The entirety of the Alaska salmon fishery, now inclusive of the Prince William Sound (PWS) unit, is again certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard. This science-based standard is the world’s most credible and recognized standard for environmentally sustainable wild-caught seafood.
The Alaska salmon fishery was first certified in 2000 and re-certified in 2007 and 2013 when it became the first U.S. fishery to receive a third certification in the MSC program. During the 2013 re-assessment of the Alaska Salmon fisheries, a third-party certification assessment team determined that the PWS unit should remain in assessment pending further analysis of an Alaska Department of Fish and Game multi-year study relating to the impacts of hatcheries on the populations of wild salmon and herring in the PWS.
Beginning in 2016, the PWS unit was assessed again via a scope extension to the valid Alaska Salmon certificate.
Based upon the findings quantified by the Alaska Hatchery Research Program, the certification assessment team has determined that the impacts of wild and hatchery salmon interactions are low and meet the sustainability requirements of the MSC Fisheries Standard.
"The Alaska Salmon fishery management program and its participants are committed to sustainable use of the ocean’s natural resources, a key component of our business. We are proud to have the MSC process again recognize the sustainability of Prince William Sound and all Alaska Salmon." – Glenn Reed, president, Pacific Seafood Processors Association (fishery client)
The internationally recognized blue MSC ecolabel will continue to assure consumers that all Alaska Salmon products can be traced back to a certified sustainable source.
Brian Perkins, MSC regional director - Americas, said: "When people purchase MSC certified seafood, their choice supports fishermen around the world who are harvesting sustainably. Through the significant investment that the State of Alaska and Alaska Salmon fishers and processors have made to undertake a comprehensive research study into the impacts of wild and hatchery salmon interactions, it is now possible to independently verify the sustainability of salmon fishing in the Prince William Sound.”
The independent assessment of the Prince William Sound Scope Extension of the Alaska Salmon fishery was conducted by MRAG Americas, an accredited third-party conformity assessment body. MRAG Americas assembled a team of fishery science and policy experts to evaluate the fishery according to the three principles of the MSC Fisheries Standard: the health of the stock; the impact of fishing on the marine environment; and the management of the fishery. The MSC process is open to stakeholders and all results are peer reviewed.