Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Alaska King and Snow Crab Certified Sustainable; PSCOA Seeks MSC Salmon Certification

Global Trust, an independent firm based in Ireland, has certified Alaska king and snow crab as having met the responsible fisheries management standards for sustainable fisheries. The announcement this week came from the Alaska Seafood Marketing Association, which noted that Global trust has also certified as sustainable Alaska salmon, halibut, black cod/sablefish and Pollock fisheries.

“This certification (of crab) is a first as it is the only fishery management certification in the crab sector with formal and official ISO 65 accreditation,” said Ray Riutta, executive director of ASMI.

Representatives of the Alaska Crab Coalition and Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, who are attending the 2012 European Seafood Exposition in Brussels, Belgium, applauded the news that the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands crab fishery had met standards of the United Nations FAO-based certification model for responsible fisheries management.

The Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association in Seattle meanwhile announced that it would be the client of the Alaska salmon fishery for Marine Stewardship Council certification as a sustainable fishery. Wild Alaska salmon has MSC certification through the end of the 2012 season, but recertification through MSC was suspended in January after the Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation withdrew as the client for MSC recertification at the request of several major Alaska salmon processors.

PSVOA executive director Bob Kehoe said a number of salmon processors had contacted his organization because of their desire to maintain MSC certification for Alaska salmon.

Kehoe said that the MSC certification had reinforced 50 years of responsible salmon management by the state of Alaska and the unique qualities of wild Alaska salmon.

A number of firms now offer independent third party certification of the sustainability of individual fisheries, but the cost of certification is of concern to some processors, as is the idea that a foreign company would be critiquing their fishery in a state where the sustainability of fisheries is mandated by the state constitution.

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