National Fisherman

The Rudderpost 

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


It's nice to see that the New York Times finally got around to running a story on seafood that is less likely to scare its readers away from a healthful alternative to the standard American diet.

Last week, the National Fisheries Institute contacted the paper requesting corrections and clarifications to Marian Burros' Jan. 23 article "High Mercury Levels Are Found in Tuna Sushi." The Times staff promised something in writing, but would not commit to a date.

I guess today's "Taking Worry Off the Plate" is the response to the NFI's request. Author Nick Fox starts out by listing all the low-mercury options for frequent seafood consumption (nice, but a week overdue).

The first mention of scientific dispute in the mercury debate is buried in the eighth paragraph (after a long list of other seafood you shouldn't eat more than once a week if you're a child or a woman of child-bearing age).

"Not all scientists are convinced that mercury at the levels regularly found in fish causes health problems," writes Fox. "And many researchers as well as seafood-industry advocates believe that the benefits of eating fish far outweigh the risk from mercury."

These two sentences cover the dissenting voices, and the article quickly reverts to mentioning the FDA recommendations and the newspaper's own study of mercury in sushi tuna.

Is the Times really trying to take the worry off our plates? Because it smells like they've served up another pile of angst.

Inside the Industry

The Northeast Fisheries Science Center has announced that Dr. Jon Hare has been selected to serve as the permanent science and research director effective Oct. 31.

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It’s no secret that fraud is a problem in the seafood industry. Oceana repeatedly touts a mislabeling epidemic. While their method has been criticized, the perception of rampant fraud  has been established.

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