Emeryville, California (EastBayDaily) — The Metlakatla Indian Community fishery has been certified to the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standard for sustainable fisheries by Scientific Certification Systems (SCS).
The fishery, located in tribal waters surrounding the Annette Islands Reserve in Southeast Alaska, sells pink, chum, coho and king salmon primarily to the European market. European seafood buyers strongly favor products certified to the MSC standard and are willing to pay a price premium for certified products.
“This certification will help the Metlakatla community protect a very important natural and cultural resource while helping maintain access to the European market,” said Dr. Robert Hrubes, Senior Vice President of SCS.
Scientific Certification Systems performed a pre-assessment of the fishery in 2009. In close consultation with stakeholders, SCS developed specific performance indicators for the fishery’s full assessment based on scientific data on salmon fisheries. SCS assessed the fishery and established that the Annette Island fishery met the rigorous MSC sustainability standard. The certification included 22 conditions for which specific actions are required from the fishery, which will help to further improve the fishery and salmon stocks.
The fishery is the first wholly tribal owned and managed fishery to earn MSC certification. The certification process helped the community set up sampling programs to ensure healthy fish stocks and created a monitoring and reporting system for endangered, threatened and protected species.
Representatives from the Marine Stewardship Council will present tribal leaders with the SCS certificate during a public celebration on August 26th.
Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) has been providing global leadership in third-party sustainability and environmental certification, auditing, testing and standards development for more than 25 years. SCS programs span a wide range of industries including green building, product manufacturing, food and agriculture, forestry, fisheries, retailing and more.