Editor's picks: Say 'no' to salmon
Here's a recap of this week's must-read SeafoodSource news stories and commentaries:
• California and Oregon salmon had been absent from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's seafood-buying guide since mid-2008. This week, it reappeared, but the fishing community wasn't too pleased with its categorization. California and Oregon salmon is now listed as "avoid" in the popular color-coded guide. After being closed for the past two years, the fishery was reopened by the Pacific Fishery Management Council this year, but on only a limited basis. Climatic shifts and habitat loss are primarily to blame for the low chinook salmon population.
• Late last week, the Associated Press picked up on a report on toxin levels in whales. In the article, the report's authors grossly overstated the potential impact of their findings on the global seafood supply, SeafoodSource Assistant Editor April Forristall explained in her Media Watch commentary. But the report hasn't caused much of a stir in the mainstream media beyond the Associated Press article.
• Sea lice popped up on SeafoodSource twice in one day this week. The use of a delousing agent, the subject of an exposé that aired on French TV, ignited a debate between French Fisheries Minister Bruno Le Maire and his Norwegian counterpart, Lisbeth Berg-Hansen. But, in the end, both Le Maire and Berg-Hansen reassured French consumers that Norwegian salmon is safe to eat and that the delousing agent in question, diflubenzuron, is legal to use in salmon farming in Norway. On the same day, the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) reported that its efforts to fight sea lice infestations are "in full swing."
• A pilot project in Europe is using RFID tagging technology to track fish. Participants in eTrace, part of the wider European platform SafeFoodEra, claimed to have tracked fish from fishing boats in Simrishamn, Sweden, through the supply chain to a retailer in Gothenburg. Retailers involved in the multi-stakeholder project directly accessed data and maps for each fish, detailing where the fish was caught and how it arrived at the store.
• Panera Bread and D'Angelo Grilled Sandwiches are among the fast-casual chains using seafood, especially lobster, to spice up their menus, with a variety of sizes and price points to fit different budgets. For example, D'Angelo's "Lobster Nation Meal Deal" consists of a small lobster sandwich, a small bag of chips and a medium drink for USD 11.99. Casual and upscale steakhouse chains are doing the same — Smith & Wollensky's new Summer Grill Menu features numerous seafood items, including Shrimp Cobb Salad, Miso Glazed Chilean Sea Bass and Surf & Turf Maine Lobster & Filet Mignon.