Tag Archives: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Lobster industry leaders vow to continue fight to protect Maine’s iconic fishery

Maine lobster industry officials told business leaders Thursday that they will continue to fight what they see as unfair and unnecessary federal rules meant to protect endangered right whales. “We are well over a $2 billion industry to the state primarily operating in communities without other job prospects,” Patrice McCarron, head of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association said. “It cannot be overstated.” Lobsterman Curt Brown, who is also a marine biologist, said the industry has been taking steps to protect the whales since the 1990s, including replacing floating ropes, using weak links so ropes break more easily and removing 30,000 miles of rope from the Gulf of Maine. >click to read< 07:34

How Did Gulf of Maine Lobster Get Canceled?

No one confessed to knowing that, just a few weeks before, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch, an agenda setting program for sustainability-minded seafood buyers and chefs, had shocked the industry by placing Gulf of Maine lobster on its “red list” of species to avoid. Not Dodie Neo, an Ohioan retiree who’d been in line for 45 minutes when I approached her. Knowing about the red listing, however, wouldn’t have stopped her from ordering. “The aquarium has a right to put lobster on whatever list it wants,” she told me. “And I have a right to eat it.” Way down the road, at Highroller Lobster Co., in Portland’s Old Port, the crowd skewed younger and hipper, but wait times were just as long and customers just as surprised to hear about lobster getting canceled. After some discussion, most in line seemed to agree with Rick Conlin, visiting from western Massachusetts, that it didn’t much matter. “I vote for the lobstermen,” he said. >click to read< 10:23

The fight to protect right whale, lobsters roils Maine politics

In a state where few things matter more than lobster, it’s no surprise that Mainers are getting a hefty portion of crustacean politics as part of the campaigning for the 2022 midterm elections. What is surprising, however, is the high level of anger and frustration pointed squarely at Washington regulators, with many arguing that NOAA’s new rules are unfair and will hit the prized lobster industry far too hard. Rule backers say they’ll help protect a dwindling population of whales that’s at grave risk from fishing gear. “The men and women who make up Maine’s iconic lobster fishery are facing a terrible crisis, a crisis not of their making, a crisis that is due to this administration’s onerous regulations,” photos, >click to read< 12:11

Boycott the avoiders

It’s time to boycott restaurants and other places that take lobster off their menu to save the North Atlantic right whale. Restaurants and stores that take their advice from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, 3,280 miles down the line, and put lobster on their avoid list should be boycotted. This action should be directed at places such as the compliant Whole Food Stores and The Cheesecake Factory, both with franchises on the North Shore. In addition, for those using meal kits from the New York-based Blue Apron, or the largest meal kit operator in America, the German HelloFresh company — stop. If you travel, shun establishments which avoid lobster. and tell your friends and relatives at home and around the country to do the same. Why? Because lobstermen play by the rules, fish by the rules, and shouldn’t be punished for doing so. By Jack Clarke, >click to read< 08:22

Red Listing Monterey Bay Aquarium Act – Maine politicians call for defunding of Monterey Bay Aquarium

Lawmakers from Maine have introduced a bill that would defund the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seafood Watch following the organizations red listing of the American lobster. Congressman Jared Golden and Senator Angus King announced on Wednesday that they were introducing the Red Listing Monterey Bay Aquarium Act in the House and Senate. The bill would prohibit federal taxpayer funds from going to the aquarium, Seafood Watch and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. According to a release from Golden’s office, the aquarium has received nearly $200 million in taxpayer money since 2001. >click to read< 15:45

Maine Elected Officials Rebuke “Seafood Watch” But Stay Silent on Endangered Species Act’s Threat to Lobstermen

Maine lobster was recently placed on the unsustainable “red list” by the environmental group Seafood Watch, a non-profit associated with the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Gov. Janet Mills, Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, and Reps. Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden all came out in defense of the Maine lobster industry, defending its sustainability bona fides. It was a nice photo op, but the truth is King, Collins, and Pingree had plenty of warnings that the environmental left was using the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to damage Maine’s economy and sovereignty. They chose to do nothing. >click to read< 09:14

