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Alaskan Salmon to Continue to be MSC Certified

Sustainability +1 more

ALASKA, US - The Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association (PSVOA) has said that it will re-enter the Alaska salmon fishery into assessment toward Marine Stewardship Council certification.

In January, Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation said that it felt it was time to redirect their resources toward a broader marketing message.

Eight processors, which collectively handle more than 70 per cent of the state harvest, told the foundation they would pull out of the programme because of frustration with the rising complexity of the programme and concerns that some Alaska salmon might end up certified as sustainable, while other harvests might not.

Their decision will take effect in October 2012.

At the time, Kerry Coughlin, MSC Americas Regional Director, said: We regret that the Alaska salmon fishery is being withdrawn from the assessment underway for a potential third certification period. While there are other sources of MSC-certified salmon, Alaska was an early and important leader in the MSC programme. We hope that this fishery will re-enter assessment, maintain the market advantage of MSC certification and continue to showcase their sustainability."

The PSVOA has said that since Foundation's announcement in January it has been contacted by a number of processors, who are seeking to maintain MSC certification of the Alaska salmon fishery.

Bob Kehoe, the associations executive director said that fishermen are receiving higher prices for their catch and proof of sustainability has been a contributing factor.

Ms Coughlin said this week that the Marine Stewardship Council welcomes continuing partnership with Alaska salmon fishermen and processing companies and appreciates the willingness of the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association to serve as the client organisation for the whole of the Alaska fishery.

The Alaska salmon fishery has been a long-standing model of sustainable fishery management, and has been part of the MSC programme since 2000. Over the last 12 years buyers in seafood markets around the world increasingly have made commitments to adopt the MSC standard as part of their seafood sourcing policies. Our many commercial partners who appreciate providing MSC certified Alaska salmon to their customers will be pleased at this decision to re-activate the assessment with the intention of continuing MSC certification of the Alaska salmon fishery.

Under the MSC programme, a fishery is formally recognised as entering assessment when an accredited, independent, third-party certifier files documents with the MSC. We look forward to officially announcing the re-activated re-assessment of Alaska salmon when those documents are received, which is anticipated in the next few days.