National Fisherman


Another step has been taken towards getting Alaska's commercial salmon fisheries recertified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council. Last fall the MSC sustainability certification of Alaska's commercial salmon fisheries was allowed to lapse after most of the major seafood processors that operate in the state pulled their support. However, the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association stepped up to serve as the client for getting the fisheries recertified.

On Tuesday MSC released a determination and final report that concludes that the fisheries should be re-certified in accordance with the MSC standard. The next step in the process is a 15-day waiting period to see if anybody objects to the determination. MSC issued a notice stressing that this is a determination and not a final certification result. That means that for the time being the fisheries are not yet certified as sustainable by MSC and the MSC label can't yet be used on products made with salmon from Alaska.

The salmon fisheries in Alaska were originally certified as sustainable by MSC in the year 2000 and the fisheries were recertified in 2007. The certification lapsed last year but the fisheries are well on their way to being recertified by MSC. The final determination report finds that 13 of the 14 units of certification within Alaska meet the MSC standards. However, the assessment team is suggesting that the Prince William Sound unit remain in assessment. That's pending further analysis of a multi-year study by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game relating to hatchery and wild salmon interactions and evidence relating to hatchery releases of salmon on the productivity of herring in Prince William Sound.

Read the full story at KDLG>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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