Written by Jen Finn
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.
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ANCHORAGE, AK – Coastal Villages Region Fund has reached an agreement with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game to help fund its fisheries research activities in Western Alaska this summer. The fund will provide up to $92,152 to support the operation of weirs on the Goodnews Bay and Kanektok rivers.
The U.S. Commerce Department announced the appointment of 30 new and returning members to the eight regional fishery management councils that partner with NMFS to manage ocean fish stocks. The new and reappointed council members begin their three-year terms on Aug. 11.
Each year, the Secretary of Commerce appoints approximately one-third of the total 72 appointed members to the eight regional councils. The secretary selects members from nominations submitted by the governors of fishing states, territories and tribal governments.