MSC Certification Update – September 2012

Dear AFDF P cod working group members,

Since it’s time for the Pacific cod “B” season 2012 to start, I wanted to get back with those working group members that work closely with longline and pot fleets in both BSAI and GoA.

AFDF has contacted Mr. Kenny Downs, with the Freezer Longline Coalition, and discussed collection of lost gear information for that fishery.  Kenny has proposed some changes to our reporting form (attached) to more accurately reflect information about gear lost vs. gear retrieved that can be collected from the coalition members’ vessels.  AFDF appreciates working with an organization like the FLC since virtually all the freezer longline CP companies are represented by one contact person.  AFDF is asking for assistance from any fishing organizations or fleet managers that work with longline catcher vessels as well, to collect lost and retrieved longline gear data.

Collection of lost gear information for the Pot gear fishery is more problematic, due to the fact that there is less centralized representation of Pot fishing vessels.  Our contacts for pot vessels have been Jeff Stephans of UFMA for the Gulf and Arni Thompson of ACC for the BSAI.  They have distributed our lost gear reporting forms for Pot gear  to their members’ vessels, but have not received any completed forms.  Mr. Dale Schwarzmiller, with Peter Pan Seafoods, has made an effort to assist AFDF with gathering lost gear information from PPSF’s pot fleet, and we have received a few completed forms from his fleet.

I cannot stress enough the importance of gathering this information on both gear types.  The sole remaining condition for MSC certification for the P cod fishery is specifically to provide information on the amount of lost gear in the trawl, longline and pot fisheries.  Alaska Seafood Cooperative, the client for the flatfish fishery, is gathering information on lost gear for trawl gear from its members, and that information is directly transferrable to the P cod fishery.  AFDF is tasked with collecting the information for longline and pot gear.

We will tentatively schedule a teleconference for the AFDF P cod working group for October to discuss some changes for the process of collecting pro rata shares, particularly the division of CGoA and WGoA.  Overall, AFDF has spent several months contacting and re-contacting companies to collect the pro rata shares and this adds to the overall costs you all pay to maintain MSC certification; this is in addition to the work with the certifier and assessment team to provide them the information they need to complete the annual surveillance audits.  The collection process needs to be streamlined and made more efficient.

There has been some negative press recently on the amount of lost pot gear, mainly from the crab fishery, but the estimates, from relatively reliable sources, are surprisingly high.  This could attract attention to the P cod pot fishery, and we need good solid information on amount of lost pot gear to provide accurate information for the assessment team.  If AFDF is not able to collect this information by the next annual surveillance audit in May of 2013, the certifier is likely to decide that we haven’t made adequate progress on this condition, and there could be some sort of suspension of the certification, or a variance needed to continue.

I’d like to hear from any working group members who have direct contact with pot or longline catcher vessel skippers; I’m attaching AFDF’s Lost Gear Reporting Forms for both Pot and Longline gear for distribution to those skippers.  Forms need to be completed in a manner that can be read and compiled by AFDF staff.


Jim Browning – AFDF Executive Director

Salmon Certification Update

According to the information below, currently posted on the MSC website, the Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association is leading the client group that has taken over the next MSC certification process of Alaska salmon, since AFDF has voluntarily withdrawn as client after the current certificate which expires 29 October 2012.  PSVOA is taking the Alaska salmon fishery forward, with independent assessment already underway for another five-year certification to the MSC Standard of the entire Alaskan salmon fishery.

Client going forward on the assessment currently underway to maintain MSC certification of Alaska salmon:

Purse Seine Vessel Owners Association

1900 W Nickerson,
Suite 320
WA 98119

Phone: (206) 283-7733

Previous Client

Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation Inc.

431 W Seventh Avenue
Suite 106
AK 99501

Client: James Browning – Executive Director
Phone: +1 907 276 7315

When AFDF took over the clientship from Alaska Department of Fish and Game in 2010, the certifier, Intertek Moody Marine, made sure to get a letter from ADF&G relinquishing the clientship effective February 18, 2010 with AFDF assuming the clientship effective February 19, 2010.  AFDF is thus hereby issuing this notice that as of October 29, 2012, it is no longer the client for MSC certification.  Any stakeholder or other meetings held as part of the independent assessment process to the MSC Standard for another five-year certificate are no longer the responsibility of AFDF.  Intertek Moody Marine, which remains the certifier for assessment going forward, is holding stakeholder meetings on behalf of PSVOA in Seattle and Anchorage in October 2012.  On  their website, the 2007 reassessment is posted as: Certificate of compliance MML-F-078 – Valid 30th October 2007 to 29th October 2012.  To clarify,  Intertek Moody is holding the October 2012 stakeholder meetings, and has formed their assessment team, for the assessment contracted by PSVOA, which is separate from the expiring assessment under AFDF.