Save Right Whales from Radical Environmentalists Who Exploit Them

Americans agree with protecting the endangered Northern Atlantic right whale. But true conservation efforts don’t necessitate displacing lobstermen and recreational anglers in the process. With fewer than 350 whales left, ambulance-chasing opportunists masquerading as conservationists conveniently swoop in on the whale’s behalf only to leave economic —and environmental—destruction in their paths. This endangered whale requires protection from radical environmentalists who exploit them. Preservationists purporting to care about its well-being, however, distort the threats posed to the whales. >click to read< 08:06

Lobstermen Don’t Deserve Monterey Bay Rating

This past February Monterey Bay hinted it might consider red listing Northeast lobster, not because the fishery isn’t healthy but because of the danger of entanglement in lobster trap lines for the highly endangered North Atlantic right whales. The announcement, which became official on Sept. 6, has spurred an intense campaign to reverse this classification. Some of the data suggest this recommendation might be an overreaction. Another thing missing from this story is how much our fishermen are doing to avoid entanglements: removing “ghost gear,” doing 10 m.p.h. in the bay, and, most significantly, holding back until May, which keeps their gear out of the water when the whales are here. >click to read< 08:36

Provincial Government Condemns Addition of Snow Crab and Lobster to Seafood Watch ‘Avoid’ List

The Provincial Government has said a decision by the organization Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch that adds snow crab and lobster harvested in Newfoundland and Labrador to the group’s “avoid’ list is unwarranted and irresponsible. The US-based organization recently released an updated seafood rating that placed North American lobster and Canadian snow crab in the ’avoid’ category. Some retailers and consumers in North America and worldwide use these rankings to help make seafood buying decisions. The listing is based on the potential impact for North Atlantic Right Whales to become entangled in fishing gear. >click to read< 10:01

Maine’s lobster industry and its supporters are fighting back after Seafood Watch placed lobster on a list

Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch on Sept. 5 added the U.S. lobster fishery to a “red list” of seafood to avoid because it’s harvested in ways that are likely to harm wildlife or the environment. American lobster was included because of the risk that endangered North Atlantic right whales can become entangled in vertical lobstering lines. Fourteen types of seafood were added to the list. Members and supporters of the Maine lobster industry, which landed 108 million pounds of lobster in 2021 at a value of $735 million, immediately denounced the listing as unfair. No right whale deaths can be attributed to Maine gear, the industry backers said, and there have been no documented entanglements in Maine gear since 2004. >click to read< 19:17

Maine lobstermen, politicians rally in protest of fishing restrictions and Seafood Watch’s recommended boycott

At a rally in Portland’s Old Port on Friday, they protested a federal judge’s ruling issue Thursday allowing the National Marine Fisheries Service, a branch of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association to impose limits on where and how lobstermen fish in order to protect endangered North Atlantic Right Whales. The rally was also protesting Seafood Watch, a California-based sustainable seafood advocacy group affiliated with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, now recommending food distributors and restaurants boycott Maine lobster in the name of saving the whales. Video, >click to read< 09:55

FFAW Responds to Seafood Watch “Avoid” Placement of Snow Crab, Norther American Lobster

The FFAW is responding to the US-based Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch which has placed North American lobster and Canadian snow crab among seafood species to “avoid.” The reason is based on the potential impact of gear on the North Atlantic right whale which is prone to entanglements with surface gear. The Fisheries Union says the North Atlantic right whale is not commonly found in waters around Newfoundland and Labrador. According to the union, there have only been three sightings of North Atlantic right whales in waters around this province in the last number of years, and no reports of entanglements. >click to read< 07:59

Lawmakers issue strong rebuke after con group adds lobster to ‘red list’

Seafood Watch, a conservation organization based at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, this week put North Atlantic lobster on its “red list” of seafood to avoid, as a hope to protect endangered species like the North Atlantic right whale. Since the announcement, lawmakers from both states, Maine and Massachusetts, have issued a strong rebuke against the conservation organization, coming to the defense of an industry they say is unfairly being targeted. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine., held a press conference with Maine’s Governor Janet Mills and joined a statement cosigned by Maine’s entire congressional delegation, calling the “red list” designation “reckless” and “irresponsible.” “Massachusetts Lobstermen know this issue, care about this issue, and have remained committed to doing their part despite regulations that entail major sacrifices by the industry,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. Video, >click to read< 09:50

“I don’t think they understand that we’re being mislabeled. We are sustainable.”

