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.

Inside the Industry

The American Fisheries Society is honoring recently retired Florida Institute of Oceanography director Bill Hogarth with the Carl R. Sullivan Fishery Conservation Award — one of the nation's premier awards in fisheries science - in recognition of his long career and leadership in preserving some of the world's most threatened species, advocating for environmental protections and leading Florida's scientific response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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The Marine Stewardship Council has appointed Eric Critchlow as the new U.S. Program Director. Critchlow will be based in the MSC US headquarters in Seattle. He is a former vice president of Lusamerica Foods and has over 35 years in the seafood industry.

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