Friday, March 29, 2013

Fish Tales for Good Friday 3.29.13

Fish tales have been in headlines over the past few months. This day when so many faithful are eating “meat without feet” seems an appropriate time to summarize a few.

Follow that Fish
On March 6, Representative Ed Markey (D-Mass) introduced a new, bipartisan version of the legislation he had proposed in Congress last July to combat the mislabeling of seafood in restaurants and markets. The legislation is in response to studies showing that a high percentage of fish sold in the US is incorrectly labeled. The SAFE Seafood Act requires information that is already collected by U.S. fishermen — such as species name, catch location, and harvest method to ‘follow the fish,’ and be made available to consumers. It also requires foreign exporters of seafood to the United States to provide equivalent documentation. Rep. Markey was joined in the legislation by original co-sponsors Walter Jones (R-N.C.), John Tierney (D-Mass.), Bill Keating (D-Mass.), Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Jo Bonner (R-Ala.). Senator Mark Begich (D-Alaska) will introduce companion legislation in the Senate. If you think mislabeled fish is not a problem, Oceana’s infographic: “Seafood Fraud Made Simple” should remove any doubt, especially if you think you have been eating red snapper.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood WATCH® Updates
The Monterey Bay Aquarium believes that “through better practices, we can create healthy, abundant oceans for everyone.” Through its Seafood WATCH® program the Aquarium has  been working since 1999 to make this vision a reality. Consumers play an important role in the conservation of ocean resources when they choose to purchase ocean-friendly seafood. The Seafood WATCH® program provides consumers with tools to make the right choices — national and regional guides in which seafood is rated as “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and “Avoid.” The 2013 guides are available for download here and are also available for mobile devices. The guides are updated periodically. Ryan Bigelow, Seafood® Watch Outreach Manager reports, “This is our biggest set of report updates in a fews years…Most exciting is that several species under U.S. fisheries management – monkfish, and Atlantic flatfish such as plaice and some flounders – have moved from the “Avoid” to the “Good Alternative” category. Improved data quality and farming practices moved tilapia from China and Taiwan from "Avoid" to "Good Alternative", and tilapia from Ecuador from "Good Alternative" to “Best Choice.” You can learn about the process Seafood WATCH® uses to make recommendations here.

AquaBounty Technologies’ Salmon
The US Food and Drug Administration may soon approve the sale of salmon, genetically engineered to reach market size more rapidly than other farmed salmon. If approved, AquaBounty salmon would become the first genetically engineered animal to enter the food supply. More than 33,000 people have submitted comments to the FDA. PCC Natural Markets, Trader Joe’s, Aldi’s and Whole Foods have already stated that they will not carry the salmon if it is approved for sale.

Giant Squid Caught on Film
Late in January, the Discovery Channel released a video of a giant squid filmed in its deep ocean habitat. The giant squid can grow up to 55 feet long. The one in the film is 30 feet long. That’s still a lot of squid. 

That’s all the tales for this time.

Have a great weekend.

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