NFI fires back at Ted Danson

By

SeafoodSource staff

Published on
June 8, 2009

The National Fisheries Institute on Monday fired back at actor and oceans activist Ted Danson after his appearance on CNN.

In a five-and-a-half minute interview American Morning host John Roberts On Monday, Danson, a founding board member of Oceana, promoted the film “The End of the Line,” which he narrates, in an effort to raise awareness of overfishing. The film made its theatrical debut on Monday, the first United Nations-sanctioned World Oceans Day.

NFI posted Danson’s interview on the Web site YouTube, and each time he made a misleading or inaccurate statement about overfishing, NFI paused the clip and inserted a one- or two-sentence rebuttal.

For example, Danson claimed that 75 percent of the world’s fisheries are “fully fished or overfished.” But NFI countered that, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, 72 percent of fisheries are under, moderately or fully exploited, 19 percent are overexploited and 8 percent are depleted.

Danson also suggested that 3 to 4 pounds of wild fish are required to produce 1 pound of farmed salmon. NFI countered that the numbers are dated, adding that British Columbia salmon farmers have cut the feed conversion ratio to near 1:1.

“End of the Line,” which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, in January, is based on the 2004 book by Charles Clover, a former editor at London’s Daily Telegraph, and directed by Rupert Murray. It is billed as “An Inconvenient Truth” for the oceans.

“As an individual, you should be conscious [of] what you’re buying,” said Danson. “Is it sustainable? You need to be an activist, honestly. You need to change policy. I’m pushing Oceana. Find an organization … and become an activist because time is running out.”

On Friday, Scottish Fishermen’s Federation depicted the film as “excessively gloomy and over-simplistic,” adding that it fails to accurately portray the Scottish fishermen’s role in ensuring sustainable fisheries.

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