Alaska Seafood Set to Certify All Commercial Fisheries

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Alaska Seafood Set to Certify All Commercial Fisheries

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) has chosen Global Trust Certification, Ltd. to perform an independent third-party certification of Alaska’s fisheries management systems.

Under the agreement, each major Alaska fishery will be assessed for conformance to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and the FAO Guidelines for Ecolabeling Fishery Products. The substantive requirements of the FAO Codes are the world’s most widely recognized sustainability principles.

“For over 50 years, Alaska has been the leader in sustainable fisheries management,” said Ray Riutta, executive director of Juneau-based ASMI. “Now, as a service to the entire Alaska seafood industry, we expect to be able to offer a robust certification for those markets where third-party certification is required or desirable.”

Because it’s being provided through ASMI, there will be no logo-licensing fees, which means certification will be free to all Alaska customers. Global Trust certification won’t obscure the Alaska origin, but rather enhance it as a leading source of sustainable seafood — a critical component that’s in line with ASMI’s mission to increase the value of its native seafood stocks.

“Maintaining the Alaska connection is key for us,” noted Riutta.

ASMI invited certifiers to submit competitive bids for third-party certification through an open RFP process, and selected global trust because of their extensive experience in certifying other best practice fisheries around the world.

Iceland has already begun an assessment process through Ireland-based Global Trust. With the addition of Alaska, now two of the world’s leading sustainable fisheries are taking the new approach of certifying their management structure directly against the FAO Codes.

Alaska intends to certify the management structure of its major commercial fisheries, which include salmon, shellfish, groundfish, halibut and black cod. The first fishery certification is scheduled to be completed in 2011.

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