Alaska Fish & Game Reviews Status as MSC Client
In a July 22 letter to Marine Stewardship Council CEO Rupert Howes, Alaska Fish & Game Commissioner Denby Lloyd said his agency is reviewing its status as an MSC client for the state's salmon fishery.
The ADF&G, said Lloyd, is in a unique position - it's the only fishery management agency serving as an MSC client and therefore does not benefit from the market penetration MSC-labeled seafood products, such as Alaska salmon, enjoy.
Alaska's salmon fishery was initially certified as well managed and sustainable under the MSC program in September 2000, and the recertification process began in February 2005.
The agency is exploring the possibility of getting the industry to replace it as the MSC client for Alaska's salmon fishery, says Lloyd.
In his letter, Lloyd posed several questions to Howes, including how the agency would go about being replaced as an MSC client.
"I believe our relationship with the MSC has been beneficial to Alaska's fishing industry in a number of ways. Certification, recertification and annual auditing have certainly been interesting exercises," says Lloyd. "But in order to evaluate the best course of action for the ADF&G and Alaska's salmon industry, we'd appreciate your serious considerations of the questions we've posed."
The Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska pollock fisheries are MSC-certified, but the London-based nonprofit's client is the At-Sea Processors Association. The North Pacific halibut and sablefish fisheries are also MSC certified, but the client is the Fishing Vessels Owners' Association.