Jul 24 2008
Fish And Game Seeks New Client For Alaska Salmon Ecolabel
Thursday, 24 July 2008

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            The Alaska Department of Fish and Game is looking to get out of the Marine Stewardship Council process as the client for Alaska salmon. KMXT’s Casey Kelly has more.

Tim Barry, director of communications for the department of fish and game, says nothing has been decided yet, but that because it’s rare to have a government agency deal with the MSC on certification, the department is seeking a group from the industry to take its place.

            (Barry 1                                  :25s                 “…as a client of MSC.”)

            The department has been the party that’s dealt with the MSC’s eco-labeling process since Alaska salmon became the first major U-S fishery certified under the program eight years ago. The blue labels are considered an important marketing tool, appearing on seafood products that are proven to come from sustainable fisheries. Last year Alaska salmon was re-certified, meaning products from the fishery can continue to use the label through 2012.

But Barry says getting out of the business of eco-label certification, would allow the department to concentrate on what it does best.

(Barry 2                                  :40s                 “…of actually managing fisheries.”)

            Brad Ack is MSC’s America’s director. He says it shouldn’t be too hard to find another client to replace fish and game.

            (Ack 1                                     :09s                 “…to make sure that happens.”)

            Until it’s up for re-certification again, Ack says the major role of the client is to conduct an annual audit to make sure nothing major has changed in the fishery.

            (Ack 2                                     :16s                 “…four-and-a-half years from now.”)

            Ack wouldn’t rule out the possibility of re-certification taking place by geographical area or species, but says MSC would prefer to have Alaska salmon certified as a whole as has been done in the past.

            (Ack 3                                     :13s                 “…make it even better.”)

            Worldwide more than 15-hundred seafood products bear the MSC’s eco-label. Ack says Alaska salmon is the most widely marketed fishery certified under the program.

            I’m Casey Kelly.