to question why would one get up so early to welcome some fish?
Well, this is not just any fish, but many say one of the best in the world. There was huge fanfare as airline employees, media and guests welcomed the VIP salmon to Seattle.
The paper has some nice photos of the event, which is a good reminder of how important airlines have been to the development of the modern seafood economy. Alaska Airlines clearly sees the arrival of the first salmon of the season as a great publicity opportunity—after all, how many people have seen a 55-pound fish? The airline pairs the arrival of the salmon with a "Copper Chef Cook-off" featuring local restaraunteurs, and judges the results. Seafood is big business for Alaska Airlines—almost 25m of the 115m tons of cargo the airline flew last year was Alaska seafood.