Murkowski Demands Answers on Harmful Federal Fish Policies

Senator Requests Meeting with Officials to Question Contradictory Process

WASHINGTON, DC — With the National Park Service recently announcing it would only sell fish deemed to be “sustainable” by outside groups that presently do not recognize Alaska’s fisheries as sustainable despite ample evidence to the contrary, Senator Lisa Murkowski today reached out to federal officials seeking alternatives to this flawed process.

In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services, General Services Administration and the National Park Service, Murkowski criticized the government’s reliance on the controversial Marine Stewardship Council, (co-founded by the World Wildlife Foundation) and the Monterey Bay Aquarium (funded by the Packard Foundation) while observing that the government policy does provide leeway to permit “other equivalent groups” to be tapped for this service.

Senator Murkowski writes:

“I am dismayed that several executive branch agencies appear to have ignored federal and state fisheries management expertise as they developed sustainable seafood guidelines.  I have asked the Secretary of HHS, GSA Administrator and Director of the NPS to meet with me to explain how this policy was developed, and to discuss how to ensure that federal policy on sustainability clearly recognizes seafood produced in Alaska.”

Additionally, Murkowski stressed that this policy is “directly inconsistent” with federal guidelines that state “the government does not endorse any particular labeling or documentation system or program over another.”

Murkowski has asked to sit down with HHS, GAO and NPS officials as soon as possible.