In brief: Group says albacore tuna is safe


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
December 14, 2010

The Western Fishboat Owners Association (WFOA) on Tuesday responded to a report published in the January 2011 issue of Consumer Reports that warns pregnant and nursing women and young children to avoid eating tuna due to mercury concerns.

The WFOA said that while mercury in the environment and in the fish is a serious issue, both consumers and small-scale U.S. fisheries are hurt when sweeping generalizations are made about mercury in albacore tuna. The group said the report does not differentiate between catch methods or the size of the albacore being tested.

“Not making a distinction between how and where albacore are caught is misleading and ignores good science that shows U.S. troll-caught albacore mercury levels to be similar to that of light tuna, which both the U.S. Food and Drug Administration  and Consumer Reports list as safe,” said WFOA Executive Director Wayne Heikkila. “Canned tuna is a convenient, affordable source of protein that has the added benefit of high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many, many health benefits. We believe that the benefits of consuming quality seafood far outweigh any risk for the vast majority of people, and that the hyperbole associated with some of these mercury campaigns does more to damage consumers’ health by driving them to less healthful foods.”

Monterey Bay Aquarium updates iPhone app

California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium on Tuesday released its updated Seafood Watch seafood-buying guide iPhone application to include Project FishMap, which helps consumers find the more than 1 million restaurants and fish markets across the United States that sell environmentally friendly seafood.

Other updates to the free iPhone app include improved search functions and a highlighted list of “Super Green” seafood items that is heart-healthy, low in contaminants and caught or farmed in a responsible manner.

“We want people to have a resource so they can find ocean-friendly seafood, no matter where they live,” said Sheila Bowman, senior outreach manager for the Seafood Watch program. “This is a real community project for green living. With Project FishMap, anyone who finds sustainable seafood can share their discoveries. Each time they do, they’re helping others make better seafood choices.”

New Zealand salmon farmer reaches 13th export market

Malborough-based salmon farmer New Zealand King Salmon on Tuesday announced that due to a change in manufacturing procedures it has expanded to Switzerland, its 13th export market.

The company said it has worked for two years to meet specific product requirements from Migros, Switzerland’s largest supermarket chain, including custom designing equipment to meet specific dimensions for smoked salmon products.

“Frankly, we raised the benchmark. They asked for smoked salmon with a shelf life of 12 days from delivery. Their independent testing showed our products easily surpassed that. We are proud to say our product has been created naturally and delivers a fantastic result — a real credit to the product-development team,” said New Zealand King Salmon CEO Grant Rosewarne.

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