Gulf of Alaska Pollock: Conclusion of Objections Process – Fishupdate.com

Gulf of Alaska Pollock: Conclusion of Objections Process Published:  12 April, 2005

THE Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) yesterday announced the conclusion of the objections process relating to the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) pollock fishery and the initiative to seek its certification against MSC’s environmental standard for sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

A panel of independent experts chaired by a member of the MSC’s Board of Trustees addressed two issues raised by objectors relating to the Determination made by the California-based independent certification body SCS.

Following extensive review of the relevant objections, and a remand for clarification on one point in the Determination, the panel concluded that the fishery may rightly be certified. This means that seafood products from the GOA pollock fishery may in future bear the MSC eco-label. Certification is expected once the certification client, the At-Sea Processors Association (APA), submits an action plan that is acceptable to SCS; the action plan will set out how they will address any conditions of the fishery certificate.

Rupert Howes, Chief Executive of the MSC, commented: “The MSC welcomes the conclusion of what has been a substantial and transparent process that has opened this fishery to extensive public scrutiny. A team of world-class scientists has brought its independence and experience to this investigation and found that this fishery meets the standard set by the MSC’s Principles and Criteria for Sustainable Fishing. The result demonstrates the robust, objective and science-based procedures that are the foundations of the MSC programme.“

“We are extremely pleased that the entire US Alaska pollock fishery is now proven to be responsibly and sustainably managed in line with the MSC standard. Alaska pollock producers are excited to be bringing certified fish to environmentally conscious consumers in our markets in the UK, the European Union, Asia and the US,” said Kevin Duffy, Executive Director of APA.

“WWF applauds the fishery for participating in the MSC process. This certification demonstrates that the Alaska Pollock fishery is making a serious commitment to protect Alaska’s ocean environment,” said Scott Burns, Director of WWF’s Marine Conservation Program in Washington D.C.

“While we have always believed that our fisheries are well managed it is important to have the independent validation. This certification of GOA pollock will open the doors for Alaska’s fishermen and coastal communities to hopefully realize the economic and market benefits of MSC certification,” said Julie Bonney, Executive Director of Alaska Groundfish Data Bank.

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