Alaska: According to US consumers Alaska is setting the gold-standard for sustainable seafood

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I just read in Seafood News something I never thought I’d see a year or so ago – especially after the criticism of Global Trust and their application of fisheries standard based on U.N. FAO standards (Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) programme), which was embraced by ASMI as a viable alternative to MSC certification see report by the Environmental Law Institute that described the RFM program as industry developed and controlled) –According to Laine Welch on Alaska Fish Radio with Laine Welch [10 January, 2014 ] Alaska is setting the “gold-standard for sustainable seafood.”

A Salmon Fishing Bear, Alaska.  Photo Source: oregonsunshine.wordpress.com (Common Myths about Alaska, 29 Oct 2008)

A Salmon Fishing Bear, Alaska.
Photo Source: oregonsunshine.wordpress.com (Common Myths about Alaska, 29 Oct 2008)

According to Laine Welch:

Wal-Mart reps are in Juneau this week to learn more about Alaska’s salmon management, to make sure it’s up to snuff with the company’s sustainability criteria. Alaska opted out of the high priced Marine Stewardship Council eco-label which Wal-Mart uses as its purchasing standard. Alaska instead adopted the UN’s Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) program for sustainability certification.

Meanwhile, a nationwide poll of more than 1,000 U.S. seafood consumers revealed strong support for Alaska as the gold-standard of healthy, sustainable seafood. In a survey last month by the Washington, DC-based Prime Group, 66 percent rated the quality of Alaska seafood as very high, and a whopping 97 percent viewed it as more or as sustainable than other seafood. Alaska caught seafood is preferred to Russian caught by 87 percent to one. Forty percent of those surveyed said they prefer certification based on UN standards versus only 19 percent based on standards set by a ‘private, nonprofit organization.’ Thirty one percent had no preference. When asked about characteristics that might justify a 10% price premium, caught in the wild got a 46 percent rating, certified sustainable was at 40 percent and Alaska-caught garnered 36 percent of the responses. And 53% disapproved of the MSC policy of approving fisheries that are on a path to sustainability.

The nationwide poll was commissioned by “Alaska Salmon Now” – a grassroots group of Alaska fishing families and US consumers pressuring Wal-Mart to fully embrace Alaska salmon. Wal-Mart appears poised to do so.”

(See the full survey at www.alaskafishradio.com)

Alaskan Wild Salmon Marketing Poster

Alaskan Wild Salmon Marketing Poster

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4 thoughts on “Alaska: According to US consumers Alaska is setting the gold-standard for sustainable seafood

    • I commented on your post… I like your tack here. I think a varied seafood diet which includes those species that might be considered “trash” (rather than one that relies on a few key species) would be beneficial both ecologically and economically. Incidentally Spiny dogfish are not only abundant in New Zealand, they are a quota species… and as such are actively managed to a management target of at or above BMSY (or the point where the population produces its maximum sustainable yield).

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