Alaska MSC salmon mediation fails
The first attempt at mediation between a group of Alaska salmon processors and the Alaska Salmon Processors Association (ASPA) over the association’s Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certificate has failed.
The MSC met with representatives from the processors and ASPA on Monday, 8 June to mediate the dispute over ASPA’s declining to allow the processors to join ASPA’s Alaska salmon sustainability certificate from the MSC.
“The parties were unable to reach a certificate sharing agreement through mediation,” Stefanie Moreland, director of government relations at Trident Seafoods, one of the processors, said in a statement following the mediation.
The incident is the latest in a years-long dispute that began in 2012 when the processors in question backed out of the sustainability certification program, citing a number of problems with the MSC. In April 2015 nine of them returned, applying for readmission. ASPA was responsible for accepting or rejecting the application, since it holds the certificate.
But Rob Zuanich, ASPA’s executive director, declined to allow them in, saying he doubted the processors’ commitment to the MSC. The processors, claiming they had met the official requirements for readmission, then appealed to the MSC, which declined to intervene directly but offered to mediate the dispute.
The list of applicants has grown. Moreland’s latest statement listed 19 other processors besides Trident: Alaska General Seafoods, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, Bering Pacific Seafoods, Big Creek Fisheries, Deep Sea Fisheries, Great Pacific Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Icy Straits, Kwikpak Fisheries, Leader Creek Fisheries, North Pacific Seafoods, Ocean Beauty, Pacific Seafood, Pavlov Fisheries, Peter Pan Seafoods, Snug Harbor Seafoods, Taku Fisheries, Triad Fisheries, and Yukon Gold Fisheries, “and potentially other eligible fishery participants.”
It is unclear whether there will be further mediation meetings. Moreland declined to comment beyond noting Monday’s mediation failed, saying only, “The details of the mediation proceedings are confidential.”