(CBS Seattle/AP) —  The first planeload of Copper River salmon landed at Sea-Tac Airport Friday morning.

The journey began in Cordova, Alaska and some some of the salmon goes straight to the grills of  area chefs competing in the annual Copper River Cook-Off.

This year Master Sgt. Robert Schulman, a 31-year Air Force Reserve chef from the 446th Airlift Wing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord is joining the competition along with chefs from WildFin American Grill, Anthony’s and Seastar.

This is the 30th anniversary of the first shipment of fresh Copper River salmon to arrive in Seattle. According to copperrivesalmon.org, prior to 1983, the salmon was canned or frozen for shipment.

The plane carried 24,600 pounds of fish. Alaska Airlines say it will ship more than 2 million pounds of salmon this year to 95 cities. Three more flights are scheduled today. Copper River Salmon is considered by some to be the best salmon in the world for its rich flavor and high oil content.

We recommend: Best Copper River Salmon Recipes.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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