Deal reached over MSC salmon certificate

By

Sean Murphy, SeafoodSource online editor

Published on
July 21, 2015

The Pacific Seafood Processors Association (PSPA) and the Alaska Salmon Processors Association (ASPA) have announced an agreement that will end the ongoing battle for Alaska salmon processors to get certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), starting next year.

In a joint statement, both groups announced that ASPA would be handing over its MSC salmon certificate for Alaska to PSPA. The groups also said the certificate will be available “to all interested Alaska salmon producing companies beginning in 2016.”

PSPA President Glenn Reed confirmed to SeafoodSource that this means those processors will still not be able to get MSC certification for their salmon products this year. When asked if there are still ongoing efforts to get certification for 2015 catches, Reed told SeafoodSource, “I think that effort stopped some time ago.”

Both Reed and ASPA Executive Director Rob Zuanich voiced their support for the agreement.

“We are pleased to continue to ensure that consumers everywhere have full access to wild Alaska salmon,” Reed said.

“The decision to transfer the MSC certificate to PSPA is in the best interests of the industry,” Zuanich said.

The agreement marks the end of a long dispute over access to the MSC certificate, with a collection of processors, who backed out of the MSC program in 2012, looking to get back onto it this year in anticipation of large salmon runs predicted for 2015. The processors were denied access by Zuanich and ASPA, leading to lengthy negotiations that deadlocked. Zuanich did not respond to requests for further comment beyond the statement.

MSC Chief Executive Rupert Howes said that he and the MSC welcomed the agreement.

“This industrywide and inclusive solution is the best possible outcome and will offer greater efficiencies and market opportunities for all parties engaged in this iconic fishery,” he said.

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