This summer, while you're enjoying the beach and delicious grilled seafood, please take a moment to comment on two important issues affecting oceans and fisheries:
1) The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), an independent seafood certification organization that supposedly helps consumers identify sustainable seafood, may soon put its "sustainable" label on swordfish, yellowfin and bigeye tuna caught on surface longlines in waters off the coast of northeast Florida.
These surface longlines catch thousands of other animals including threatened and endangered sea turtles and fish such as marlin, bluefin tuna and sailfish, which often are dumped back into the ocean, dead.
Also, many of the marine animals caught in this fishery rely upon the Gulf of Mexico as an important breeding and feeding area. The Gulf is the only known spawning area for bluefin tuna in the Western Atlantic. With the ecological impacts of the BP oil disaster still unknown, certifying any fishery in this region as "sustainable," especially a wasteful surface longline fishery, would be a tragedy.
2) The Canadian government has been working with the salmon farming industry to develop net-cage salmon farms to be certified "organic." A draft of this standard has been released for review and public comments will be accepted until August 30.
As written, the standard would allow organic certification to be granted to net-cages with few to no changes to current practices.
Farmed salmon grown in net-cages on the BC coast are treated with the chemical SLICE and antibiotics, spread sea lice and disease to juvenile wild salmon, release tremendous waste into surrounding waters, and consume more wild fish in their feed than the farmed fish produced — in short, there's nothing sustainable or organic about it!
Why is it important for Americans to voice their opposition? Because Americans are the biggest consumers of Canadian farmed salmon. Click below for more information, to view a sample letter, and send your own!
Trudy Bialic and Eli Penberthy
PCC Public Affairs
4201 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105