FAO-Based Certification Gains Support

Twenty-seven Alaska salmon processing companies, representing approximately 80% of the salmon caught in Alaska, have now affirmed their intent to withdraw support from MSC salmon certification and adopt FAO-based certification.

Earlier today a letter signed by top executive's at the 27 processors, was sent to editors of various media outlets. The statement, shown below, is intended to squelch rumors circulating in Germany and other European markets, that the processors would be continuing under the MSC program as a result of a vessel owners group signing on as the MSC client. In related news, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute Board of Directors voted last week to fund a $3 million campaign in major European markets to promote the sustainability of Alaskan seafood.

Dear Editor,

On behalf of 27 Alaska salmon processing companies representing approximately 80% of the salmon caught in Alaska we would like to reaffirm our intent to withdraw support from MSC salmon certification. Recent press reports about the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association (PSVOA) becoming the client for MSC salmon certification have incorrectly suggested that we would rejoin the program. Those reports are incorrect.

The announcement by PSVOA and the speculative statements that followed have created some confusion in the market place. We would like to clear up any misunderstanding. We have no intention of supporting MSC certification for salmon beyond the 2012 production. While we recognize that PSVOA has the right to become the client for MSC salmon, it should not be construed that we have changed our minds about this decision. We fully support the FAO-based Responsible Fisheries Management certification that has been developed for the industry by ASMI and the State of Alaska. This fully accredited program responds to requests from many of our customers to provide a reasonable alternative to MSC certification.

We believe the action to withdraw from the MSC salmon scheme is in the best interest of the Alaska Salmon industry, an industry in which we have invested heavily for the future of Alaska, our fishermen, their families and our companies.

Skip Winfree
10th & M Seafoods

Dan Nomura
Alaska General Seafoods

Jim Erickson
Alaska Glacier Seafood

Larry Cotter
APICDA (Bering Pacific)

Sandro Lane
Alaska Protein Recovery

Randy Crawford
Boreal Fisheries, Inc.

Larry Elliott
E.C. Phillips & Sons

Tab Goto
E&E Foods

Greg Favrato
Favco, Inc.

Roger Stiles
Great Pacific Seafood

George Adams
Great Ruby Fish Company

Dennis Guhlke
Icicle Seafoods

Hank Baumgart
Icy Strait Seafood

Vincent Goddard
Inlet Fish Producers, Inc.

Rhonda Hubbard
J & R Fisheries

Jack Schultheis
Kwik’PaK Fisheries

Izetta Chambers
Naknek Family Fisheries

Tomonobu Miki
North Pacific Seafoods

Mark Palmer
Ocean Beauty Seafoods

John Whiddon
Pacific Seafood Kodiak

Barry Collier
Peter Pan Seafoods

Tom McLaughlin
Seafood Producers Coop

Paul Dale
Snug Harbor Seafoods

Mark Tupper
Triad Fisheries

Joe Bundrant
Trident Seafoods

Roland Briggs
Ugashik Wild Salmon Co.

Doug Karlberg
Yukon Gold