At-Sea Processors Association and Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers - Jointly Recognized
GAPP Board Member, Chair of GAPP Sustainability Committee, and Global Seas CEO, Bob Desautel, MSC Americas Regional Director, Erika Feller, and GAPP Chief Executive Officer, Craig Morris, with the MSC US Ocean Champion award.
ORLANDO, FLORIDA, January 20, 2021 – The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) today awarded Wild Alaska Pollock the 2021 MSC US Ocean Champion Award for their continued dedication and longstanding commitment to seafood sustainability. Represented by the At-Sea Processors Association (APA) on the fishery side, and by the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) on the marketing side, the Wild Alaska Pollock fishery has been a leader in sustainable fisheries management for decades. GAPP and APA join three other MSC partners named Ocean Champion in 2021.
The Award was presented to APA last month in Seattle, and today GAPP received the award at the National Fisheries Institute’s Global Seafood Marketing Conference in Orlando.
“I am proud to recognize the At-Sea Processors Association (APA) and Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers for their collaborative efforts to ensure a sustainable wild Alaska pollock fishery,” said Erika Feller, MSC Americas regional director. “We at MSC appreciate the partnership with both organizations and the incredible job they have done to spotlight Wild Alaska Pollock as one of the healthiest and most sustainable sources of protein.”
The MSC US Ocean Champion Award is an annual award that was established in 2017 to reward fisheries and companies engaged in the MSC program who demonstrate continued leadership on sustainability. Wild Alaska Pollock is recognized not only for its results but the transparency provided by the industry: independent observers actively participate in the fishing process and publicly monitored flow scales are used to verify the accuracy of the harvests of Wild Alaska Pollock and the low amounts of incidental catches of other species. Observers also collect critical information that enables fishery scientists to ascertain the overall and ongoing health of the fishery.
“Wild Alaska Pollock is good for our consumers and harvested in a way that is good for the planet. This award is a well-deserved tribute to all who conscientiously operate this fishery and celebrates our passion for sustainable fishery management,” said Mikel Durham, Chair of the GAPP Board of Directors. “We feel so strongly about conserving our fisheries and reducing our impact that we self-funded an industry-wide, 3rd-party-verified assessment last year to further increase the transparency of our ecological footprint. This MSC award is another important step in our mission to share our story with customers and consumers who are looking to make food choices based on environmental impact.”
Past award honorees include the Annette Island Reserve Salmon Fishery/Metlakatla Indian Community, Bamboo Sushi, and the Sustainable Restaurant Group, Bar Harbor Foods, EcoFish, Sam’s Club Health & Wellness Team, TransOcean, US Foods, Vital Choice Seafood, and Whole Foods Market. Awardees are selected based on their demonstrated leadership and the ability to spark positive change within the industry. The custom glass award featuring a wave is handmade in downtown Seattle, WA.
Sourcing sustainable seafood is increasingly important for planetary health, and a growing priority for consumers. The ocean feeds billions of people and provides 80% of the world’s biodiversity. A report by the UN Food & Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) shows that sustainable fisheries are more productive and resilient to change1, and the UN Environment Program reports that sustainable fishing protects ocean biodiversity2. For seafood consumers, eating sustainable fish is increasingly important, with 55% of U.S. seafood consumers believing we must consume seafood only from sustainable sources to protect the ocean3. Furthermore, 64% of Americans want retailers’ and brands’ claims about sustainability and the environment to be clearly labeled by an independent organization, such as the MSC. APA and GAPP’s leadership in sourcing and marketing certified sustainable seafood is a testament to their hard work and dedication to ensuring wild seafood is available for generations to come.