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Alaska Pollock Judged Sustainable Under Leading International Seafood Eco-Labeling Program


SEATTLE, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Alaska pollock, the largest U.S. commercial fishery and one of the top five seafoods eaten in the United States, has been deemed sustainable under the criteria developed by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) by the certification body, Moody Marine, and a team of three independent experts. The evaluation of the fishery was conducted as part of the five-year recertification of Alaska pollock under the MSC sustainability program and was submitted for public comment today.

Moody Marine reaffirmed that Alaska pollock continues to be responsibly managed when measured against the rigorous MSC sustainability standard, recommending that Alaska pollock products continue to be eligible to carry the MSC eco-label. Fishery recertification is required every five years in the MSC program. The fishery was first certified as sustainable in 2005, and has passed four annual audits since then. For recertification, Moody evaluated and approved the fishery on three MSC principles - the sustainability of the fish stocks; ensuring the structure, productivity, function and diversity of the ecosystem on which the fishery depends; and the effectiveness of the fishery management system to respond to changing circumstances and maintain sustainability. The comprehensive assessment of the fishery was peer reviewed by two additional independent experts prior to its issuance for public comment.

"After an extensive review, an independent team of scientists has given the Alaska pollock fishery some of the highest average scores for any fishery in the MSC program," said Jim Gilmore, Director of Public Affairs of the At-sea Processors Association, and client for the MSC certification. "The fishery remains a model for how fisheries around the world should be managed."

Founded in 1995 by the World Wildlife Fund, the now independent MSC is recognized as the leading certifier of sustainable fisheries worldwide. The MSC standard for sustainability certification is based on the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization's Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and other international conservation instruments.

Alaska pollock is consumed widely in the United States in fish sticks, fish sandwiches, fish and chips and in surimi seafood products. Alaska pollock is also one of the most significant U.S. fishery exports, with sustainability and quality top priorities for Alaska pollock consumers in the EU, U.K. and Japan. "We are pleased that an independent evaluation of the Alaska pollock fishery has once again affirmed that our fishery is well managed, said Pat Shanahan, Program Director for the Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers. "As we start our 2010 fishing season, the many grocery chains, restaurants and consumers who want sustainable seafood can be assured that Alaska pollock continues to be the best choice they could make."

For more information:

Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers

At-sea Processors Association

Marine Stewardship Council

Alaska pollock recertification reports are available at http://www.msc.org/track-a-fishery/certified/pacific/bsai-pollock/Reassessment -downloads.

Source: Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers
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