Milestone Reached for Certified Sustainable Alaska Salmon

SEATTLE - The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) has announced that there are now 100 Alaska salmon products carrying the MSC eco-label distinguishing Alaska salmon as a sustainable and well-managed seafood choice.

The international, non-profit MSC awards its eco-label to fisheries meeting a strict environmental standard. The eco-label is designed to consumers a quick and easy way to identify certified seafood products which have not been overfished or harvested in ways which harm the marine environment.

The Alaska salmon fishery and all five of its salmon species earned MSC certification in September 2000. Since that time, more than 75 Alaska salmon suppliers have sought chain of custody or traceability certification so they could promote their MSC-certified product and apply the MSC eco-label to salmon packaging. Today, it is the only salmon fishery in the world to have earned approval under this internationally recognized certification program.

"We are delighted to see so many salmon products carrying the MSC eco-label in just three years since the fishery was certified," said Jim Humphreys, the MSC's Americas regional director. "Commercial and consumer preference for certified seafood products with the MSC eco-label is not only a way to reward well-managed fisheries like Alaska salmon, but it also provides great incentive for other fisheries to move toward more responsible management. That is our best hope for ensuring we have our favorite seafood choices for generations to come."

Whole Foods Market became the first U.S. retailer to promote its eco-labeled Alaska salmon products and continues to promote its growing line of MSC certified seafood products.

Overall, there are more than 180 MSC labeled seafood products in 14 countries. Seven fisheries have earned certification: Alaska salmon, Western Australia rock lobster, Thames Blackwater herring, New Zealand hoki, Burry Inlet cockles, Western Handline mackerel and Loch Torridon nephrops. Eleven fisheries are in full assessment including Alaska halibut and sablefish and British Columbia salmon. More than two-dozen fisheries are at other points in the MSC process.
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