October 05, 2004
The certification, which became official on September 30 despite the opposition of several environmental interest groups, rewards environmentally responsible fishery management and practices by allowing certified products to bear the MSC eco-label. The label is recognized around the world by consumers interested in choosing healthy, environmentally friendly products.
"I am pleased to see that the MSC certification for the largest U.S. fishery was finalized without further delay," Murkowski said. "I support MSC's analytical process, which is based upon sound science and correctly concluded that the BSAI pollock fishery meets environmental standards for sustainable and well-managed fisheries. I am hopeful that certification for the pollock fishery in the Gulf of Alaska will soon follow."
Alaska's BSAI pollock fishery is one of only 11 fisheries certified by the MSC standard. Certification comes after an extensive four-year review and audit conducted by an independent panel of world renowned marine scientists and fishery management experts. They review the fishery's management system; the effects of the fishery on the ecosystem; and the status of Alaska's pollock resource. The panel concluded that Alaska's pollock stocks are healthy and abundant, and the commercial fishery is sustainable.
"This certification proves that Alaska's fisheries are among the best managed in the world," said Alaska Department of Fish and Game Commissioner Kevin C. Duffy. "ADF&G has worked hand-in-hand with the North Pacific Fisheries Management Council to manage these fisheries with long-term sustainability in mind. The pollock fisheries off Alaska are a great example of how commercial fishing can be managed with conservation as a high priority."
The certification of Alaska's
salmon fishery a few years ago by the MSC has resulted in new
opportunities and markets for Alaskan salmon. State officials
plan to take advantage of this newest certification to actively
promote Alaska's BSAI pollock around the world.
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