Conservation groups: MSC is 'whitewashing' us


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
November 13, 2013

A collection of conservation groups based in North America are accusing the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) of "whitewashing" their objections to its recertification of the Alaska salmon fisheries announced earlier this week.

On 12 November, the MSC published its fisheries update, which included an announcement that the period for filing objections to the recertification had expired, and the fishery would be recertified.

Four groups — Wild Fish Conservancy of Seattle, Wash., and Watershed Watch Salmon Society, SkeenaWild Conservation Trust, and Raincoast Conservation Foundation of British Columbia — all issued a joint objection prior to the period's expiration, and called on an independent adjudicator to review the recertification. The groups argued that the fishery was not fit for recertification, in part because of its impact on endangered Chinook salmon.

After a review, the adjudicator dismissed the objection, but the groups are protesting again because the MSC's 12 November announcement simply stated that "No objections were received." The groups, according to a joint statement, took exception to the MSC's announcement.

"While the objection was dismissed by the adjudicator retained by MSC to evaluate the objection, the groups say that MSC appears to be whitewashing their process by claiming that 'no objections were received,'" the groups said in their statement.

The groups also noted that the Prince William Sound fishery was not recertified, but the MSC announcement does not mention this fact.

"The groups are asking the Marine Stewardship Council to immediately correct the misleading statement and issue an apology to any stakeholders and consumers who have been misled by the error and omission," the groups said.

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