Alaska seafood marketers and other state officials met a week ago with executives from Walmart corporation about its policy of not sourcing Alaska salmon because it does not have a Marine Stewardship Council endorsement. Alaska Congressman Don Young brought up certification schemes such as MSC’s, during a Natural Resources Committee hearing this week.
Young questioned fishing industry officials and scientists about the certifications. He asked Rod Moore, the executive director of the West Coast Seafood Processors Association about his experience with the MSC process.
“The decision by somebody to go with Marine Stewardship Council certification, I’ll say MSC for short, is really an economic one. For example, we find that to be able to sell seafood to Europe, you got to have MSC certification,” Moore said. “That is changing now, but for many years that was what had to be done. It was sort of, in some ways, an economic blackmail. You had to do it.”
Young agreed it was blackmail and asked Moore why the North Pacific Fishery Management Council couldn’t certify the fisheries.
“They’re saying our salmon is unsustainable. Now that’s Beeeee-elbows,” Young said. “That’s blackmail. Now why don’t we have our own?”
“Mr. Chairman, Mr. Young, there’s some of us in the industry who have been exploring with NMFS the concept of defining sustainability in the Magnusen-Stevens Act.” Moore said.
Moore went on to explain that if an American vessel was fishing legally in accordance with federal or State of Alaska fishery management plans, then by definition, they should be considered sustainable.
“I spend most of the summer in Bristol Bay and let me tell you, I’ve heard a lot about it this year,” said Ray Hilborn, professor of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. “What’s really happening is MSC has more or less established a monopoly in the European markets, as Rod said, and in fact through some NGOs in the U.S. And the Alaska salmon industry is basically trying to break that monopoly by getting other certification schemes accepted at the same standard as the MSC. It’s really a political battle – it’s not really a scientific or sustainability battle.”
Young suggested that as the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act continues, Congress should examine the issue of sustainability certifications and establish a uniform definition based on science.
Support Kodiak Public Radio
- Mexico City Earthquake Update: Desperate Attempts To Reach Girl Trapped By Rubble
- Trump Administration Plans New Sanctions On North Korea
- Top Stories: Tracking Hurricane Maria; The Reach Of Credit Bureaus
- Shellfish Surprise: Common 'Herbivore' Dinosaur Found To Snack On Crustaceans
- Hurricane Maria Leaves Puerto Rico Without Electricity, Hits Dominican Republic
- Brexit: Theresa May 'to offer 20bn euros transitional deal'
- Ryanair plans to make pilots change holidays
- Mexico earthquake: Race to save children under collapsed school
- Ian Brady: Moors Murderer 'would remove feeding tube'
- Hell in a bottle: I survived an acid attack
- Murdered Briton Emma Kelty 'shot and thrown in Amazon'
- Amid evolving Afghan mission, Alaska soldiers ready to deploy
- Alaska News Nightly: Wednesday, Sep. 20, 2017
- ‘Vote no’: Left takes to TV and sky to reach Murkowski
- Traveling Music 9-24-17
- Interior official says Trump administration has the ‘guts’ to allow oil exploration in ANWR
- Ask a Climatologist: The fall color formula is pretty simple
KMXT1-907-486-31818 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday
Top Posts & Pages