25 September 2013

Boosting Alaska's Economy

I recently mentioned, among other things, that Alaska had stopped utilizing certain arbitrary guidelines to certify quality in domestic salmon*, and that Wal-Mart therefore stopped buying Alaskan salmon.

Sometimes, there's good news:
A recent change to the federal government’s guidelines to purchasing food could bring a boost to Alaska’s seafood industry.

On Monday, the Government Service Administration revised its guidelines and dropped a previous policy - requiring federal agency contracts from third-party certification.

The move will allow the feds, like the Department of Defense or National Parks, to buy seafood without a stamp of approval of sustainable fish from a non-governmental agency. Currently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has authority to define fishing standards of sustainability.

Alaska seafood groups have been using a standard established by the United Nations, instead of certification from the Marine Stewardship Council.

Walmart has many contracts with the feds and has a policy that its fish must have approval by the MSC. The issue gained traction when Walmart announced that it might pull Alaska salmon from its store shelves.

This is very good news for the local seafood industry ... and all y'all, too. Most of the salmon consumed in the Lower 48 is from Alaska. The alternative is farmed fish from South America, and it's not particularly healthy, or so the local news stories have maintained.

A victory for the good guys. :)

* Mainly because those guidelines didn't address State concerns about the sustainability of wild salmon production in Alaska. The U.N. guidelines, while practically identical to the federal recommendations, are more in line (this time) with what State officials believe to be the correct approach.


Well Seasoned Fool said...

I don't eat fish anymore unless I've caught it. I especially won't buy farm raised fish of any species.

ProudHillbilly said...

No farmed salmon. No farmed sea food from outside the US - NOT healthy.

Rev. Paul said...

WSF, I hear you. I only eat fish either caught, or from the fresh seafood market here in Anchorage - theirs has never been frozen, and usually was caught within the previous 18 hours.

PH, absolutely.

Sandy said...

Rev. Paul,

Good new for everyone!

I won't eat anything other than fresh fish caught by us or bought directly from the fish market in other water based states. The fish sold here in Oklahoma is old.

Rev. Paul said...

Understood, Sandy, and agreed. There's no point in taking chances.