By SeafoodSource staff
Published on Wednesday, November 27 2013
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has revised its guidelines to affirm that it does not rely on third-party certification programs to ensure American seafood is produced sustainably.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, advocating for the Alaska seafood industry, has noted that the GSA's concession sustainability guidelines once mentioned listing on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch List or certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as the standard for sustainability.
Now, Murkowski said in a statement, the GSA guidelines merely say "Where seafood options are offered, provide those procured from responsibly managed, sustainable healthy fisheries."
Murkowski, who described third-party groups as "questionable" and "controversial," praised the move and insisted that Alaska can certify its own sustainability, without any third party verification.
"Alaska has a sustainability mandate written in our constitution and we take our fisheries management pretty seriously. At the federal level, NOAA is the agency with expertise on confirming fisheries sustainability, and it was disturbing to me that they were not involved in the development of the GSA or the Park Service guidelines," said Senator Murkowski. "The revised guidelines on sustainability are a simple-but-significant improvement, and I appreciate the GSA making this change."