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Governor Urges Wal-Mart to Reconsider Alaska Salmon Decision

July 18, 2013, Juneau, Alaska - Governor Sean Parnell is urging the president and chief executive officer of Wal-Mart Stores to reconsider the company’s decision to no longer purchase salmon from sources that aren’t certified to be sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).

Several Alaskan seafood processors elected to discontinue their affiliation with the MSC citing concerns about the MSC’s inability to maintain a consistent, standard definition of sustainable management; concerns about brand erosion; and concerns that the MSC’s monopolizing influence undermines state and national governance of fisheries.

In a letter to Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke, Governor Parnell said, “Although your commitment to source only MSC seafood may have been sensible when first declared back in 2006, that policy is now sorely dated and is serving only to deprive your customers of high quality products produced in America, and forcing your company to source salmon from less sustainable fisheries in foreign nations.

“I encourage you to reconsider ways you can help Alaskan processors continue to bring the best frozen wild salmon in the world to consumers by adjusting your evaluations and Sustainability Index to reflect the real-world quality of our salmon products and responsible, sustainable salmon management program.”

Governor Parnell welcomed the opportunity to meet with Duke to discuss Alaska’s commitment to sustainability. Alaska’s seafood industry is the state’s largest private sector employer, providing more than 70,000 jobs annually.

A copy of Governor Parnell’s letter to the president of Wal-Mart is available at:

http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell_media/resources_files/walmart_071613.pdf 

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