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ASMI Annual Report_2014

eco-laBel challenges The battle over eco-labels has gotten more intense, as ENGOs have Governance: What the ENGOs are unable to successfully achieve aggressively attempted to directly discredit the ASMI/responsible through participation at the North Pacific Fisheries Management Fisheries Management (rFM) Certification standards in favor of the Council or the Alaska Board of Fish, they are attempting to force MSC certification. As more Alaska fisheries consider leaving the MSC upon fishery managers through control of the market gate. The program and the ENGO monopoly on market access is weakened, MSC is dominated by the ENGO community, which drives their ASMI will continue to conduct aggressive marketing campaigns to agenda and ever-changing criteria. Left unchecked, the situation protect the Alaska brand. ASMI is collaborating with other fishing may evolve to where the state will have to capitulate to ENGO entities that have or are considering similar certification models. demands or face losing markets, as is the current situation in many Other state and federal entities, including the Alaska Department parts of Europe. So far the U.S. and Asian markets have been more of Fish and Game, Alaska’s Congressional delegation, and National reasonable, but pressure is growing. This year the MSC’s attempt Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, share to discredit Alaska’s hatchery program and refusal to certify ASMI’s concerns about aneNGO monopoly. Prince William Sound salmon fisheries is a perfect example of undueeNGO intrusion into fisheries management. Future Threat: In addition to eroding the Alaska brand, theeNGO sustainability ASMI and industry members have received social responsibility movement creates the additional challenge of defending market questionnaires from customers questioning compliance with an access for Alaska seafood and the state’s right to govern its own eNGO generated set of social issues (e.g., working conditions, resources. These threats include: Market Access: Over the past pay, break schedules, living conditions). This year a major retailer several years, especially in Europe but now increasingly in the discontinued sourcing Alaska salmon from a company that did not U.S., the MSC has been adopted as a “requirement” by a number submit a social responsibility audit designed by an ENGO. This of major retailers, including large retail chains like Walmart. Even ENGO market control must be challenged before the state loses some of the most loyal Alaskan seafood customers are reluctant credibility and its ability to manage our fisheries in the best interest to go against theseeNGOs, despite knowing that Alaska fisheries of Alaskans. The federal government is also facing this same issue are sustainable in their own right. A considerable amount of time for federally managed fisheries, as are other governments around and resources are required to combat this movement on a global the world who responsibly manage their fisheries. Additional scale.eNGOs use third-party certification programs such as the MSC expensive, non-regulatory conditions and certifications are an to control the market for wild fish, and through that control make unnecessary hurdle at the market gate that may affect the future demands on fishery managers outside the governance process. marketability, sustainability, and financial viability of Alaska’s What began as a sustainability movement to reward well-managed seafood fisheries. fisheries has effectively morphed into a program that allows the ENGO community to control the supply chain. 10


ASMI Annual Report_2014
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