Alaska flatfish receives new attention after MSC approval –

Alaska flatfish receives new attention after MSC approval Published:  24 June, 2010

A MONTH after being awarded an international environmental certification, Alaska flatfish species are receiving new attention from seafood buyers and restaurateurs.

After a three-year comprehensive evaluation, the fisheries earned Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification. Their products are now eligible to bear the MSC eco-label recognizing that the seafood is harvested from a sustainable and well-managed fishery.

John Gauvin, fisheries science projects director for the Alaska Seafood Cooperative  brought the fisheries forward for certification as the Best Use Coalition. he said: “The Alaska Seafood Cooperative recognised what a strong story there was to tell about stewardship and sustainability in the management of Alaska’s flatfish fisheries. MSC certification allows us to better distinguish our products from others while also positioning us as a model for flatfish fishery management around the world,”

To celebrate the certification, Seattle’s the celebrated Anthony’s Homeport Restaurant prepared appetizers and entrees using two of the certified species, yellowfin sole and rock sole, for events at the restaurant.

Anthony’s Executive Chef Pat Donahue noted, “It is always fun to experiment with new seafood items. The yellowfin and rock sole were no exception.” Chef Donahue prepared steamed yellowfin sole in lettuce cups, a crispy parmesan rock sole, a pan seared yellowfin sole, and rock sole strips and chips.

Celebrity chef and award winning restaurateur Sam Choy, who just wrapped up a trip to Alaska, said certification should spell new markets for the fishery. “It’s exciting to have newly certified sustainable seafood products for the culinary community to consider adding to the menu. With companies moving toward sustainable sourcing, more people ordering fish for its health benefits and with an economy which has us all exploring affordable seafood options, these Alaska flatfish species are perfectly positioned to be a hit with seafood buyers and restaurateurs.”