Monday, March 29, 2010

Livin' in the Blurbs: Fishy Business

Today the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced that two North Pacific albacore tuna fisheries have passed the rigorous process required to become certified as well-managed and sustainable. Tuna caught by the Canadian Highly Migratory Species Foundation (CHMSF) troll/jig fishery and the U.S.-based Western Fishboat Owners Association (WFOA) will now be able to carry the MSC label (left) on their products. Many of the families that belong to these fisheries are second and third generation fishers, and MSC certification means that their products will be sought out by the increasing number of consumers, restaurants and grocery outlets looking for sustainably caught fish. It may help assure that not only will the fish stocks they rely on be available for the foreseeable future, but that their livelihoods may survive for generations to come as well.

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West coast troll and line-caught albacore tuna has also recently been listed as a "Best Choice" fish by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program, which advises consumers looking for seafood that is fished or farmed in ways that don’t harm the environment. While not requiring fisheries to go through the same rigorous certification process required by the MSC (above), their scientists do comb through government reports, journal articles and white papers, as well as contacting fishery and fish farm experts to develop an in-depth Seafood Watch Report which forms the basis for their recommendations. On the website you can check their latest recommendations, download a pocket guide or, better yet, download their iPhone app and impress everyone at the fish counter with your grooviness.

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And, last but definitely not least, Trader Joe's has announced a goal to have all of their seafood purchases shift to sustainable sources by Dec. 31, 2012. The press release on the TJ's website states that "it is our intent to have this goal function as a seafood policy that addresses customer concerns including the issues of over fishing, destructive catch or production methods, and the importance of marine reserves." This follows on the heels of an announcement by Target in January that it has eliminated all farmed salmon from its fresh, frozen and smoked seafood offerings in Target stores nationwide. Great news not only for our oceans and future fish stocks, but for our dinner tables, too!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

That Trader Joe's thing is interesting, considering they stopped responding to Greenpeace's notes on their fish options (traitorjoes.com). I feel like it shouldn't be taking them so long to fix this.

kab said...

I just keep thinking, "Baby steps…baby steps…"

Rainy Daisy said...

How wonderful! Where do you find all these fantastic stories?

And I think that, unfortunately, Greenpeace tends to be a bit overaggressive at times. Nothing happens overnight. I am glad that Trader Joes is making the switch.

kab said...

As far as finding the stories, they just come up in conversations or in other research I'm doing for articles; often it's through e-mails I get from various organizations. I just like to put info out there that folks might not hear about otherwise!