Month in review: September


April Forristall, assistant editor

Published on
September 28, 2010

Here’s a look at September’s most-read SeafoodSource news stories and commentaries:

• It’s no surprise that the news story SeafoodSource readers were most interested in this month was on 2009 U.S. per-capita seafood consumption dropping to its lowest level since 2002. It totaled 15.8 pounds in 2009, down from 16 pounds in 2008. However, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, Americans spent USD 75.5 billion on seafood last year, up from USD 69.8 billion in 2008.

• Welcome to the top 10, pangasius. The affordable catfish-like species appeared on the top 10 list of America’s favorite seafood products for the first time in 2009. Pangasius claimed the No. 10 spot with 0.356 pounds per capita. Shrimp help the No. 1 position at 4.1 pounds per capita, followed by canned tuna and salmon at 2.5 pounds and 2.04 pounds, respectively.

• SeafoodSource readers also closely followed the Marine Stewardship Council’s defense of its sustainable seafood certification scheme after a critical report was published in the journal Nature. The report blasted the London-based nonprofit for certifying fisheries as sustainable when, according to the report’s authors, they do not merit such recognition. The MSC fired back, calling its program outcome-based.

• The MSC remained in the spotlight when the World Wildlife Fund expressed concern that supermarkets in Europe and North America may inadvertently include MSC-certified Barents Sea cod when they bar Atlantic cod from their stores. SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch said the WWF’s concerns are too little and too late to have any effect. “For the WWF to now say that some cod stocks are, in fact, responsibly managed and cod caught in these waters is all right to eat, is rather like trying to close the stable door after the horse has bolted,” said Urch.

• Sustainability continued to piqued SeafoodSource readers’ interests in September, particularly the news that Whole Foods launched a science-based seafood ratings system for categorizing the sustainability its wild seafood species, based on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s popular Seafood Watch program. The Austin, Texas-based retailer also pledged to phase out all red-listed species by Earth Day 2013.

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