The largest fishery in the US and the largest certified sustainable fishery in the world, Alaska pollock, has achieved re-certification to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) Fisheries Standard. Bering Sea, Aleutian Islands and Gulf of Alaska pollock fisheries have been certified to this standard since 2005.
‘We are proud to be one of the ten fisheries globally to be certified as meeting the MSC’s rigorous sustainability standard three times,’ said Jim Gilmore of the At-sea Processors Association, the fishery client for the Alaska pollock reassessment. ‘Alaska Pollock continues to earn among the highest certification scores of any fishery in the MSC program. This re-certification reaffirms the Alaska pollock industry’s continued leadership in responsible fishing.’
The 2016 Alaska pollock season begins on January 20th and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council recommended to the US Secretary of Commerce a precautionary 1.34 million tonne annual quota for the Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands, which is several hundred thousand tonnes less than federal fishery scientists determined can be sustainably harvested.
The Gulf of Alaska Pollock fishery is set at 257,872 tonnes, a 30% increase from the 2015 quota and within the safe harvest level determined by federal fishery scientists.
‘The fishery management system is known for its conservative management practices, so these quota increases indicate an exceptionally healthy Alaska Pollock fishery in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Seafood buyers and consumers can rest assured that Alaska Pollock is one of the world’s largest and most sustainable fisheries.’ said Pat Shanahan of marketing trade association Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers.
The independent assessment of the Alaska pollock fisheries was conducted by MRAG Americas. Alaska pollock is among the top five most consumed fish per capita in the US. Primary markets are the US, Germany and Japan, which is the principal market for Alaska pollock surimi used as the primary ingredient in a wide range of surimi seafood products (kamaboko).