September 14, 2016
A shocking discovery of forced labor was discovered among the Hawaiian fishing fleet. The results of an AP investigation calls into question the ethics of the fishing industry. Wholesalers and retailers on the West Coast are scrambling to identify whether their products were caught with forced labor. Read more at the AP.
The third annual Our Ocean conference, hosted by the U.S. State Department, is scheduled for September 15 – 16 in Washington D.C. Foci for the conference will be marine protected areas, ocean pollution, climate change, and sustainable fisheries including traceability. Read more at the Our Ocean conference website.
In the largest study to date of seafood mislabeling, Oceana, a large ocean-focused non-profit, found one in five seafood products mislabeled worldwide. The new report, “Deceptive Dishes: Seafood Swaps Found Worldwide,” was covered widely in the media and expands on earlier estimates of mislabeling in the U.S. and other countries. Beth Lowell, a senior campaign director at Oceana was quoted in the New York Times saying, “[Mislabeling is] a global problem, and it’s not going to go away on its own.” Efforts to increase traceability of all seafood could help stem the tide of fraud. Read the report at Oceana or coverage in the New York Times.
An oyster hatchery in Maryland gets an $800,000 boost to ramp up production to 1.5 million seed oysters for restoration. Read more at Southern Maryland Online. Officials met with skepticism from Eastern Shore watermen during a public meeting about expanding human-made oyster reefs and stocking with hatchery raised oysters. Read more at the Bay Journal.
Climate change is the likely culprit for higher rates of environmentally acquired Vibrio infections in the North Atlantic.The study findings are particularly troubling for shellfish growers on the East Coast, where Vibrio bacteria could be endemic due to rising ocean temperatures. Vibrio infections are one of the leading illnesses caused by eating shellfish. Read more at PNAS or via coverage in the Washington Post.
Is kelp the new kale? Wild harvesting seaweed has become a popular occupation in Chile and is spreading to other parts of South America, reports Sarah McColl, a food writer in Brooklyn, New York. Chefs at popular farm-to-table restaurants in Chile’s capital, Santiago, are cooking with it and creating buzz. Farmed seaweed is also growing in popularity in New England. Read more at Take Part and the Boston Globe.