SUSTAINABILITY –RESPONSIBLE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT
Alaska Salmon Now Certified to FAO Standards
ALASKA SALMON NOW CERTIFIED TO FAO STANDARDS
Sustainability of Alaska’s valuable fishery resource was written into the Alaska State Constitution in 1959, and nowhere in Alaska is the commitment to responsible fisheries management more evident than in the Yukon River, home of some of the best salmon on Earth.
The Yukon River salmon fishery is certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and certified by Global Trust as meeting the standards set forth by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). These guidelines, generally regarded as the world’s most widely recognized sustainability principles, include the FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (1995) and its 2005 Guidelines for the Ecolabeling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries. (See http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/salmon-certification.)
This initiative was led by the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) and covers all five species of Pacific salmon in the four geographic regions administered by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, as well as the four major salmon gear types—Purse Seine, Drift Gillnet, Set Gillnet, and Troll.
As part of the third-party audit of the salmon fishery, Global Trust assessed compliance with six criteria set forth by the FAO:
- A Fisheries Management System
- Science and Stock Assessment Activities
- The Precautionary Approach
- Management Measures
- Implementation, Monitoring and Control, and
- Serious Impacts of the Fishery on the Ecosystem.
In March 2011, Global Trust announced that all of Alaska’s commercial salmon fisheries were in compliance with the FAO fisheries management criteria; in addition, the audit body also certified
that all of Alaska’s commercial salmon fisheries, including Yukon River salmon fishery, have been certified as meeting a Chain of Custody standard. This standard is proof that the product was sourced from a Certified Alaska Fishery and that the product can be traced back through the supply chain to the certified fishery.
Kwik’pak Fisheries actively participates in ASMI, and General Manager Jack Schulteis serves on its Board of Directors.