November 06, 2007
This re-certification means Alaska salmon products can continue to carry the MSC's blue "ecolabel" in markets around the world, identifying them as coming from a fishery that is well-managed for sustainability and environmental responsibility.
"The MSC label helps Alaska's salmon harvesters and processors tell people around the world that Alaska takes good care of our marine and freshwater environments, while providing millions of wild fish to health conscious consumers," said David Bedford, Deputy Commissioner of ADF&G. "MSC has acknowledged that the re-certification process needs improvement, and that this assessment took months more than originally expected, but our sustainable commercial salmon fisheries will benefit from this endorsement." Bedford added, "ADF&G will work with MSC to help make the re-certification process better in the years to come."
The re-certification came after an extensive, science-based assessment by independent experts who, in close consultation with staff of ADF&G, reviewed technical information, management policies and stakeholder input, concluding that Alaska's commercial salmon fisheries are sustainable and well-managed.
Alaska's commercial salmon fishermen caught more than 200 million salmon last year - making it the fourth year in the last ten with a catch that high. Commercial fishing is among the largest employers in the state and a very important component of the overall state economy.
Alaska's salmon fishery was one of the first major commercial fisheries in the world to go through the MSC's program, and to be certified as meeting the MSC criteria for sustainably-managed fisheries. Widely recognized as well-managed, Alaska's salmon fishery was selected by the MSC eight years ago to test the organization's newly developed principles and criteria. After a final assessment and certification process, Alaska's salmon fishery was certified as meeting the MSC's sustainability standards in September, 2000.
The certification was granted initially for a five-year period that was extended twice to October, 2007. The re-certification announced today will give the salmon fishery the MSC imprimatur for the next five years.
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