News in Natural

Posted on May 23rd, 2011 by Jeff | Posted in New Products, Newsletter Articles, Notes & News

I am excited to announce that we now carry fresh fish! As part of our decision to carry products of the sea, we want to ensure these products are from fisheries (a fishing ground or area where fish are caught) that are being responsibly managed. We needed a great fisheries advocate to help guide our selections. Fortunately, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has a program called Seafood Watch.

The following principles illustrate the qualities that capture fisheries must possess to be considered sustainable by Seafood Watch:

  • Species must have a low vulnerability to fishing pressure, and hence a low probability of being overfished because of their inherent life history characteristics
  • Species must have stock structure and abundance sufficient to maintain or enhance long-term fishery productivity
  • Theyare captured using techniques that minimize the catch of unwanted and/or unmarketable species
  • They are captured in ways that maintain natural functional relationships within the ecosystem, conserves the diversity and productivity of the surrounding ecosystem, and do not result in irreversible ecosystemstate changes
  • and the fisheries have a management regime that implements and enforces all local, national and international laws and utilizes a precautionary approach to ensure the long-term productivity of the resource and integrity of the ecosystem.

The resulting overall seafood recommendation is color-coded to correspond to the categories of the Seafood Watch pocket guide.

  • Best Choices/Green: Consumers are strongly encouraged to purchase seafood in this category. The wild caught species is sustainable as defined by Seafood Watch.
  • Good Alternatives/Yellow: Consumers are encouraged to purchase seafood in this category, as they are better choices than seafood in the Avoid category. However there are some concerns with how this species is fished and thus it does not demonstrate all of the qualities of a sustainable fishery as defined by Seafood Watch.
  • Avoid/Red: Consumers are encouraged to avoid seafood in this category, at least for now, as they do not demonstrate enough qualities to be defined as sustainable by Seafood Watch.

Go to montereybayaquarium.org for a wealth of information.

We will only carry fish from fisheries rated as Green or Yellow, never Red. Each product will be labeled with its rating to help guide you in your selection.

At this time we will not carry any farmed fish. Currently the impacts of farmed fishing in our region are predominately negative, including the pressure these operations have on the surrounding environment and the type of feed ingredients used. If these conditions change sufficiently, we will then consider farmed fish.

Another aspect to be aware of is the use of processing aids, most notably sulfites to extend shelf life and artificial coloring to make fish look more appealing. We will not carry any fish subjected to these additives.

The trays we are using are a compostable corn-based product. Unfortunately, Marion County does not want them added to curb side compost pickup at this time.

This is a great time to enjoy our local fisheries. We will have salmon from all over the northwest in abundant supply, and the halibut fishery from Alaska will remain strong. Our Oregon pink shrimp fishery will last through October. Watch for hook and line caught rockfish, truecod and black cod. We will keep a rotating stock of fish from Hawaii, like yellowfin tuna and mahi mahi, to give you a good range of choices.

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