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Fish & Game Department Reviews Client Status

US - The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) met with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) earlier this week to inform them that they are currently reviewing their status as the client for the MSC-certified Alaskan salmon fishery and seeking advice as they explore finding a new industry client to take on this role.

A change of clients is permitted under the MSC programme and is not unprecedented. According to the Marine Stewardship Council it is also important to note that a change of client does not affect the value and credibility of a fisheries certificate as a globally recognised third-party verification of sustainability. The Alaskan salmon fishery was recertified in November 2007 and the current certificate is valid until 2012.

As ADF&G have stated, in taking this action they recognise that as a fisheries management agency and State Government Department, their position as a client for an MSC certification is unusual. More typically fisheries clients are groups of fishers and their associations or seafood industry and commercial entities, who are better placed to directly benefit from all the advantages third party certification can bring.

The MSC is in close contact with ADF&G and the Alaskan seafood industry and says that it looks forward to working with the department to facilitate the transition to a new client as smoothly as possible.

Ellen Hardy

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