New Alaska salmon MSC certification appeals to Europe

Published on
May 2, 2017

All Prince William Sound, Alaska, salmon will soon be Marine Stewardship Council- certified, making it more attractive to European buyers.

The MSC is expected to officially certify the fishery – which primarily produces pink salmon – in mid-May.

While all of Alaska's salmon was certified by MSC in 2001, the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association, the previous MSC client for Alaska salmon, chose not to seek re-certification for the Prince William Sound salmon fishery in 2012. 

When the Pacific Seafood Processors Association took over as the MSC client group in 2015, the organization decided to work towards MSC certification of the PWS fishery, recognizing that hatchery and wild salmon interaction concerns needed to be addressed.

“Over the last year-and-a-half, the concerns [about hatchery and wild interaction] have been addressed,” Glenn Reed, president of PSPA, told SeafoodSource. 

The organization is in its sixth year of a 12-year study on genetic variations in hatchery and wild salmon interaction. 

“Results of the first six years don’t indicate problems with hatchery and wild salmon interaction,” Reed said.

MSC spokesman Jon Corsiglia told SeafoodSource in late April that the fishery’s approval was proceeding on schedule.

“This is a unit that remained ‘in assessment,’ while the rest of the Alaska salmon fisheries proceeded ahead and were recertified during their last round,” Corsiglia said. “So, what’s happened now is that the [MSC] Assessment Team has published their determination that PWS should be certified, but we are still in a 15-working-day period for objections.”

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