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The Blog Aquatic

News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy

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Video: GE Salmon and the Future of Fish

Posted On February 5, 2013 by

Local news doesn’t always go deep into conservation issues, but check out this very thorough piece from Austin’s KVUE on the controversy surrounding genetically engineered salmon. They spoke to Ocean Conservancy’s George Leonard about the future of fish and the risks if FDA approves the fish for human consumption.

Time is running out to stop genetically engineered salmon from reaching our grocery stores. Under the cover of the December holidays, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) made crystal clear that it believes genetically engineered animals should be allowed in our food system. A required public comment period happening right now.  Join us in sending a clear message to the FDA that GE salmon is a threat to us, our ocean and the very future of fish.

UPDATE: The FDA has received such a high volume of comments that they have extended the comment period.  There is still a chance to tell FDA to take a time out on GE salmon!

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The Seafood Seven? Senators Act to Delay FDA Ruling on GE Salmon

Posted On January 12, 2013 by

Salmon jump. From Nagem R.’s Flickr Stream. Used under a Creative Commons License.

If you missed the Food and Drug Administration’s controversial ruling during the holidays – to recommend approval of an engineered variant of farmed Atlantic salmon as the first-ever, genetically engineered animal allowed for human consumption – you aren’t the only one.

It came as a surprise to conservationists, media and policymakers alike, and the ruling opened a surprisingly short public comment period that closes on February 25.

Thankfully, seven U.S. senators are standing up for the ocean and for healthy, sustainable seafood by sending a letter to FDA commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg today requesting a 60-day extension to the public comment period. The senators rightly believe that the public deserves more time to adequately review and comment on the FDA’s lengthy, yet intentionally narrow, report that will have far-reaching implications for the future of fish and the health of the seafood on our plates and in our ocean.

Ocean Conservancy commends the strong stance taken by Senators Begich and Murkowski of Alaska, Senators Murray and Cantwell of Washington State, Senators Wyden and Merkley of Oregon, and Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland.

Continue reading »

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Genetically engineered salmon: Shouldn’t our nation’s fish agency have a say in this?

Posted On May 24, 2012 by

Photo: Jumping Coho Salmon by LouLou Beavers

Within the last hour, there was a floor vote on an amendment to S.3187, the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, put forth by Senator Lisa Murkowski from the state of Alaska. Why should you care? Because this has big implications for the future of fish in the ocean and on our dinner plates. To our disappointment, the amendment did not pass. But nearly 50 percent of the Senate supported Senator Murkowski’s efforts to protect our wild fish from the risks of genetically engineered fish. That alone is a strong statement.

If you aren’t up on the controversy, the FDA is considering approving the first ever, genetically engineered animal for human consumption. This animal is a fish – an engineered version of farmed Atlantic salmon – and that is why Ocean Conservancy and my ocean colleagues have been leading an effort to ensure all the hard questions are asked and answered before the fish is allowed on the market. Today, a group of environmental organizations wrote in support of Sen. Murkowski’s amendment. (.PDF)

You can help us in this fight by joining Ocean Conservancy and the Just Label It campaign to tell the FDA to require labeling for all GE food.

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The Benefits of Knowing Where Your Fish Comes From

Posted On April 26, 2012 by

Director of Strategic Initiatives George Leonard prepares his famous honey-glazed wild salmon.

I can’t wait for summer. Not for the warm beaches and suntan, but because of the barbecue. I’m not much of a chef, but I’m real good over a charcoal fire.

One of my favorite meals is honey-glazed wild salmon. And for the first time in four years, we’ll have a commercial salmon season this summer here in California. This means I’ll be able to support our local fishermen by deliberately purchasing sustainably caught, wild California salmon at many local markets.

These fish will be clearly labeled as to where they come from and how they were caught so there’s little risk that I’ll be buying a fish I don’t want – but that may soon change. Continue reading »