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Members Hail News of Walmart Seafood Agreement

Austerman, Seaton tout Alaska’s sustainable resource, congratulate ASMI

Friday, January 24, 2014, Juneau, Alaska – House Finance Committee Co-Chair Alan Austerman and Fisheries Chair Paul Seaton today welcomed news from the governor that the State and Walmart have come to an agreement where the retailer will continue to purchase Alaska seafood.

“It is good news and a step in the right direction,” Austerman, R-Kodiak said. “We’ll await the ironing out of the details and final terms of their agreement. It was an unfortunate situation and I thank the ASMI board, staff and that of the governor for continuing to make the case for our world-class fisheries.”

Austerman serves as the Alaska House of Representatives appointee to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute board, as a non-voting member and liaison with the House. The dispute arose over the company’s earlier decision to only carry seafood deemed sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council, or MSC, of which ASMI does not follow, preferring the Responsible Fisheries Management standard for Alaska fisheries.

“This is good news for Alaska Fishermen and for American consumers.  I am pleased that the Governor went to bat for our world renown fisheries management programs,” Seaton, R – Homer said.  “This agreement will help maintain our domestic and international marketing and sustainability efforts by keeping our high quality product on the shelves, and keeping Alaska’s signature export available to Walmart shoppers.”

Seaton, a commercial fisherman with a Master’s in marine zoology, has chaired the Fisheries Committee three times, co-chaired the Resources Committee during the 27th Legislature, and has served on a number of industry trade and management groups.

A copy of the governor’s announcement is available here.

More information about ASMI is available through their website at www.alaskaseafood.org.

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