Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Welcome to Salmon Facts

Hi, I'm Eric McErlain of CounterPoint Strategies, and we're working with the trade group Salmon of the Americas to bring you Salmon Facts, a blog about salmon aquaculture.

The issue we're watching today concerns a trio of guides on "sustainable sushi" that are being published simultaneously by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Blue Ocean Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund. We've known for a few days that each of these guides were going to place farmed Atlantic Salmon on their red list for some time now, and we're watching the resulting media coverage very closely.

Needless to say, the folks at Salmon of the Americas in Chile and British Columbia don't agree with their findings. Here's a portion of a media advisory that the National Fisheries Institute and Salmon of the Americas issued jointly yesterday:
Reporters and editors are urged to question the overall viability of the guides while keeping in mind there is little if any independent oversight and or uniformity in production of these types of materials. By causing confusion in the marketplace, these guides might actually dissuade consumers from eating seafood, something that would deny them the proven health benefits of cause direct harm to public health.

What’s more, use of guides produced by environmental lobbying groups in order to obtain nutrition information is completely inappropriate.

You are urged to consult with members of the seafood community to provide a fuller picture of the issues involved.

The following spokespeople are available to provide input from the global fisheries industry regarding the guide's recommendations:

Gavin Gibbons
National Fisheries Institute

Mary Ellen Walling
Salmon of the Americas/BC Salmon Farmers
For more, on salmon sustainability questions, click here. Keep watching this space all day long.

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