Ocean Trust: Better science, more communication

Too many sources are giving too much information on what is happening with fish stocks — and much of it is questionable. That was the message from Thor Lassen, president of Ocean Trust, to a roomful of distinguished scientists at the conclusion of a fishing symposium in New Bedford on Thursday.

When dramatic changes take place in ecosystems and fish populations, science has to be able to come up with some answers or the public will seek their information elsewhere, Lassen said.

"But how reliable are those sources of information? Are they science-based, peer-reviewed or transparent?" he asked, citing the numerous partnerships that have formed in the marketplace between environmental groups and large seafood retailers such as Whole Foods and Wal-Mart.

Many of these non-governmental organizations are producing guidelines, advising the public on which fisheries are sustainable and which types of seafood to avoid.

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