January 10th, 2014
08:45 AM ET
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Zak Smith is an attorney with the marine mammal protection project at the Natural Resources Defense Council in Santa Monica, California.

Did you know that buying American seafood could save a whale?

A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council finds that 91% of seafood consumed in the United States is imported and nearly every wild-caught foreign fish product sold in the U.S. violates the Marine Mammal Protection Act, endangering the lives of marine mammals around the world.

Countries exporting fish to America are supposed to prove they use safe methods to catch fish destined for the U.S. market. But for decades the U.S. has failed to enforce this law. That means whales, dolphins and sea lions are at risk, and American fishermen who invest in safer methods have a disadvantage in the marketplace.
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September 12th, 2013
09:45 AM ET
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A massive molasses spill this week in Honolulu Harbor could lead to an increase in the number of sharks, barracuda and eels as well as bacteria in the area, the Hawaii Department of Health warned.

"While molasses is not harmful to the public directly, the substance is polluting the water, causing fish to die and could lead to an increase in predator species," the health department said in a prepared statement Wednesday.
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Filed under: Disaster • Environment • Ocean


Mass shrimp deaths mean jumbo prices
August 16th, 2013
01:30 PM ET
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Shrimp prices are skyrocketing to all-time highs, amid a disease that's plaguing the three largest prawn producers: Thailand, China and Vietnam. White shrimp prices are nearing $6 a pound, up 56% from a year ago, according to an Urner Barry index.

Interestingly though, the Cadillac of crustaceans is cheaper than it's been in a long time. Lobster prices, while still a lot higher than shrimp, have fallen recently. But more about that later.
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Gulf oyster nets still barren, three years after oil spill
April 29th, 2013
01:45 PM ET
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On his dock along the banks of Bayou Yscloskey, Darren Stander makes the pelicans dance.

More than a dozen of the birds have landed or hopped onto the dock, where Stander takes in crabs and oysters from the fishermen who work the bayou and Lake Borgne at its mouth. The pelicans rock back and forth, beaks rising and falling, as he waves a bait fish over their heads.

At least he's got some company. There's not much else going on at his dock these days. There used to be two or three people working with him; now he's alone. The catch that's coming in is light, particularly for crabs.

"Guys running five or six hundred traps are coming in with two to three boxes, if that," said Stander, 26.
Out on the water, the chains clatter along the railing of George Barisich's boat as he and his deckhand haul dredges full of oysters onto the deck. As they sort them, they're looking for signs of "spat": the young oysters that latch onto reefs and grow into marketable shellfish.
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Filed under: Disaster • Environment • Fishing • New Orleans • Ocean • Oil Spill


Sushi favorite Japanese eel at risk of extinction
February 6th, 2013
09:05 AM ET
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Bad news for food-obssessed travelers to Japan.

Unagi - the sweet broiled eel dish that's one of Japan's best eats - may soon be going the way of shark's fins and fish balls: it gets overfished (check), it gets put on an endangered list (check) and it gets banned from restaurants (maybe).

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment officially added Japanese eel to its Red List of endangered fish on Friday, reported Yomiuri Shimbun.

Read the full story - Japanese eel becomes latest 'endangered food' - on CNN Travel.

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Filed under: Environment • Fishing • Japan • Ocean • Sustainability • Travel


With cod fishing slashed, a way of life may slip away
February 4th, 2013
06:45 PM ET
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An old wooden carving known as "the Sacred Cod" hangs in the Massachusetts State House.

That figurine has stared down at lawmakers for more than two centuries as a reminder of how important cod fishing has been to New England, where generations have made a living by casting their nets out at sea.

"It's the only job I've ever had," said Al Cattone, a Gloucester fisherman, who - like his father and grandfather before him - spent more than 30 years braving the Atlantic's rough waters and cold winds in search of fish.

"It's not so much a job as it is an identity."
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Filed under: Environment • Fishing • Ocean • Sustainability


May 31st, 2012
09:30 AM ET
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Chefs with Issues: The trouble with tuna
April 25th, 2012
04:30 PM ET
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Chefs with Issues is a platform for chefs and farmers we love, fired up for causes about which they're passionate. Virginia Willis, a graduate of L'Academie de Cuisine and Ecole de Cuisine LaVarenne, is the author of "Bon Appétit, Y’all" and "Basic to Brilliant, Y'all."

I opened up a veritable bucket of bait, not a mere can of worms, back in January with my blog post titled "Wicked Tuna: A Deal with the Devil."

"Wicked Tuna" is a reality series that premiered April 1 on the National Geographic Channel. It follows the lives of bluefin tuna fishermen in Gloucester, Massachusetts, and is produced by the same folks that produce the hit TV shows "Dirty Jobs" and "Swamp Loggers."

By many accounts, including the National Geographic website, bluefin tuna are overfished. This is where I find a huge disconnect with the National Geographic channel hosting a show about Atlantic bluefin tuna fishing.
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5@5 - Selecting sustainable fish for Earth Day
April 19th, 2012
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Seafood lovers are between a rockfish and a hard place: More than 80% of the world’s fisheries are being harvested at capacity or are in decline.

In honor of Earth Day, April 22, what can consumers do to make sure their seafood choices aren’t further depleting the oceans?

Chef Takao Iinuma brings a ray of light to the matter. Iiunuma is the executive chef at Genji Sushi, the purveyors of sushi and Japanese cuisine to Whole Foods Markets.

Selecting Sustainable Fish Options for Earth Month: Takao Iinuma
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Filed under: 5@5 • Aquaculture • Earth Day • Environment • Events • News • Ocean • Sustainability • Think


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