Year’s most-read: Commentaries

Editor’s note: Over the next two weeks, SeafoodSource is running a series of articles summing up the year’s news. Kicking off the series is a list of the five most-read commentaries of 2011. Tomorrow, a list of this year’s five most-read Q&As will be published. 

SeafoodSource’s team of columnists touched on a variety of subjects in 2011, ranging from McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich to an alternative, fishmeal-free feed to the struggles of Vietnam’s pangasius industry. Here’s a rundown of this year’s five most-read commentaries:

5) The fifth-most popular commentary of 2011 involved the world’s most-popular fried-fish sandwich. McDonald’s iconic Filet-O-Fish sandwich will bear the Marine Stewardship Council sustainable fisheries eco-label, beginning in the United Kingdom and spreading across Europe. The announcement came on World Oceans Day, just nine days after the sandwich’s creator, Lou Groen, passed away at the age of 93. The Filet-O-Fish has come a long, long way from its humble beginnings in Cincinnati in 1962. I paid homage to him in my 8 June commentary “Lou Groen would be proud.”

4) Well-respected fisheries scientist Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington gave a talk at a late October conference at Fishmongers’ Hall in London, and what he had to say was a much-welcomed departure from the usual portrayals of doom and gloom. “It was a refreshing change to listen to such an upbeat message, and the global fisheries industry should make sure that it is heard,” wrote SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Mike Urch, in his 7 November commentary “Time to be upbeat about fisheries.”

3) Pangasius, along with tilapia, is the posterchild of the global freshwater finfish aquaculture industry. But the species hit a bit of a rough patch this year. Image problems, a lack of supplies and a substantial price increase are hurting Vietnamese pangasius sales, especially in Europe, the No. 1 market. Are the boom days for pangasius turning to bust? Urch investigates in his 5 December commentary “Pangasius at a crossroads.”

2) One Welsh company is on the brink of something very big following a successful blind trial of its alternative, fishmeal-free feed in the United States. In his 19 August commentary “A sustainable fishmeal alternative,” SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Jason Holland gets the skinny in an interview with Dragon Feeds’ Tony Smith.

1) The most popular commentary of 2011 stems from Urch’s criticism of a German TV program titled “The Pangasius Lie.” In his 14 March commentary “WWF’s hatchet job on pangasius,” Urch ripped into the show and the World Wildlife Fund’s involvement in it, calling it one-sided and biased. Urch followed up with the 11 April commentary “For pangasius, the squeeze is on.” In it, Urch detailed the fallout from the TV program, which he said unfairly denigrated Vietnam’s pangasius industry.


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