The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation (AFDF) has partnered with industry stakeholders and begun the process of certifying all sectors of the Pacific cod fishery in Alaska as sustainably managed.
This group has contracted with Moody Marine International Ltd. to independently assess the cod fisheries in the Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands, and Gulf of Alaska according to standards set by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
"Given the mandates for sustainable fishery management in the Alaska state constitution and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and the outstanding job by the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, we think the cod fishery in Alaska is an excellent example of a fishery that should meet MSC standards.", said Jim Browning with AFDF. The MSC label is an independent, third-party certification of fisheries that are managed responsibly.
There is an increasing demand by major seafood distributors around the world for seafood products harvested from sustainable fisheries. Fisheries off the coast of Alaska that are currently MSC-certified include Alaska salmon, pollock, sablefish and halibut.
The assessment will be conducted over the next 14 – 20 months. Funding for the assessment comes primarily from harvesters and processors, as well as from grants obtained by AFDF from NOAA and the Sustainable Fisheries Fund.