The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California has a Seafood Watch program that rates U.S. and Canadian fisheries on their sustainability. The watchdog group just red listed American lobster fisheries in Maine, advising consumers, retailers and restaurants to avoid purchasing lobster from Gulf of Maine and Georges Bank. The report claims that lobster gear poses a risk to the endangered North Atlantic right whale. It’s an assessment that lobstermen say is unfair and inaccurate. “We’re marking our gear different from everybody else,” said lobsterman Steve Train. “So you can tell it’s not happening. We are meeting the goal.” Video, >click to read< 07:45

ENGO recommends against consuming lobster over danger to whales

Seafood Watch, a program out of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, says entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of death of the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale population, and US and Canadian lobster fisheries aren’t doing enough to prevent it. Jennifer Dianto Kemmerly is vice president of global ocean conservation at the Aquarium. “We really want consumers and businesses to be aware of how dire the situation is,” Kemmerly said. Meanwhile, the international conservation group Oceana blamed the National Marine Fisheries Service for failing to update safeguards that would protect both right whales and lobster fisheries. To remove the red listing, it recommends using ropeless gear, expanding seasonal closures where whales are present, and improving transparency and monitoring of fishing vessels. >click to read< 18:11

New England and Canada: Seafood watch list weighs ‘red-listing’ lobster. Lobstermen push back

An influential arbiter of the sustainability of seafood is considering whether to drop lobster caught off Maine and Canada from its roster of approved products. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch announced this week that it is reviewing whether to add eastern Atlantic lobster harvests and other trap-pot and gillnet fisheries to its Red List,” due to the risk they pose for the survival of the endangered North Atlantic right whale. Last year another seafood rating program, the Marine Stewardship Council, suspended and later reinstated its certification of part of Maine’s lobster fishery. Massachusetts lobstermen are pushing back on the description of their industry as unsustainable. >click to read< 10:39

“Sea Otters To End West Coast Fishing” Huh! fishermen need to suck it up and “find another job?

For decades, Julie Packard has spearheaded a campaign to curtail fishing under the guise of “conservation.” As this campaign has evolved, it has become a tale of precaution. The campaign started as a need to save the sea otter. Did otters really need “saving?” That is entirely debatable, and was, extensively. The result was clearly non-scientific and summarized as a “choice” between fishing or sea otters. Friends Of The Sea Otter shill Steve Schmeck was quoted saying fishermen need to suck it up and “find another job.” The California urchin divers took issue and were represented by Pacific Legal Foundation in litigation. USFWS cited inability to manage the otter population. The result was USFWS having zero oversight and getting away with lying and breaking the law.,,, Fast forward to today: The Monterey Bay Aquarium & Julie Packard have infiltrated the government and the economic chain. The money, influence and placement of persons in nonprofits, universities and government positions has created an oligarchy and a serious ethics problem. This is a big read with links and information from California Sea Urchin Diver Jeff Crumley. > Click to read< 22:01

Is It Time To Start Eating Western Atlantic Bluefin Tuna? Yes, it is, Margot! Its Sustainable!

Back in January, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch quietly changed their sustainability rating for western Atlantic bluefin tuna from Avoid to Good Alternative. Their report states that Atlantic bluefin caught using more sustainable fishing practices (e.g., rod and reel, harpoon, or larger fishing nets called purse seines) are a good alternative to higher risk commercially fished options. The authors note that additional research would need to be done to prove definitively that the Atlantic bluefin is no longer overfished, but the evidence points toward a healthy stock. They cite low bycatch in the handline and harpoon fisheries and “moderately effective” management as reasons for the changing the rating. Randy Blankinship, chief of NMFS’ Highly Migratory Species Management Division was quoted saying “when seafood consumers purchase Atlantic bluefin tuna caught in the United States, they’re supporting robust environmental standards that bolster both bluefin populations and our economy.” This should be good news, but it’s hardly been news at all. >click to read< 08:24

