National Fisherman

Copper River Seafoods is planning to withdraw support for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) from 2014 unless it certifies all of Alaska's salmon fisheries.

In 1996, Scott Blake, a fourth generation commercial fisherman, partnered with three Cordova, Alaska fishermen to establish Copper River Seafoods. The primary driver was to protect the fishermen of Alaska by ensuring the opportunities they had would be available for the next generations of Alaskan fishermen.

Today, Copper River Seafoods processes and sells seafood from nearly every region of Alaska and is one of the largest Alaskan-owned seafood processing companies in the state.

Over the years, there have been many external market threats to the sustainability of the company, one of the most significant being the issue of sustainability certification.

Sustainability certification has helped to raise consumer awareness for the fisheries improvements that are being made globally. However, it has also caused issues for model fisheries like Alaska by preventing market access for companies that choose to support state and federal fisheries management rather than paying to participate in an approved certification scheme.

Alaska's fisheries were among the first to be Marine Stewardship Council certified because Alaska has always been widely regarded as the model for sustainability. Alaska's fisheries are healthy, not because of certification, but rather because since 1959, the Alaska Constitution has mandated sustainability, putting sound science and enforcement before commercial interests.

Copper River Seafoods has supported both the MSC and the FAO-Based RFM models at the request of customers whose corporate sustainability policies required third-party assurance that Alaska's fisheries were responsibly managed. Supporting both models and advocating for choice has always been important to Copper River Seafoods so no single certification would have control in the marketplace.

Read the full story at the Fish Site>>

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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