Environment

Seafood Watchdog Warns To 'Avoid' Oregon Coast Salmon

OPB | June 28, 2010 2:44 a.m. | Updated: July 17, 2012 1:07 a.m. | Portland, OR

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One of the leading sustainable seafood watchdogs is telling customers not to buy salmon caught off the Oregon coast.

Many consumers, chefs, and supermarkets in the West and nation-wide look to a California watchdog for what fish to buy.

Now, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch have slapped a red, or “avoid,” label on the Pacific salmon fishery off California and Oregon.

That fishery has been closed for two years but the Pacific Fishery Management Council decided to re-open the commercial salmon season this year.

That’s when Monterey Bay’s scientists looked at the salmon numbers, and recommended against buying the fish.

It comes as bad news to the executive director of the Oregon Salmon Commission, Nancy Fitzpatrick.

Nancy Fitzpatrick: “It’s a huge blow to our industry. We have been off the water for two years. Fishermen are out there, doing what they do best, and bringing back our quality salmon, and here we are being told this is an ‘avoid’ product.”

The aquarium report raised two red flags: the salmon’s low numbers and problems with unintended catching of other fish.

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