Alaska fishermen form export trade group to promote sustainable cod fishery

April 6, 2010 -- With international consumer demand growing for sustainably caught fish, a majority of the Alaska longliner fleet has created a new export trade group to promote one of the world’s most eco-friendly fisheries: Alaska cod.

The Alaska Longline Cod Commission (ALCC), representing 70% of the Alaska freezer longline fleet, will promote the export and international marketing of frozen-at-sea, longline-caught Alaska cod. The fleet’s harvest this year is expected to exceed 70,000 mt. European markets, which account for 75% of ALCC member sales, are especially hungry for sustainable products, as consumers place a high premium on sustainable fishing practices.

The 26 vessels represented by the ALCC are ready to meet this demand with the recent certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an international non-profit organization that sets standards for sustainable fishing based on third-party assessments by accredited certifiers. (www.msc.org)

"ALCC member vessels strive to produce the highest quality Alaska cod within carefully managed quotas," said Lance Magnuson, ALCC president. "The ALCC longline fishing technique selectively targets Alaska cod, reducing by-catch of other species. It is considered to have one of the lowest environmental impacts of any commercial fishery." The ALCC was established under the regulatory guidelines of the U.S. Government Export Certificate of Review Program, which were developed to assist U.S. commodity producers to compete more effectively in international markets.

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