This Salmon Will Likely Be The First Genetically Modified Animal You Eat

Business Insider
July 26, 2014

If you live in the U.S., chances are you’ve consumed genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, in the form of corn or soybeans. Now, the first genetically modified animal may soon be swimming its way to your dinner plate.

A genetically modified salmon, called AquAdvantage, is awaiting FDA approval, and, when it does, the fish should be available for consumption in about two years, according to the company.

Americans consume 300,000 tons of salmon yearly, according to Bloomberg Businessweek‘s Brendan Borrell. And with two-thirds of that coming from farmed Atlantic salmon — the wild version of which is endangered — the market seems ripe for an upgrade of the food.

But not all are pleased with its arrival.

Read the full article in Business Insider.

Posted July 26th, 2014

Final tab for Cohen Commission tops $37 million

Vancouver Sun
July 25, 2014

The federal inquiry into B.C.’s Fraser River sockeye fishery cost at least $37.3 million, according to a public disclosure this month.

That’s far higher than the $26.4-million price tag has long been associated with the 2012 report by Justice Bruce Cohen.

The difference is that the lower figure reflected direct Cohen commission costs.

The nearly $11 million in additional costs includes salaries and benefits to federal bureaucrats working full-time to collect and process documents, review policy papers, prepare departmental witnesses for testimony, and communicate internally between federal Fisheries Department staff in B.C. and Ottawa, according to documentation provided by Fisheries Minister Gail Shea.

The tally doesn’t include the inquiry-related efforts of staff, including highly paid senior department executives, who worked only part-time on commission matters after Prime Minister Stephen Harper launched it in 2009.

“So the price tag may be significantly higher,” said Stan Proboszcz, a biologist with the B.C.-based Watershed Watch Salmon Society.

The inquiry, which took place over four fiscal years, included testimony from government, industry, environmental groups and First Nations. More than 500,000 documents were tabled and 179 people gave testimony.

Cohen made 75 policy recommendations and since then the federal government and environmental groups have argued over whether Ottawa took the judge’s advice seriously.

Watershed Watch and the SOS Marine Conservation Society, frustrated by the government’s response, submitted earlier this year a lengthy list of questions — including one on the full cost — in a petition to the Auditor General of Canada.

Read the full article in the Vancouver Sun.

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Posted July 25th, 2014

Oceana blasts Chile salmon industry for antibiotic use [Chile]

Seafood Source
July 24, 2014

A new report found that the Chilean salmon farming industry used an astounding amount of antibiotics in 2013—the highest amount out of any country, according to Oceana. The report by Chile’s National Fisheries and Aquaculture Service revealed that the industry used over 993,000 pounds of antibiotics in 2013.

“It’s not normal that an industry requires 993,000 pounds of antibiotics to work. If companies are not able to produce clean, then its activity cannot be tolerated, especially in an ecosystem like Patagonia that can be the basis of other sustainable economic activities,” said Alex Muñoz, Oceana in Chile executive director.

Chile is the second largest producer of salmon after Norway, yet Norway used significantly less antibiotics and had more success than Chile in 2013. Norway used 2,100 pounds of antibiotics for the year, compared to the staggering hundreds of thousands that Chile used.

In addition, 50 Chilean salmon companies refused to disclose the amount and type of antibiotics they used. The companies claim that “such disclosure would threaten their business competitiveness.” Oceana filed a report to the Transparency Council earlier this month about those companies.

Read the full article in Seafood Source.

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Posted July 24th, 2014

Aquaculture Industry Supported Through Strategic Investments [East Coast]

The Fish Site
July 22, 2014

The Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) is better positioned to support the finfish and shellfish sectors as a result of over C$25,000 in funding from the Provincial Government.

Funding will assist NAIA with staff training and skill development, in an effort to increase capacity and implement a Farm Based Quality Certification Program for the province’s finfish and shellfish sectors.

“Having employees with the right skill-set is critical to business success and growth. Training and skill development reduces inefficiencies, better prepares businesses and ultimately leads to increased productivity. I am pleased that this $25,188 in funding will assist NAIA in their strategic support of the aquaculture industry and in growing the industry in a sustainable manner,” said Susan Sullivan, Minister of Innovation, Business and Rural Development.

NAIA will receive C$25,188 under the Workplace Skills Enhancement programme in order to assist staff with technical training in food safety, processing activities, and quality management and certification programs, which have been identified as critical needs in the globally competitive seafood sector.

Read the full article on The Fish Site.

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Posted July 22nd, 2014

First Nations Urge the Public to Eat More Salmon

July 22, 2014

Conservationists and First Nations urge the public to eat more salmon from stock-selective fisheries in new video.

Fishermen can harvest more fish from healthy salmon runs, while affording greater protection to threatened runs in BC, if consumers eat more salmon from "stock-selective" fisheries.

That's the message delivered by fishermen, First Nations, renowned chef Robert Clark, Professor John Reynolds from Simon Fraser University, and leading conservationists in an illuminating new short film narrated by Vancouver-based actor, Bruce Greenwood.

Watershed Watch and SkeenaWild launch new video: Saving Wild Salmon by Changing the Way We Fish.

The 16-minute video was produced by Screaming Black Dog Productions for Watershed Watch Salmon Society and SkeenaWild Conservation Trust.

"As conservationists, we're tired of always telling the public about problems in our wild salmon fisheries," said Aaron Hill, an ecologist with Watershed Watch. "Today, we are thrilled to be promoting a solution for consumers that allows for both strong fisheries and strong, healthy salmon runs."

The video explains how status quo fishery management allows for too much "mixed-stock" fishing, where healthy and endangered salmon stocks are harvested indiscriminately, and not enough "stock-selective" fishing, where endangered stocks are avoided.

"If we focus more fishing on areas where only healthy stocks are being harvested, we can catch just as many fish, while allowing endangered stocks to rebuild," said Greg Knox, Executive Director of Skeena Wild. "By explaining these simple facts to the public, we're hoping to increase consumer demand for fish that have been harvested in truly sustainable fisheries."

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Posted July 22nd, 2014