The multi-species Alaska flatfish fishery (soles, flounders) has received certification for Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM). The Alaska Flatfish fishery is one of the most proactive fisheries in the world dedicated to reducing bycatch through collaborative science and cooperative fishing.
“The Alaska flatfish industry has worked tirelessly for years to reduce sea floor contact and improve habitat conservation,” says Randy Rice, technical director with the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. “For example, the fleet fishing for Alaska flatfish pioneered the development of the innovative Bering Sea Flatfish Trawl Gear, which elevates the gear off the sea floor reducing contact by 90%. This is some of the most advanced fishing gear in the world. We couldn’t be more pleased that their efforts of continuous improvement have now earned them RFM Certification.”
The flatfish fishery is conducted in two separate management areas: the Bering Sea/Aleutians Islands (BSAI) and Gulf of Alaska (GOA). The RFM Certified Alaska flatfish catch is comprised of the following species: Yellowfin Sole, Northern Rock Sole, Southern Rock Sole, Flathead Sole, Rex Sole, Kamchatka Flounder, Arrowtooth Flounder, Alaska Plaice and Greenland Turbot.
Jason Anderson, manager of the Alaska Seafood Cooperative welcomes the certification: “The Alaska flatfish fishery has worked hard to responsibly harvest our catch in a way that is collaborative and protects the ecosystem. We are very proud to join the ranks of the other RFM Certified fisheries from Alaska.”