ORLANDO, Fla.—The Wild Alaska Pollock fishery was recognized for its successful fishery management and sustainability results by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) with its 2021 Ocean Champion Award, the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) announced. The Ocean Champion Award is an annual award that was established in 2017 to reward fisheries and companies engaged with the MSC who demonstrate continued leadership on sustainability above and beyond the MSC Fisheries or Chain of Custody Standards.
GAPP CEO and Sustainability Committee Chair Bob Desautel accepted this award on behalf of the entire Wild Alaska Pollock fishery, with representatives from MSC recognizing the industry’s long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship, which was recently catalogued and analyzed as part of the GAPP-led lifecycle assessment (LCA), results of which were released in last summer.
“The MSC US Ocean Champion Award celebrates the accomplishments of companies working toward a healthy ocean and more transparent supply chain,” said Erika Feller, MSC Americas Regional Director, “I am proud to recognize the Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers with this award for their years of partnership and efforts to encourage Americas to eat more sustainable seafood and spotlighting Alaska pollock as one of the healthiest and most sustainable sources of protein.”
The Wild Alaska Pollock fishery has been committed to responsible, sustainable harvest of its valuable natural resource for decades, working through a successful public-private partnership between the industry, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the North Pacific Fishery Management Council to continually improve practices and standards recognized by the MSC.
The industry is recognized not only for its results but the transparency provided: independent observers actively participate in the fishing process, and publicly monitored flow scales are used to verify the accuracy of scales on the and harvests of Wild Alaska Pollock and the low amounts of incidental catches of other species. Observers also collect critical information that enables fishery scientists to ascertain the overall and on-going health of the fishery. The creation of a transparent, participatory process for quota setting are just a few of the unique management measures that protect the species and the ecosystem and sets the U.S. Wild Alaska Pollock industry apart.
“Wild Alaska Pollock is good for our consumers and harvested in a way that is good for the planet. This award is a well-deserved tribute to all who conscientiously operate this fishery and celebrates our passion for sustainable fishery management,” said Mikel Durham, Chair of the GAPP Board of Directors. “We feel so strongly about conserving our fisheries and reducing our impact that we self-funded an industry-wide, 3rd-party-verified assessment last year to further increase the transparency of our ecological footprint. This MSC award is another important step in our mission to share our story with customers and consumers who are looking to make food choices based on environmental impact.”
“It is because of our fishery’s unsurpassed management practices that we rank as having one of the lowest carbon footprints of any protein on the planet, bar none, and why we’ve been honored with this well-deserved, historic award,” added Craig Morris, GAPP CEO.
The Association of Genuine Alaska Pollock Producers (GAPP) is dedicated to the marketing of once-frozen pollock products, harvested and processed in Alaska. A non-profit Alaska corporation formed in 2003, GAPP is working to promote Genuine Alaska Pollock in major whitefish markets around the world, with a focus on Europe, North America and Japan. It is our goal to educate both seafood buyers and consumers about the superior benefits of Genuine Alaska Pollock®. www.alaskapollock.org