National Fisherman

Mixed Catch 

jerryJerry Fraser is NF's publisher and former editor.



Wild-caught Alaska salmon has gained a new Target audience.

Word is that the Minneapolis-based discount store chain, aiming to give its customers a more eco-friendly option, is switching to selling wild salmon instead of the farmed variety. It announced Tuesday that it "has eliminated all farmed salmon from its fresh, frozen and smoked seafood offerings in Target stores nationwide."

That includes Target-owned brands Archer Farms and Market Pantry as well as national brands. It even extends to sushi; any sushi featuring farm-raised salmon will be made with wild-caught salmon by the end of this year.

Target says it made the decision in consultation with the Monterey Bay Aquarium "to ensure that its salmon offerings are sourced in a sustainable way that helps to preserve abundance, species health and doesn't harm local habitats." The aquarium considers wild-caught Alaska salmon as a "Best Choice" and Target notes the Alaska fishery is Marine Stewardship Council certified.

OK, cynics, you can quip that Target's decision is more about looking like a good eco-friendly citizen to what it refers to as its "guests" (read: customers) than it is supporting America's commercial harvesters.

But the bottom line is Target customers will not only be able to shop green, but get high quality salmon that's darn tasty and an excellent source of protein. And that opens yet another domestic market door for Alaska's salmon harvesters. Plus it raises the profile of U.S. fishermen amongst consumers. Target's decision is good news all the way around for fishermen.

Inside the Industry

NMFS recently released a draft action plan for fish discard and release mortality science, creating a list of actions that they hope can better inform fisheries.

We know that fishermen have to deal with bycatch by discarding or releasing unwanted catch overboard, but there is a data gap regarding how those fish survive.


A new study has identified a set of features common to all ocean ecosystems that provide a visual diagnosis of the health of the underwater environment coastal communities rely on.

Together, the features detail cumulative effects of threats -- such as overfishing, pollution, and invasive species,  allowing responders to act faster to increase ocean resiliency and sustainability.

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