National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

jesJes Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman magazine and NationalFisherman.com.

 

This week three workers for a now-defunct U.K. wholesale and retail company were sentenced for a scam in which farmed salmon was falsely labeled as organic.

False or misleading labeling has been a problem for the fishing and organic industries for years.

While I might scoff at anyone going out of their way to buy "organic" farmed salmon, there's a reason people gravitate toward the label.

When it comes to produce, organic is supposed to mean the food is the least tampered with of anything in the mass market. It's intended to convey that what you're buying is as close to wild-foraged food as you can get.

I still choose locally foraged wild mushrooms over grocery-store white buttons whenever I can, so why would I skimp on a protein?

The answer (as far as I understand) is that people don't know the difference.

Fish-buyers' pocket guides may try to ease shoppers' worries as to which fisheries are being managed well and are therefore sustainable. But they do nothing to promote wild over farmed (in fact, in many cases, they do the opposite), much less fish touted as "organic."

Fortunately, the Marine Stewardship Council is still on the side of wild fish when it comes to certifying sustainable fisheries.

I can only hope labeling scandals will keep wild fish ranked above farmed (organic or not) for the foreseeable future.

National Fisherman Live

National Fisherman Live: 11/06/14

In this episode:

NOAA report touts 2013 landings, value increases
Panama fines GM salmon company Aquabounty
Gulf council passes Reef Fish Amendment 40
Maine elver quota cut by 2,000 pounds
Offshore mussel farm would be East Coast’s first

 

Inside the Industry

EAST SAND ISLAND, Oregon—Alexa Piggott is crawling through a dark, dusty, narrow tunnel on this 62-acre island at the mouth of the Columbia River. On the ground above her head sit thousands of seabirds. Piggott, a crew leader with Bird Research Northwest, is headed for an observation blind from which she'll be able to count them.
 
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NOAA and its fellow Natural Resource Damage Assessment trustees in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill have announced the signing of a formal Record of Decision to implement a gulf restoration plan. The 44 projects, totaling an estimated $627 million, will restore barrier islands, shorelines, dunes, underwater grasses and oyster beds.

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