National Fisherman


Several supermarket chains have pledged not to sell what could become the first genetically modified animal to reach the nation's dinner plates — a salmon engineered to grow about twice as fast as normal.

The supermarkets — including Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's and Aldi —stated their policies in response to a campaign by consumer and environmental groups opposed to the fish. The groups are expected to announce the chains' policies on Wednesday. The supermarket chains have 2,000 stores in all, with 1,200 of them belonging to Aldi, which has outlets stretching from Kansas and Texas to the East Coast.

"Our current definition of sustainable seafood specifies the exclusion of genetically modified organisms," a spokeswoman for Aldi said in a statement that also said the policy might evolve over time. She said the company would not comment further.

The salmon is now awaiting approval from the Food and Drug Administration, which in December concluded that the fish would have "no significant impact" on the environment and would be as safe to eat as conventional salmon. The agency is accepting public comments on its findings until April 26.

Under existing F.D.A. policies, the salmon, if approved, would probably not be labeled as genetically engineered. The agency has said that use of genetic engineering per se does not change a food materially.

Read the full story at the New York Times>>

Inside the Industry

The Southeast Alaska Fishermen’s Alliance recently announced that the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has awarded the organization a Hollings Grant to reduce whale entanglements in Alaska salmon fisheries by increasing the use of acoustic whale pingers to minimize entanglements in fishing gear.

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Last week, Alaska senators Lisa Murkowski (R), Dan Sullivan (R) and Rep. Don Young (R) asked Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate with Canadian leaders to make sure appropriate environmental safeguards are in place for mine development in Southeast Alaska.

The congressional delegation explained the importance of this issue to Alaskans and the need for assurances that the water quality in transboundary waters between Alaska and Canada will be maintained.

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