P Cod

MSCLogonew1AFDF remains the client for the MSC sustainability certification of the P-cod fishery. The 4th annual survellience audit and the 5-year re-certification is scheduled for completion by January, 2015. AFDF contracted with MRAG of Americas as the auditor, and collected the voluntary industry fees for the cost of the certification. The site visit occurred in late May in conjunction with the site visit for the Alaska pollock and flatfish fisheries as a cost-saving measure to industry. Continued updates regarding the certification process will be posted on the AFDF website throughout the year.


Sustainability Cod

New! Lost Gear Reporting Forms

April 3, 2013

We are in preparation for the 3rd Annual Surveillance Audit for Marine Stewardship Council’s certification of sustainability for the Pacific cod fishery in Alaska. One of the steps in preparation is collecting the pro rata shares from the participating primary processors and fishing groups that are supporting the certification. The cost has dropped substantially from previous years, with both a reduction in the amount charged by the certifier, Intertek Moody Marine, and the overhead cost by AFDF. We are looking at an overall cost of $50 K with $15 K of that as certifier charges and $35 K being AFDF overhead.

AFDF is currently putting together the Client Report for the 3rd ASA. In doing so, we are in need of the lost gear information that we have discussed in previous updates. The individual lost gear reporting forms for Pot and Longline gear, and the Lost Gear List for these gear types, have been sent out to various companies’ fleet managers and fishing groups, including the Bering Sea Pot Cod Cooperative and the Freezer Longline Coalition. The information from these forms is critical to having a successful site visit with the assessment team in mid-May. We are hoping to focus on the 2013 “A” season as the reference season for lost gear evaluation. We also need to contact some vessel skippers to gather additional information that allows us to evaluate the lost gear forms received. For example, a pot vessel reporting 2 lost pots on Trip 5 delivering at the end of a 5 day trip on January 28th; we need to know how many pots being fished on the trip and average soak time. If this vessel was fishing 100 pots, one could calculate a 2% pot loss; however, if the vessel fished 100 pots and turned them every 12 hours for 5 days, the lost gear percentage is actually two-tenths of 1 percent (.2%), a much less objectionable loss rate.

AFDF would like to thank fleet managers from Peter Pan Seafoods, Trident Seafoods and Icicle Seafoods for submitting some lost gear forms from 2012 “B” season, and hope they will submit current forms from 2013 “A” season as soon as possible. We would also like to thank Craig Lowenberg with the Bering Sea Pot Cod Cooperative and Chad See with the Freezer Longline Coalition for helping AFDF get the word out and helping us collect this information that is the key to continued certification.

The Client report needs to be completed and to the assessment team by May 1st, so we have the month of April to compile and analyze the lost gear information from the Pot and Longline fleets in both BSAI and GoA. Any vessel skipper can call me @ (907) 350-8860 and give me lost gear information by trip with dates, whenever they end a trip between now and late April.

We will be getting invoices out for pro rata shares this week and next. AFDF cannot take 6 months of staff time this year to collect the pro rata shares like last year. Any pro rata shares not received by May 15th will be assessed a surcharge of 10% of sector costs on top of the share.


May 15, 2012

2nd Annual Surveillance Audit (ASA) Client Report is Now Available

On January 25, 2010, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified the pot, jig, trawl and longline fisheries for Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus) in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands (BSAI) and the Gulf of Alaska (GOA) as sustainable under MSC standards. As part of the ongoing MSC certification, each fishery and gear types is required to undergo an annual surveillance audit.

This report provides the following information relative to the four gear types used to harvest Pacific Cod in the BSAI and GOA:

1. Management guidance metrics for 2011 for the BSAI and GOA from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G)

a. Overfishing Level (OFL);

b. Acceptable Biological Catch (ABC);

c. Total Allowable Catch (TAC);

d. Initial TAC (ITAC);

e. Guideline Harvest Levels (GHL); and

f. Community Development Quota (CDQ) Reserve Allocation

2. Data on stock structure in the trawl, longline and pot fisheries in the BSAI and GOA;

3. Incidental take of seabirds in the trawl and longline fisheries in the BSAI and GOA;

4. Status of bait species stocks in the longline and pot fisheries in the BSAI and GOA;

5. Information regarding lost gear in the trawl, longline and pot fisheries in the BSAI and GOA;

6. Information on Skate Bycatch in GoA trawl and longline fisheries.

Download it here

January 4, 2012

Pacific Cod: AFDF is preparing for the 2nd Annual Surveillance Audit (ASA)

The audit will be conducted by Intertek Moody Marine. The site visit will occur in May or June and will be conducted jointly with Alaska pollock and Flatfish to save the clients and industry money. We will likely spend a couple of days with the staff of Alaska Fisheries Science Center in Seattle while they give stock status and fishery updates. AFDF will have a report including a 2011 season summary for P cod, and the progress that we have made on the remaining conditions which include seabird bycatch, lost gear reporting, and the fishery’s effect on reproductive capacity (fecundity) through time. We look for a smooth process for the 2nd ASA, and will likely close out at least 2 more conditions (Reproductive capacity and seabird bycatch).


September 8, 2010

Pacific Cod: AFDF is Client for the Certification of SustainabilityMarine Stewarship
After receiving a grant to investigate the potential benefits of certification of sustainability for the Pacific cod fishery in late 2004, the Board of Directors of AFDF decided that the foundation should wait and watch the MSC process taking place with Alaska pollock before proceeding with the project. By late 2005, industry was looking more favorably on the certification process and our Board decided that it was a good time to proceed. AFDF formed the P cod working group in early 2006 to guide the process of the fishery assessment for the Marine Stewardship Council’s certification of sustainability for the entire Pacific cod fishery including all 4 gear types in both the Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea/Aleutian Islands management areas. AFDF contracted a pre-assessment with Moody Marine Ltd., one of 5 accredited independent certifiers available. After receiving a positive indication from the pre-assessment in August 2006 to proceed to full assessment with all sectors of the Pacific cod fishery, AFDF retained Moody Marine for the full assessment of all 8 sectors (4 gear types X 2 management areas). As the client, the foundation’s intent was to have all legally caught cod in Alaska certified as sustainable. The full assessment was initiated in October 2007 after a cost-sharing agreement (click here to view) was worked out with the P cod working group. Certification was achieved on January 27, 2010 in time for the “A” season Pacific cod to be marketed as “Sustainable” and bear the eco-label.

  • For a list of P cod working group participating companies and organizations, click here.
  • For scanned images of the MSC certificates of sustainability, click here for BSAI and here for GoA.
  • For AFDF’s MSC Certification Updates, click here.
  • For the latest updates, status and current developments on the Pacific cod certification posted on MSC website, click here and here.
  • For Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Sustainability information and program, click here.