Sea lions are cash cows in the Bay Area. Farther south, fishermen say, ‘Shoot ‘em’

Sea lions are increasingly living in parallel universes along the California coast, a disparity best observed amid the noisy, stinking spectacle that rolls out daily at San Francisco’s Pier 39 shopping center. There, hundreds of these enormous, mostly male California sea lions bark, defecate, urinate and regurgitate, but are immensely popular with tourists.,, Officials in Washington, Oregon and Idaho are so irate at marauding sea lions that they have asked for federal permission to shoot certain ones identified as feasting on salmon and steelhead,,, >click to read< 10:01

Farmed Atlantic Salmon make Seafood Watch’s ‘avoid’ list

Farmed atlantic-salmonEnvironmentalists and an aquaculture company disagree about the findings of a new report from the United States that advises consumers to avoid some farm-raised Atlantic Salmon.  “It’s not surprising, it’s clear that we need to have improvements in Canada. If we want to even be nearly equivalent to some of the better practices that are happening in Norway and Scotland,” said Susanna Fuller, a Marine Conservation Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. Read the rest here 16:34

Do any of these issues, and notions bother you? Or is it only me?!!

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is gathering leaders in science, activism, media and the seafood industry at its home-base in Monterey, California for two days of in-depth discussions on sustainable food — especially seafood — this week. The event, “Sustainable Foods Institute”. Issues: Consultant: Thai slave labor reports are real – Whiskas maker to get into aquaculture by 2020 – Paleo diet days numbered, says panelist – Atlantic bluefin tuna stock down 96% on management failure – Damanaki floats idea of US-EU-Japan collaboration on global fisheries protection – Stakeholders relay ‘blood and guts’ story of West Coast groundfish climb to sustainability – Aquarium pumping expertise into ASEAN sustainability efforts Read the rest here 14:43

Embracing the Success of Responsible U.S Fisheries Management

sbharborSeafood choices used to be simple, as they should be. But over the last twenty years or so we have been bombarded with more information and advice about seafood than ever before and all of a sudden seafood choices started to get very complicated. What used to be a simple choice now requires research on our part, and for some folks the confusion and guilt associated with seafood choices is enough to ruin their appetite, but not me.  Read the rest here 14:05

Ecology Action Centre: Harpooned swordfish more sustainable

 Nova Scotians can do their bit to protect the swordfish fishery by purchasing product caught only by harpoon, says the Ecology Action Centre’s marine policy and certification co-ordinator. “With a harpoon, the swordfish is targeted directly, and this is a sustainable model,” Catharine Grant said Tuesday. The alternative in the province is the longliner fishery, much of it centred on the Scotian Shelf.However, last week, the prestigious Monterey Bay Aquarium, through its Seafood Watch program, condemned this style of catching swordfish for its lack of sustainability. Read the rest here

Seafood certificat​ion – who’s really on first? Nils Stolpe

NetLogoBackground500“Sustainability certification” has become a watchword of people in the so-called marine conservation community in recent years. However, their interest seems to transcend the determination of the actual sustainability of the methods employed to harvest particular species of finfish and shellfish and to use the certification process and the certifiers to advance either their own particular agendas or perhaps the agendas of those foundations that support them financially. continued here

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is the largest international organization – headquartered in London – providing fish and seafood sustainability certification. It was started in 1996 as a joint effort of the World Wildlife Fund, a transnational ENGO, and Unilever a transnational provider of consumer goods.

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

National Park Service ignores National Marine Fisheries Service FishWatch Program while endorcing two private enterprises eco-labeling programs

Last month the U.S. Department of the Interior’s National Park Service (NPS) announced that it was now requiring that vendors at all of the food service establishments in its parks, monuments, etc. serve seafood that is certified as      sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council or identified as “green” or “yellow” in reports prepared by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Read the Seafood Coalition notice