National Fisherman


The Center for Food Safety, Earthjustice, Friends of the Earth, and Food & Water Watch will join nearly 1.5 million people who have raised vehement objections, based on science, policy and law, to a proposal before the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to approve genetically engineered salmon, the first-ever GE animal intended for human consumption. The comment period ends Friday, April 26 at midnight.

The close of the comment period comes as documents disclosed through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request raise serious questions about the adequacy of the FDA's review of the AquAdvantage Salmon application, said the Center for Food Safety (CFS).

Among other things, while the FDA has refused to look at the environmental impacts of these GE fish beyond the Canadian and Panamanian facilities proposed in the application, it appears that US Fish and Wildlife Service has already received requests to import AquAdvantage Salmon eggs into the US for commercial production, continued the CFS.

The information further reveals that scientists within the Fish and Wildlife Service questioned the FDA's ability and authority to review the impact of genetically engineered animals, and agreed with prominent experts that a full Environmental Impact Statement must be conducted before any decision on approval is finalised.

Last year the FDA released its Environmental Assessment, the last step before possible approval of the AquAdvantage transgenic salmon engineered by AquaBounty Technologies. When FDA first announced its intent to approve AquaBounty's application in the autumn of 2010, the public sent more than 400,000 comments in opposition. Now that opposition has grown to nearly 1.5 million people.

"The newly revealed disclosures are very troubling," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of Center for Food Safety "They raise the question of whether the whole idea of growing these genetically engineered salmon in Panama was a regulatory ruse by the company designed to get approval, while their real intent was to sell these eggs to US companies to be grown in US facilities. It appears as if the FDA will have to go back to step one on this approval process and assess the impact of growing these salmon not in Panama but in several locations around this country."

Read the full story at the Fish Site>>

Inside the Industry

The following was released by the Maine Department of Marine Resources on Jan. 22:

The Maine Department of Marine Resources announced an emergency regulation that will support the continued rebuilding effort in Maine’s scallop fishery. The rule, effective January 23, 2016, will close the Muscle Ridge Area near South Thomaston and the Western Penobscot Bay Area.

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Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which governs commercial and recreational fishing in the state, got a new boss in January. Charlie Melancon, a former member of the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislator, was appointed to the job by the state’s new governor, John Bel Edwards.

Although much of his non-political work in the past has centered on the state’s sugar cane industry, Melancon said he is confident that other experience, including working closely with fishermen when in Congress, has prepared him well for this new challenge.

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