The Beacon

Blog Tags: Seafood Traceability

Guest Post: Tech Trends in Traceability

tuna sashimi

Image via istockphoto.com

Guest blogger Jon Bowermaster is a writer and filmmaker. In this post, Jon reports on the latest trends in seafood traceability.

 One of the oldest tricks in the fishmonger’s book is trotting out the notion that the cod, snapper, flounder or mahi mahi that you are about to be served is “fresh today.”

In too many cases that translates as the fish just arrived in the supermarket or restaurant that morning by truck or plane from some distant place. The reality of course is that most likely it was plucked from a farm or raised in nets from the sea many, many weeks before. I once sat in a salmon broker’s office at a fish farm in the south of Chile while she waited for higher prices, as, the fish she was selling were sitting on ice in a 747 on a runway in Santiago, waiting, ultimately for days, to be delivered.

Thanks to some novel and enterprising partnerships between fishermen and chefs around the sea borders of the U.S. - literally from Maine to Alaska - some restaurants and fish sellers are now guaranteeing that the fish on your plate was swimming free just hours before.


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Friday Infographic: Seafood Traceability

This is part of a series of ocean infographics by artist Don Foley. These infographics also appear in Oceana board member Ted Danson’s book, “Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them.”  

Have you ever asked yourself, “Where does my seafood come from?” It's not as easy to figure out as you might think. Eighty-four percent of seafood eaten in the U.S. is imported, and it follows an increasingly complex path from the fishing boat to our plates, as today’s infographic illustrates:

Infographic by Don Foley

Here are the steps your fish may take before it gets to you:

Step 1: All of the seafood sold in the U.S. is either caught by fishing vessels or raised in aquaculture facilities. Fish and shellfish are put on ice or flash-frozen on board the vessel or at the aquaculture facility.


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New Oceana Magazine Hot Off the Press

The latest issue of the Oceana magazine is available for your reading pleasure. In this issue, along with the latest news, victories and events, we bring you the following outstanding ocean features:

*An interview with Oceana’s Pacific Science Director and oil pollution expert, Jeff Short

*Do you know where your seafood comes from? Digging into the confusing (and sometimes sickening) question of seafood traceability in the U.S.

*A photo essay capturing the Gulf of Mexico oil spill

*A Q&A with “Entourage” star and Oceana supporter, Adrian Grenier, who recently filmed a PSA about bluefin tuna with us.

Read all of these and more in the full issue.


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