Alaska's salmon fishery — with one big exception — is certified as well-managed and sustainable under the Marine Stewardship Council program.
The exception is Prince William Sound, a top salmon-producing region. The region lacks MSC certification due at least in part to questions about the impact of the Sound's large salmon hatcheries on wild fish stocks.
Now comes hope that Prince William Sound might soon achieve certification, joining the rest of the state's salmon fishery.
MRAG Americas, the company that certifies the Alaska salmon fishery to the MSC standard, recently issued an announcement that an MSC assessment of Prince William Sound salmon has begun.
The assessment, if favorable, could result in certification of the Prince William Sound salmon fishery in March 2017.
An assessment team is meeting in Juneau this week and will take up Prince William Sound on Wednesday, Amanda Stern-Pirlot, team leader for the assessment, tells Deckboss.
MSC certification is regarded as important for marketing Alaska salmon, particularly in Europe. Certification allows producers to label their product with the blue MSC ecolabel.
The Prince William Sound assessment comes at the request of the Pacific Seafood Processors Association, the Seattle-based trade group that holds the MSC certificate for the Alaska salmon fishery.