National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and


The Alaska Department of Fish & Game declared recently that pristine Alaska salmon does not need external certification of sustainability (or the price tag that comes with it).

Guess who disagrees? If you said the Marine Stewardship Council, you get a pat on the back (or an aspirin if you have the same headache I do).

Alaskans have worked tirelessly to promote wild salmon, to sustain its future and to improve its market quality.

Why do they need to continue to pay the MSC to check off their boxes and put a stamp on some of the best salmon in the world? Did I mention that the certification group gets its hand in to run annual audits and full recertification every five years?

What if someone proposed that in an effort to ensure carbon emissions cuts, you had to get your car approved with a state inspection sticker, but then you had to run it over to the Nature Conservancy for a follow-up inspection that will also come out of your pocket?

Wouldn't you ask why the state inspection is not good enough?

Well, that's what many representatives of Alaska's salmon industry have declared to the MSC. Their product is gold, with or without a big green stamp on it.

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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