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Watchdog group says no to Oregon salmon

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High Five
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Wild-caught salmon is to be avoided in Oregon and California, says Monterey Bay Aquarium's popular "Seafood Watch" guide.

Although it is the first commercial salmon fishing season off Oregon's coast in three years, the salmon that originates in the Sacramento River and migrates to sea off of the Oregon Coast is depleted, according to Seafood Watch officials.

Ed Cassano,  director of the Seafood Watch program, said its review concluded that federal fishery managers shouldn't have authorized fishing for Sacramento fall chinook in the first place given the perilous state of the run.

"It's a hard thing to do," Cassano said of the recommendation. "But we're highly concerned that the season was opened at all."

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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Ken Peterson
0 #1 Some Oregon-caught salmon OKKen Peterson 2010-06-29 11:34:48
Though the headline doesn't reflect it, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch recommendations draw a clear distinction between salmon from the Columbia River (landed north of Cape Falcon – a "good alternative" because Columbia fish stocks are in moderately healthy condition) and salmon from the Sacramento River (landed south of Cape Falcon – fish to "avoid" because of the precarious state of the fish stocks).

The nuances and the science are available online, http://bit.ly/9gwhN, for consumers who are concerned about the impact their choices have on the health of the oceans. And we're sharing our scientific rationale with seafood buyers with whom we work so they can promote their good choices to their customers.

Ken Peterson, Communications Director
Monterey Bay Aquarium
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0 #2 Cuts both waysjay 2010-06-29 14:16:23
As a commercial a salmon fisherman we live and die by the models that the states use for forecast predictions. This year according to the best available science there will be enough fish to support both a commercial salmon season and enough returning fish for a health population. If Monterey Bay aquarium has a better model to forcast runs I, as a commercial fisherman, would like them to let us know. We need healthy stocks to feed our families. I have my reservations about the forcast as well but I'm not a scientist and legislation on gut feeling is not a good idea. The models say there will be enough fish and I'm all for plating by the rules. Jay
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Ken Peterson
0 #3 Precautionary approachKen Peterson 2010-06-29 15:42:54
Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch takes a more precautionary approach. Actual salmon returns have been far off the mark from the optimistic official forecasts in recent years.
(Our criteria are published online here) It's our position that the fisheries council should have erred on the side of caution in 2010 and waited for actual robust runs to make it into the rivers. We'd all cheer, and there'd be a real fishing season in 2011.

Ken Peterson, Monterey Bay Aquarium
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