Media watch: Positive outweighs negative
In August, the mainstream media seemingly ramped up its coverage of the seafood industry, and the news was mostly positive. At least four U.S. news outlets ran articles geared toward helping consumers make healthy and sustainable seafood selections.
• Both Michigan’s Daily Tribune and New Jersey’s North South Brunswick Sentinel newspapers ran articles highlighting the Environmental Defense Fund’s Seafood Selector, while the Sentinel raised awareness of the state’s new consumer report, “Fish Smart, Easy Smart: A Guide to Health Advisories for Eating Fish and Crabs caught in New Jersey Waters.”
• Noozhawk.com, which covers Santa Barbara and Goleta, Calif., also detailed consumers’ quest for sustainable seafood, guiding readers to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program and the Santa Barbara Sustainable Seafood Program, created by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Ty Warner Sea Center.
• The Chicago Tribune covered the launch of Purdue University’s Web site, Fish4Health, which provides guidance for pregnant women about which fish they can safely eat. The site now provides wallet cards and an iPhone application.
• ABCnews.com bolstered fish’s “brain food” profile by drawing attention to a new study showing that increased seafood consumption correlates with reduced risk of dementia. The news outlet also featured another study demonstrating that eating seafood may boost the mood of pregnant women who are depressed.
• The news can’t all be good, right? One black spot in this month’s coverage of the seafood industry involved a new U.S. Geological Survey study showing widespread mercury contamination in freshwater fish. However, the National Fisheries Institute was quick to clarify that the study involved only recreationally caught fish and that the commercially produced seafood found in restaurants and supermarkets is safe to eat. The Houston Chronicle ran a news brief on its Web site explaining how easy it is to choose safe seafood. It also pointed out that the mercury levels in most fish do not pose a human health threat.