An Independent Adjudicator (IA) has dismissed an objection to the proposed certification of the Alaska salmon fishery to the Marine Stewardship Council standard. Under the MSC objections procedure, the objectors now have an option to submit a new or amended notice within five working days, by 12 November.
The objection procedure does not permit the MSC to release details of any objection that is either provisionally or finally dismissed.
On 30 October, Wild Fish Conservancy and Watershed Watch Salmon Society, Skeena Wild Conservation Trust and Raincoast Conservation Foundation filed an objection claiming that Alaskan fishermen intercept too many salmon from endangered populations as the fish migrate through Alaskan waters on their way to spawning grounds in British Columbia and the continental U.S.
The official objection focused on the Southeast Alaska “unit of certification” where the groups would like the MSC to apply conservation conditions that would address the overfishing of wild Chinook, sockeye, and chum salmon, and require fishermen to report the numbers of steelhead trout that they take as by-catch and keep or discard.
“The Alaskans are good at not overfishing their own wild salmon runs”, said Kurt Beardslee of the Wild Fish Conservancy, “and we’d just like to see them extend the same conservation ethic to some of these salmon runs in BC, Washington, and Oregon that are in serious trouble.”
Thirteen out of 14 areas of Alaska’s salmon fishery were for recertification in early October. The assessment team said it would take additional time to conduct the assessment of the Prince William Sound fishery.