Representatives of Alaska's salmon fishing industry say the industry will withdraw from a Marine Stewardship Council sustainable certification program.
The MSC, founded 14 years ago, uses independent contractors to certify 133 global fisheries, enabling consumers to be assured a fishery is sustainably managed.
The Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, which represents the state's salmon industry, said in a statement Tuesday the majority of processors "now feel it is time to redirect their resources toward a broader marketing message," The Seattle Times reported.
The announcement follows news that eight processors, responsible for more than 70 percent of the state salmon harvest, told the foundation they would leave the program, reportedly frustrated with the increasing complexity of the certification process and amid worries some Alaska salmon might end up certified as sustainable while other harvests might not.
Alaska is North America's largest source of wild-caught salmon.
Alaska's salmon industry was an early participant in the MSC program, receiving a first certification in 2000 and currently in a five-year certification period set to end in October.
"We regret that the Alaska salmon fishery is being withdrawn from the assessment under way for a potential third certification period," Kerry Coughlin, MSC Americas regional director, said in a statement. "While there are other sources of MSC-certified salmon, Alaska was an early and important leader in the program."