Editor’s picks: Putting '2048' to bed

It’s the middle of summer. And though the weather hasn’t exactly been favorable until recently here in Portland, Maine (a record 19-plus inches of rain fell in June and July), vacationing seafood professionals across the Northern Hemisphere are catching some well-deserved R&R. Rain or shine, the SeafoodSource editorial staff is constantly working to bring you the most timely, comprehensive news coverage of the global seafood trade, all for free.

In an effort to make it easier for you to take in the week’s news, this week I’m introducing “Editor’s Picks,” a roundup of the week’s can’t-miss news stories, market reports and commentaries. Here’s a look at this week’s top-five articles (in no particular order):

• Can we finally put “2048” to bed? In 2006, Dalhousie University marine ecologist Boris Worm published a study predicting the collapse of the world’s fish stocks by 2048 if overfishing isn’t stopped. The “2048” story took on a life of its own, garnering so much mainstream press that relatives and friends asked, “Will there be any fish left in 40 years?” As it turns out, the answer is “yes.” After questioning the validity of Worm’s study, Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington teamed up with Worm and 19 other scientists, and their two-year study, published in 1 August edition of the journal Science, offered a much more favorable outlook on the health of the world’s fish stocks. To read about how industry representatives, government officials and conservationists reacted to their study, click here.

• The health benefits associated with seafood consumption is arguably the protein’s biggest attribute — the No. 1 thing driving seafood consumption in the industrialized world. Though it has temporarily leveled off at about 16 pounds per capita, U.S. seafood consumption is still trending upward, due primarily to its healthful profile. James Wright’s 29 July column, “Seafood part of obesity solution,” examined the challenge of marketing seafood for weight loss. And Mike Urch’s 31 July column, “Pushing the health message,” asked, “Is anyone getting the health message across to consumers?”

• Cod farming hasn’t quite taken off like salmon and tilapia aquaculture have in the past 10 to 15 years. But cod producers remain optimistic about the future. On 31 July, SeafoodSource contributing editor Nicki Holmyard took an in-depth look at Europe’s cod farming industry, which is in a state of flux, hindered by poor prices, a drop in production and a lack of investor confidence. But not all is lost. Click here to read Holmyard’s feature. It’s a must-read.

• Not a week passes without a retailer or restaurant operator pledging their commitment to sourcing only sustainable seafood. On Monday, Stop & Shop, one of the U.S. Northeast’s largest supermarket chains, with about 380 stores in seven states, announced that it’s renewing its partnership with the New England Aquarium. The collaboration is reportedly strengthening the retailer’s sustainable seafood efforts, beginning with farmed shrimp from Thailand and Indonesia. SeafoodSource contributing editor Christine Blank talked to Tracy Taylor, senior seafood buyer for Stop & Shop, about the retailer’s recent trip to Southeast Asia and its devotion to sustainable seafood. To read Christine’s story, click here.

• It’s often assumed that kids are finicky about food. But when it comes to seafood, they’re not as picky as you may think. According to a Technomic survey released on Wednesday, kids often order shrimp and sushi when they dine out. What’s more, 66 percent of the 1,200 kids Technomic polled know that fish is good for them. Click here to read Blank’s interview with Sara Monnette, senior consumer research manager for Technomic.

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