Massachusetts legislators are taking a stand against seafood fraud, which includes mislabeling or substituting one type of fish for another that is cheaper, less desirable or more readily available, usually for financial gain. Oceana commends the Massachusetts Legislature for taking up the bill (H.D. 3189) and sees it as a major step toward combating the growing problem of seafood fraud.
How much do you know about seafood fraud? Take this quiz to find out!
More than 100 dolphins have beached themselves in Cape Cod, Massachusetts this winter, and no one knows why.
In the northeastern United States, itâ€™s normal for about 230 animals to beach themselves over the course of a year. But this year, 129 common dolphins have been found on Cape Cod beaches in the past month.
Examinations of the dolphins havenâ€™t found any sign of illness or injury, adding to the mystery. Beaching or â€śstrandingâ€ť happens when an animal gets trapped in shallow water and canâ€™t swim back out to the ocean. This can be caused by disorientation from an unfamiliar landscape, loud noises, illness, or more. Because dolphins form strong bonds, they may follow each other and become stranded in groups.
One factor in Cape Cod might be an unseasonably warm winter, which kept the harbor free from ice and open to wandering dolphins. Combined with the geography of the Cape Cod harbor areaâ€”much shallower and confined than the open oceanâ€”and dolphinsâ€™ habits of sticking close to their family members, these dolphins could easily find themselves in trouble.
The International Fund for Animal Welfare has been working to save the stranded dolphins and discover the cause of the mass stranding. To date they have been able to release 37 of the stranded dolphins back into the water.
Mass strandings are mysterious events. We may never know the cause, but we hope it comes to an end soon.
On Wednesday afternoon, the state of Massachusetts became a national leader in the fight against mislabeled seafood with a clear message: with an abundance of local seafood, there is no place for mislabeled seafood in Massachusetts, and more must be done to combat this common problem and protect consumers and the fishing industry from fraud.
The Hearing of the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure provided a forum for representatives of the state Office of Consumer Protection, Department of Public Health and the Division of Marine Fisheries to update the committee on their efforts to respond to the issue, which was highlighted in a Boston Globe investigation and supported by separate research by Consumer Reports and Oceana.
Drawing on its research into the causes and solutions to this chronic problem, Oceana was among a group of industry and scientific representatives that provided testimony to the committee. Oceana offered new information and clear recommendations about solutions to ensure that all fish are accurately labeled and can be tracked back to their boat or farm of origin.
In response to the testimony provided to the committee, Representative Theodore C. Speliotis, co-chair of the committee, summarized: â€śItâ€™s clear there has been no oversight on fish mislabeling â€“ none. This hearing is really just the first step.â€™â€™