Tag Archives: MSC

The Alaska Fisheries Report

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Coming up this week, Copper River is off to a lukewarm start, there’s a new client organization for MSC certification for Alaska salmon, and Petersburg has a shiny new harbor. All that and more, coming up on the Alaska Fisheries Report.  We had help from KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham, KYUK’s Ben Matheson in Bethel and KFSK’s Angela Denning in Petersburg.

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Begich: NGO Seafood Certification Too Subjective

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
The Responsible Seafood Certification and Labeling Act introduced this fall by Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski would prohibit any US federal agency from requiring the use of third party criteria or to certify seafood as sustainable. It came in response to a couple of federal agencies or contractors bypassing Alaska salmon because most of it now lacks endorsement by the Marine Stewardship Council.
Last week Senator Mark Begich said the MSC’s certification model was too subjective, and that if the federal government wants to ensure the seafood it sources is sustainable – and includes Alaska salmon – the procedure needs to change.
“So in order to solve that, you’ve got to take those NGO sustainable labels off – still keeping the goal of sustainable product, but not having some third-party group, through their own decision, what sustainability is. We determine sustainability by the standards we have set for our rebuilding of our salmon stock or whatever fish stock we may be talking about.”
Begich said that a Senate subcommittee he chairs is working on doing just that – defining sustainable in federal law. Continue reading

The Alaska Fisheries Report

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Coming up this week, the sportsfishing guide industry on the Kenai wants to ban commercial setnet fishing in Cook Inlet; we have a couple of items about the Marine Stewardship Council, and a new face, but a familiar name at the helm of Trident Seafoods. We had help this week from KCHU’s Tony Gorman in Valdez, and KDLG’s Mike Mason in Dillingham.

Seafood Certification Changes Promised After Hearing

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
Alaska Senator Mark Begich convened a hearing yesterday (Tuesday) before the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and the Coast Guard to explore ways to make sure current and future sustainability certifications benefit both the seafood industry and consumers. Begich and others have been at odds with organizations that rely solely on the Marine Stewardship Council’s sustainability endorsement in choosing seafood– especially since Alaska salmon no longer carries the MSC stamp of approval.
To start the meeting, Begich had Sam Rauch, the acting assistant administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service, and Darren Blue of the General Services Administration explain how their agencies formulate procurement procedures, which in at least one case this year prompted the National Parks Service to declare Alaska salmon unsuitable for serving in parks. Before describing how those decisions were made though, Blue had an announcement for the subcommittee. Continue reading

The Alaska Fisheries Report

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Coming up this week, Southeast fishermen get extra time to target coho this month, NOAA wants your feedback on Amendment 95, we’ve got a review of this summer’s Yukon fisheries, and the backlash over a cartoon, all on the Alaska Fisheries Report. We had stories from KYUK’s Angela Denning-Barnes in Bethel, and KFSK’s Joe Viechnicki in Petersburg.

Young Blasts MSC Certification Dominance as ‘Blackmail’

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Jay Barrett/KMXT
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?” Continue reading