National Fisherman

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Nearly 40 Alaska fishermen protested Wednesday outside an Anchorage Wal-Mart store, upset with a decision by the company about how it buys seafood.

Holding signs like "Buy American? Start with Alaska Salmon" and "Walmart should be WILD about sustainable ALASKA SALMON," the protesters received honks from passing motorists in south Anchorage.

The protest came a day before Alaska state and seafood industry officials were to meet with executives of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., at the company's headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

In 2011, the world's largest retailer decided to only buy seafood that was certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, a London-based organization; fish in a fishery improvement program; or any equivalent certification program, of which there currently are none, said Chris Schraeder, a Wal-Mart spokesman.

A number of large Alaska processors have dropped the MSC program because of costs and burdensome paperwork, said Greg Gabriel, executive director of the Northwest and Alaska Seiners Association of Kenai, Alaska.

"We would like Wal-Mart to recognize that there are other certifications out there, and the state of Alaska is a leader in sustainability, always has been, always will be," Gabriel said.

Read the full story at the Huffington Post>>

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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