Editor’s picks: Taking tuna to task

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
December 9, 2010

Here’s a recap of this week’s must-read SeafoodSource news stories and commentaries:

• Consumer Reports is taking tuna to task — again. The popular U.S. magazine is warning pregnant women to avoid eating canned tuna after detecting trace amounts of methylmercury in all 42 samples of canned and pouched tuna it recently tested. It conducted a similar test in 2006. But Consumer Reports failed to put in perspective the health risks associated with consuming fish relatively high in mercury and is doing a disservice to the public, as I write in my commentary “Where’s the perspective?” 

• It’s a rewarding time for the Marine Stewardship Council, which has reached a number of milestones as of late, including its 100th certified fishery. This week, Deepdock’s James Wilson talked to SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Lindsey Partos about the four mussel companies in Wales, including Deepdock, becoming the world’s first “enhanced” fishery to attain MSC certification.

• The MSC also found itself on the defensive this week after Washington, D.C., environmental NGO Food & Water Watch questioned the validity of seafood eco-labels and said “flawed” fisheries are often certified. But Kerry Coughlin, the MSC’s regional director in the Americas, defended the London-based program, touting its “value, scientific rigor and effectiveness.”

• This week’s market report took a look and the U.S. East Coast whitefish market, which is currently in flux. It tends to stutter a bit as winter approaches, with rougher weather stunting supply and holiday feasts shifting demand. This year is no different, but there are also other factors in the scarcity of fish these days. (Only SeafoodSource premium members can access market reports.)

• New to SeafoodSource is a collection of news items titled “In brief.” This week, “In brief” covered everything from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill’s impact on the U.S. seafood supply being the No. 1 food-related story of 2010 to Pacific Andes Resources Development acquiring a 20 percent stake in Tasmanian salmon producer Tassal Group.

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