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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science

First Advisor

Singleton, Sara (Sara G.)

Second Advisor

Alper, Donald K.

Third Advisor

Abedi, Amir, 1966-


Eco-labelling programs have become an important market mechanism of environmental governance. The Alaska salmon eco-certification case study provides a rich opportunity to analyze whether industry created eco-labelling programs can foster legitimate resource sustainability. This paper investigates the motives of the Alaska industry in the withdrawal of the salmon fisheries from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification, and creation of an Alaska label in 2011. It is argued that Alaska circumvented salmon sustainability by creating its own eco-label. This paper suggests the motive for the emergence of a new fisheries eco-certification initiative was to gain an eco-label through less stringent conformance criteria. In this case, Alaska sought to certify fisheries engaged in industrial hatcheries, which are harming wild stocks, as sustainable. Finally, market mechanism disciplinary discourse logic implies both a ratcheting up of market-wide environmental performance and legitimacy. This study illuminates an intriguing example of an eco-label that runs contrary to this.




Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subjects – Names (LCNAF)

Marine Stewardship Council; Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute

Subject – LCSH

Sustainable fisheries--Standards--Political aspects--Case studies; Fishery management--Standards--Political aspects--Case studies; Eco-labeling--Standards--Political aspects--Case studies

Geographic Coverage





masters theses




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