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

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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