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Industry Defends Pull Back From MSC

19 January 2012

US - Earlier this week, eight Alaskan salmon processors announced their decision to phase out their financial support for the Marine Stewardship Council salmon certification programme, saying that they feel it is time to redirect their resources toward a broader marketing message.

Alaska General Seafoods, E and E Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Kwik’Pak Fisheries, North Pacific Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Peter Pan Seafoods, Seafood Producers COOP and Trident Seafoods, who comprise 75 per cent of the salmon harvest, announced their decision to withdraw from the MSC scheme, but will maintain Alaska salmon MSC certification until the current certificate expires on October 29, 2012.

In a statement released earlier this week, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) said that all Alaska salmon during the 2012 fishing season will remain eligible to carry the MSC logo and be sold as certified as long as the participating entities maintain valid MSC Chain of Custody certification.

Alaska officials note that the MSC certification did not make Alaska salmon sustainable. In fact, Alaska is not new to sustainability – all seafood from Alaska is sustainable, regardless of certification, thanks to Alaska’s long track record of both state and federal management.

“Alaska fisheries have been built on a firm foundation: a constitutional mandate for sustained yield, a commitment to scientific research, and to serve the Alaska people,” states Governor Sean Parnell. “Fishing and seafood processing employ more people than any other industry in Alaska, so whether certified or not, Alaskans know that being responsible stewards of this natural resource directly translates into sustainable Alaska communities.”

“The Alaska seafood industry understands that 3rd party certification is a market tool that provides assurance to retailers and foodservice operators that seafood is responsibly managed. For those customers who make the choice for certification, we are providing a 3rd party certification that equals or exceeds any method currently in the marketplace through the Alaska FAO-Based model,” says ASMI Executive Director Ray Riutta.

For more information about the Alaska FAO-Based model, click here.

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story by clicking here.

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