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Big Fish: Consumers Should View Monterey Bay Aquarium's 'Super Green List' With Skepticism

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The National Fisheries Institute (NFI) is urging consumers to view Monterey Bay Aquarium's (MBA) "Super Green List" recommendations concerning seafood and health with skepticism and to consult other sources to get more complete information concerning the proven health benefits of fish and seafood sustainability.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) are clear that limiting or avoiding fish has been shown to be a risk to public health. Americans are not eating enough fish to be healthy, never mind get sick or empty our oceans. Americans eat just over 16 lbs of seafood a year compared with 73 pounds of chicken and 110 pounds of beef. Today, nearly 80 percent of Americans fail to eat seafood twice a week as recommended, and are missing out on essential nutrients that are difficult to get through other foods.

MBA's "Super Green List," with its nuances and caveats, will only discourage Americans from eating seafood. Eating more of any type of fish is a step in the right direction toward correcting the widespread omega-3 deficiency in the national diet. It is important to note that MBA is a marine science organization, and not a health organization charged with dispensing nutritional advice.

The Aquarium also published a report, "Turning the Tide: The State of Seafood," in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of its founding. The report mixes health information with opinions about the sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture, an issue the seafood industry is engaged in on a practical level every day. Sustainability is not just a philosophical issue, it's a commercial one and NFI differs with MBA on a number of levels.

MBA's report simply adds to the already complex and confusing mass information about seafood on the Internet. For clear and accurate information about health, consumers should only take advice from reputable nutrition organizations such as the American Heart Association and American Dietetic Association. For information about sustainability, consumers should turn to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration's FishWatch Web site, a science-based government resource.

For more than 60 years, the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) and its members have provided American families with the variety of sustainable seafood essential to a healthy diet. For more information visit:

Views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of, its staff or its advertisers.

Reader Comments

2 people have commented so far. cloud add your comment

Yeah. OK. The oil industry says that they don't spill oil and the coal industry says they don't pollute the air and the big tobacco companies claim that smoking doesn't cause cancer. So obviously the most accurate information about commercial fishing would come from the commercial fishing industry! The timber companies are protecting our forests...
   comment# 1   - Steve · Oakland,USA · Oct 20, 2009 @ 11:27pm

This is an opinion piece by a fishing industry trade group, not a news item. The MBA's lists are well researched and backed by the science. Finally, "sustainability" should be seen as a scientific concept, not an economic one...relying on the market to manage fisheries has only proven time and time again to drive fisheries to collapse.
   comment# 2   - Rusty · Anchorage, Alaska · Jan 6, 2011 @ 9:38am
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