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Alaska fishery, world's largest, awarded label signifying environmental friendliness

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) _ The $750 million Alaska pollock fishery _ the world's largest fishery _ has been approved for a label to identify its products as environmentally friendly, an industry group said.

It took several years to get final approval for the eco-label from the internationally recognized Marine Stewardship Council based in the United Kingdom, Jim Gilmore, spokesman for the At-Sea Processors Association, said Tuesday.

The industry group applied in January 2001 to have the fishery in the Bering Sea evaluated against stringent MSC standards.

The MSC eco-label lets consumers know that the seafood is not being overfished and was caught in ways that don't hurt the environment.

At-Sea Processors sought the label, in part, to distinguish products made from Alaska pollock in the marketplace. One of its goals is to increase markets in Europe where consumers are more likely to look for eco-labels, Gilmore said.

The pollock fishery off Alaska's coast accounts annually for approximately a third of all seafood landings in the United States and is processed primarily by several Seattle-based companies.
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