FishWatch logo to appear on packaging

By

Steven Hedlund

Published on
March 8, 2010

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is working with a few seafood companies to test the FishWatch logo on their packaging.

NOAA’s FishWatch Web site features about 80 U.S.-caught species and includes information to help consumers eliminate the confusion and guesswork associated with seafood consumption. The site was introduced in 2007 and re-launched at the 2008 International Boston Seafood Show.

The logo is not an eco-label but a way to guide consumers toward the FishWatch site, said Katie Semon, senior project manager for FishWatch, at the World Aquaculture Society’s Aquaculture 2010 conference in San Diego last week.

“This is just a pilot project. It’s just starting to get underway,” she explained. “We’ve made that clear with the people that we’re working with, and it’s only a select few.”

Atlantic Capes Fisheries, one of the East Coast’s largest vertically integrated sea scallop producers, will be using the logo on its sea scallop packaging, said Semon. The packaging featuring the logo is not yet in stores but will be soon, she explained. The Cape May, N.J., company produces more than 10 million pounds of sea scallops annually and also has an office in New Bedford, Mass.

NOAA is also in talks with CleanFish about using the logo, said Semon. The San Francisco firm advises eco-conscious fish farms and wild fisheries on how to improve their operations and connects them with like-minded distributors.

FishWatch has also partnered and shared its information with the National Fisheries Institute, the California Fisheries and Seafood Institute, Aquarium of the Pacific, King’s Seafood Co. and Publix.

NOAA this year will work with its aquaculture office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to profile U.S.-farmed seafood, added Semon.

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