Juneau, Alaska. December 13, 2011 – Alaska pollock, the world’s largest sustainable fishery, has received certification for Responsible Fisheries Management indicating that it fully conforms to the international guidelines set by the United Nation’s Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO). Alaska’s pollock fishery has always been a source of innovation within the seafood industry and this latest certification demonstrates its ongoing effort to act as a steward for America’s greatest aquatic bounty. Such independent affirmation of responsible management further solidifies the state of Alaska’s worldwide leadership role in the sustainable harvest of wild seafood.
“Alaska pollock has long been recognized worldwide as a model for sustainable fisheries and having another certification further demonstrates the strength of our responsible fisheries management in Alaska,” says Randy Rice, Technical Program Director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). “Furthermore, this FAO-based certification is cost effective for every member of the supply chain because there are no logo licensing fees. It means we are able to provide our customers, and through them the consumer, with an affordable and credible certification alternative.”
Certification under this model reflects fishery management that is in conformity with the Code of Conduct & Eco-labelling Guidelines established by the FAO. The FAO Code & Guidelines were created with the participation and input of the world’s governments, fishery scientists and conservationists and so they serve as the international standard for responsible management, providing the foundation for the most rigorous certification programs in the marketplace. That means the fisheries in Alaska are assessed against the world’s highest and most internationally accepted standard – something Alaskans are comfortable with because they’ve been fishing sustainably for generations.
Thanks to its abundance and mild flavor, Alaska pollock has always been a favorite with consumers, whether at home, in school lunches or in restaurants. “Our customers rely on Alaska because it’s easy to explain that all Alaska seafood is sustainable thanks to our State constitution and long track record of management,” says Ray Riutta, Executive Director for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. “We appreciate this independent and cost effective certification of Alaska pollock because it reaffirms what we’ve always told our customers.” And according to Pat Shanahan, Program Director of the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers, “This robust and accredited certification provides additional value for Alaska pollock producers and processors selling in markets where independent third-party certification is desired.”
Alaska pollock joins Alaska’s salmon, halibut and black cod/sablefish fisheries in having been certified by the independent organization Global Trust in accordance with the FAO-Based Model for Responsible Fisheries Management. Alaska’s crab fisheries are also currently undergoing assessment, with Alaska cod and other groundfish to be assessed in 2012. For more information about Alaska’s sustainable fisheries management and certification go to www.alaskaseafood.org.
Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute