IN BRIEF - Massachusetts prohibit the sale of escolar
Friday, January 18, 2013
Massachusetts would levy fines on supermarkets and restaurants that mislabel seafood and become the first state in the nation to ban the sale of escolar, an oily species known as the “ex-lax” fish that is often served as sushi, under legislation expected to be filed Friday.
The bill, proposed by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, comes more than a year after a Boston Globe report revealed widespread seafood substitution in restaurants across Massachusetts. In many instances, less desirable and cheaper species took the place of fresh local fish. A follow-up investigation published last fall found most of those restaurants were still mislabeling seafood.
Businesses caught misrepresenting fish such as Atlantic cod, Atlantic halibut, red snapper, or grey sole could face fines of up to $800 and have their license to operate suspended or revoked after repeat offenses, according to the legislation.
The law would also prohibit the sale of escolar, frequently mislabeled as white tuna or albacore at sushi restaurants, and punish first-time violators with a minimum $400 fine or license suspension. Albacore, a white tuna desired for its mild taste, is not related to escolar and typically costs 20 percent more.
Jakarta fisheries officials have warned consumers that around five percent of fish sold at markets in North Jakarta is contaminated by formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.
“We have recorded the data and are investigating how [the markets] got the fish,” North Jakarta Fishery and Maritime agency chief Muhammad Mikron said, as quoted by the Jakarta government news service beritajakarta.com. “We have asked the sellers to sign an agreement that they would not sell formaldehyde-tainted fish.”
Of that total, the salmon fisheries dominated in monthly employment, with 4,551 jobs, compared to 1,252 jobs in groundfish fisheries, 974 in halibut fisheries, 593 in crab fisheries, 502 in sablefish fisheries, 184 in miscellaneous shellfish fisheries and 128 in herring fisheries, according to the report by Jack Cannon and Josh Warren.
The agreement was reached at the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission meeting in Cairns. But the Parties to the Nauru Agreement say opposition from foreign fishing nations to reducing the number of vessels on the high seas means the amount of Tuna being caught won't go down. The PNA is made up of the Pacific Nations where much of that fishing is conducted.
As we heard yesterday, despite an agreement reached last week to cut the amount of tuna caught in the Pacific, there are still concerns the cuts don't go far enough.
Thirty-two thousand jobs may sound like a large labor force in a state with a population of under 750,000, but those familiar with federal fisheries policy in Alaska waters know otherwise. Catch shares, the recent trend in fisheries management that has taken over much of Alaska fisheries, essentially grants ownership of the fisheries to a small number of stakeholders and has led to massive job losses and wage reductions. The fabled Bering Sea king crab fishery lost 1,000 jobs virtually overnight, and halibut has been no better, losing more than 7,300 jobs in the first five years, with even more eliminated in the decades since.
In 2013, Bidifisco expected to reach USD 33 million of total seafood exports, increasing by 3 percent from 2012 and fulfilling its yearly target.
Fishing boats from central provinces of Vietnam have been tied in shore due to bad weather. There has currently been lack of raw tuna and marine fishes in the domestic market. Therefore, Binh Dinh Fishery Joint Stock Company (Bidifisco) only processed products from imported source for inventory.
Henrich Kadake remembers when halibut was king in this mostly Native outpost on the remote coast of Kupreanof Island, a hundred miles south of Juneau. As he pilots his truck through the cluster of old wooden buildings on a rainy spring day, he points out the fish hatchery and the Kake Cannery complex, constructed from 1912 to 1940, now a national historic landmark. One of the world's most famous totem poles – taller than a 10-story building – stands on a bluff; it was carved in 1967 for the Alaska Purchase Centennial, then installed here after being displayed at the 1970 World's Fair in Japan.