The large numbers of salmon sharks observed in the mid-1990s in Prince William Sound gave rise to the idea of a commercial harvest. In 1996, a Cordova processor identified a market for salmon shark flesh. Using purse seine gear, fishermen were reported to have caught as many as 50 sharks in one set. However, the Alaska Board of Fish closed the commercial fishery and implemented strict regulations in the state sport fishery in 1997 due to a lack of biological information on salmon sharks.
Sport fishery charter companies have begun to specialize in salmon shark angling. Anglers looking for a new challenge have found it, with the salmon shark’s aggressive nature, large size, and fighting ability. Most charters operate out of Seward, Valdez, Cordova and Kodiak. Shark flesh has a high urea content, so bleeding and gutting must take place immediately. Properly processed salmon shark flesh is said to taste like swordfish, and freezes well.
The flesh is used for human consumption, where it is processed into various fish products. In Japan, the hearts are consumed as sashimi. Its oil, skin (for leather), and fins (shark fin soup) are utilized also.