Glacier Fish Company LLC Sustainability Statement
Glacier Fish Company LLC is fully committed to the sustainability and stewardship of our ocean’s natural resources. This statement of commitment is fully supported at the corporate office level with executive and mid-level management commitment and extends to each of our factory vessel operations and key crew. The dedication of company resources and the creation of methods, policies, employee training and procedures for the sole purpose of enhancing sustainability practices and maintaining compliance with recognized international standards for sustainability are further evidence of Glacier Fish Company’s commitment to the health and well-being of the North Pacific Fishery, sustainable fishing practice and responsible fisheries management.
Each of the fisheries in which Glacier participates is strictly managed under the NOAA Fisheries Alaska Region. This agency, a division of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the US Department of Commerce is charged with implementing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation Act, American Fisheries Act and other binding fisheries law that make up the framework of our fisheries. Among other things, these laws and regulations allow for the formation of cooperative structures in which all fishery participants work together to harvest the fish in the most efficient way with the least impact on the target species, bycatch and habitat while incorporating the needs of the communities in which we operate.
This regulatory framework is based on some of the most robust fisheries science in the world whereby both the NOAA Fisheries Alaska region and the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Region scientists and accredited peer reviewers annually perform surveys and stock assessments to determine the health of the stock. These agencies establish Annual Catch Limits (ACL’s) which take into consideration stock characteristics, the reproductive health and growth of the stock and the impacts of fishing. The catch levels are then recommended to the Secretary of Commerce annually by eight regional Councils set up under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This annual process is rigorous and all of the fisheries in which Glacier participates are considered well managed and not over fished.
Glacier is committed to 3rd party certification of the sustainability of its fisheries and was an early supporter of the Marine Stewardship Council & ASMI Responsible Fisheries Management (ASMI-RFM) standards.
The MSC eco-label is recognized all over the world by wholesalers/reprocessors, retailers and consumers for independent and balanced governance and decision making, creating trust for the end users of the standard (www.msc.org). The ACL (Annual Catch Limit) process is part of the certification criteria as are habitat and ecosystem considerations. The Pollock fishery in which we operate in Alaska was one of the first to be certified in 2005 and was recertified in 2010 resulting in no new conditions. The Conformity Assessment Body, MRAG Americas, Inc., has announced that the Alaska Pollock – Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands fishery has entered full reassessment for the second time in March of 2015. The Pacific Whiting fishery in Washington and Oregon was certified in 2009 and again in 2014. The Pacific Cod fishery was certified in 2010 and the multispecies Flatfish fisheries in June 2010. The Conformity Assessment Body, MRAG Americas, Inc., has announced that the Alaska Pacific Cod – Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands fishery has completed full reassessment and was recertified as sustainable in June 2015. The Conformity Assessment Body also announced that the Alaska Flatfish fishery has nearly completed full reassessment as of May 2015.
The ASMI Responsible Fisheries Management (ASMI-RFM) standard is an independent, third-party certification of the management of the major Alaska commercial fisheries (http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org/intro). The standard is directly based on the respected United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (Code) and the FAO Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries (Guidelines) – both recognized around the globe as the best criteria for responsible fisheries management.
The BSAI Alaska Pollock fishery and Pacific Whiting mid-water trawl fishery remain some of the healthiest and well managed fisheries in the world. As part of Glacier Fish Company’s commitment to sustainable and responsible fisheries practice, it has undergone successful chain of custody audits for MSC certification since 2005 (MSC# MSC-C-52019, C-SCS-0194) and successful chain of custody audits for ASMI-RFM chain of custody certification since 2012. Glacier Fish Company was the first At-Sea Processor to achieve certification for (ASMI-RFM) Certified Responsible Alaska Pollock (Registration No: COCALA 105) under the Alaska FAO-Based Responsible Fisheries Management Standard in 2012 (http://sustainability.alaskaseafood.org).
Glacier is a member of the Pollock Conservation Cooperative and the Pacific Whiting Cooperative. Within these organizations fishery participants cooperate on issues of catch, bycatch and habitat eliminating the possibility of overharvesting and managing to strict limits on bycatch. Collectively, the participants have donated well in excess of $13 million for fisheries science research. Members participate in many cooperative research projects donating time and vessels to perform this expensive and critical work. Visit https://www.sfos.uaf.edu/pcc/ and http://www.pacificwhiting.org/research.htm to learn more about how these contributions and research projects enhance fishery science, sustainability and utilization. The cooperative group members review research priorities annually, aligning them with NOAA fisheries and the North Pacific Management Council’s areas of research focus.