Seafood.com News Summary Wednesday June 19, 2013
Top Story: Despite success many questions raised about Alaska's CDQ programs
Despite being hailed as a big success that ended up giving Alaskans a big ownership stake in the North Pacific fisheries, after ten years CDQ programs are coming under more scrutiny. Partly this is due to the effort by Coastal Villages to change the distribution percentages, which would reduce the shares that go to most other CDQ groups. Coastal Villages makes this claim based on population - but that is a dangerous game for rural Alaskans because rural benefits and infrastructure cannot be valued on a per capita basis without the rural communities losing out. Critics are now questioning whether villages more inland should get benefits, and whether benefits are being equitably distributed.
The attempt by the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Assoc to continue MSC certification for all Alaska salmon fisheries has collapsed, as the certifier announced that the Prince William sound pink salmon fishery - one of the largest in the state - will not be assessed until 2014. Ironically, this is also the largest volume fishery for PSVOA members. They got a tiger by the tail, and it bit them.
We also look at the larger issue - have certifications gotten too cumbersome and complex. The issue with Prince William sound is the interaction between hatchery and wild fish - and Alaska is just starting on a five million dollar research project on this issue. The SFP also is warning buyers against hatchery fish. In this case they are getting ahead of the science - especially when hatcheries have been around for 100 years and there has been no emergency or change in fishing practices. In our video we discuss why getting ahead of the science and substituting fears for analysis is exactly why we need GSSI - the global seafood sustainability initiative- to benchmark certification schemes.