Unbelievably, fisheries managers in Southeast Alaska require none of those things, and Alaskan fishers are throwing prohibited catches of Canadian Chinook and steelhead back into the ocean, dead, by the thousands. Yet, the Marine Stewardship Council issued Alaska a Certificate of Conformity # MSC-F-30027 for their salmon fishery.
When groups like MSC and Ocean Wise tell the seafood-buying public that it’s “sustainable” for a fishery to catch more of their neighbour’s fish than their own, it calls their credibility into question. MSC and Ocean Wise fail the public trust entirely when their certified fisheries don’t record or report their bycatch, and allow thousands of fish to be thrown back dead. All of this makes it much harder for us here in B.C. to manage our salmon populations. Alaska is not being a good neighbour, and we’re mad as hell at the MSC and Ocean Wise for giving them brand credibility they don’t deserve. We will be sending a formal complaint to the London, UK office of Rupert Howes, the Chief Executive for MSC, asking him to revoke the certification that gives Alaska’s unsustainable fishing practices cover. And we will be putting Ocean Wise in the public spotlight here at home.
Alaska is unlikely to stop killing our salmon until consumers in seafood markets around the world take notice, you can expect our campaign next year to focus on that. Forcing MSC and Ocean Wise to stop giving Alaska’s dirty interception fisheries a free pass is one of the most powerful things we can do to push Alaska’s fishing executives and managers to clean up their fishery.
You can join the effort with a letter of your own to the Marine Stewardship Council.