Efforts to reach an agreement between a processor group holding Marine Stewardship Council certification on wild Alaska salmon and other processors seeking to join the group has so far failed.
That announcement came from Stefanie Moreland of Trident Seafoods, who said the parties who met with a mediator in Seattle on June 8 were unable to reach a certificate sharing agreement through mediation. Details of the mediation process are confidential.
Geoff Bolan, US program director for MSC in Seattle, said MSC had made clear its position that all client groups are required to create a sharing mechanism that allows eligible parties to share in the client’s certificate. Bolan said it is MSC’s hope that the two sides can come to agreement. MSC had encouraged and offered to pay for the mediation process.
The unsolved issue has big economic implications for some processors whose European clients have advised that they are buying only salmon certified by MSC as being from sustainable fisheries.
The certification is held by the Alaska Seafood Processors Association, whose members include Silver Bay Seafoods, Copper River Seafoods, and others. ASPA has declined comment on its refusal to date to let the group of nine processors join in the certification. According to Moreland, SPA denied access to the certificate for the 2015 season on grounds that the applicants were not compatible with the purpose of the association.
The group includes Alaska General Seafoods, Alaska Glacier Seafoods, Bering Pacific Seafoods, Big Creek Fisheries, Deep Sea Fisheries, Great Pacific Seafoods, Icicle Seafoods, Icy Straits, Kwik’Pak Fisheries, Leader Creek Fisheries, North Pacific Seafoods, Ocean Beauty Seafoods, Pacific Seafood, Pavlov Fisheries, Peter Pan Seafoods, Snug Harbor Seafoods, Taku Fisheries, Triad Fisheries, Trident Seafoods and Yukon Gold Fisheries.
MSC’s chief executive, Rupert Howes, let it be known even before mediation efforts began that MSC’s intent is for maximum use of existing certificates by eligible companies and minimization of the number of overlapping certificates.
MSC had no immediate comment on failure of mediation efforts.