October 15, 2013
While the bulk of the Alaska salmon fishery has earned Marine Stewardship Council certification, the majority of Alaska salmon processors will not be selling MSC certified salmon, says the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute.
"It's important that buyers understand and not be confused by the recent Alaska salmon MSC certification announcement," said Michael Cerne, executive director of ASMI, in a statement issued on Oct. 14.
"The Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association is the MSC client for Alaska salmon, but this means that even though a portion of the fishery is MSC certified, only about 20 percent of the salmon harvest could be called out as MSC certified. The announcement of MSC certification of Alaska salmon should not be interpreted as a change in the decision by the dozens of companies to no longer sell and support MSC Alaska salmon."
According to Cerne, the discussion of the merits of one certification program over another is irrelevant to the sustainability of a fishery with a proven track record of over 50 years of responsible management.
The precautionary approach to salmon management in Alaska was written into the state constitution, he said.