National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


I am thrilled to hear today that the U.S. House is moving to bar genetically modified salmon before the Food and Drug Administration can approve it.

Alaska Rep. Don Young's amendment to a farm spending bill was approved by voice vote late Wednesday. And the House is expected to pass the bill this week. The amendment would prevent the FDA from spending money to approve the application from Massachusetts-based AquaBounty.

Despite pleas from many sectors, the FDA has appeared to be leaning toward approving the so-called Frankenfish (king salmon modified with a growth hormone that allows the fish to grow to market size in half the normal time) and has been considering whether it ought to be labeled as modified.

We have no idea what effect this biologically manipulated fish would have on wild species or the humans who might consume it. And the fact that the FDA is only considering whether or not to identify it with a label concerns me gravely.

If this fish were approved and went unlabeled, it could literally slip into the stream and leave consumers feeling even more insecure in their seafood consumption.

Tempting though it may be to look for easy answers to global food deficiencies, we ought not take the bait on this one.

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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