Good, Better, Best: Seafood

September 24, 2020 by  
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A vegan diet may be the single most effective way … The post Good, Better, Best: Seafood appeared first on Earth 911.

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Good, Better, Best: Seafood

Quiz #87: Food Carbon Footprint Challenge

September 24, 2020 by  
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A few simple mental habits such as knowing how to … The post Quiz #87: Food Carbon Footprint Challenge appeared first on Earth 911.

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Quiz #87: Food Carbon Footprint Challenge

BlueNalu is developing innovative cell-based seafood

June 9, 2020 by  
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Scientists are leaning into the idea of lab-grown food as a solution for food shortages around the globe, and while the idea may not sound appetizing, advancements in cell technology have moved towards more palatable, and even enjoyable,  food options. While 3D printed steak and lab-produced chicken are on their way to the market, one innovative company has set their sights on providing a well-rounded menu of seafood options that don’t come from the sea. BlueNalu’s mission is to be the global leader in cellular aquaculture, a type of food development aimed at creating sustainable solutions for overfishing and seafood shortages.  Lou Cooperhouse, CEO of BlueNalu said, “As a planet, we need to do something immediately. The United States is regarded as having the most sustainable fisheries management program in the world. However, the U.S. imports 94% of its seafood according to the FDA, and the global supply of seafood is increasingly diminishing, insecure, variable, vulnerable, fraught with issues of animal suffering and bycatch, associated with considerable damage to our oceans  via effects of trawling and nets, associated with inefficient fishing operations and potentially dangerous and illegal labor practices, and also associated with products that are frequently mis-represented to consumers and potentially contaminated with mercury, microplastics, parasites, and pollutants.” Related: What do Americans think about fake meat products? Speaking of pollutants, the fishing industry also contributes heavily to beach and coastal pollution through petroleum and  plastic waste  in the form of broken nets and other debris. As with many other types of animal harvest, fishing has yet to achieve a balance between production and environmental and animal protection. With this in mind, BlueNalu has invested in innovative technology to not only supplement naturally-harvested seafood, but to make it a sought after option for pescatarians and other environmentally conscious groups.  The process starts by isolating living cells from fish tissue. Those cells are then rapidly reproduced through a process of proliferation and subsequently turned into fresh and frozen seafood products. “So, our mission is to provide consumers with great tasting seafood products that are healthy for people, humane for sea life, and sustainable for our planet. We will produce a wide array of seafood products directly from fish cells, that are trusted, safe, and free of mercury and environmental contaminants,” Cooperhouse said. BlueNalu is all about looking into the future of food production . Forecasts show an increase in problems when it comes to feeding the world population. Working with the goal of becoming “the global leader in cell-based seafood that can sustainably support our need to feed the planet over the decades ahead,” BlueNalu will offer an alternative to wild-caught and farmed fish, rather than a blanket substitute for those options. The company is not there yet, but research and development is well underway. BlueNalu recently secured $20 million in financing from notable companies in the food industry; this funding will be used for healthy ingredients to feed the fish and to help the company break into domestic and international markets. BlueNalu’s products can help alleviate pressure on the fishing industry in Asia , for example, where seafood is consumed at a rate four or five times higher than in the U.S. and increased demand is expected. This influx of financing and partnerships may secure a path for BlueNalu to bust into a marketplace seemingly ripe to accept their offerings. Especially with a continued spotlight on workers’ rights in the fishing industry,  pollution reduction,  animal protection and concerns over the amount of microplastics and mercury found in seafood, lab-grown alternatives may help alleviate some issues. To further address these concerns, all of BlueNalu’s food will be produced locally, reducing transportation emissions that come from shipping fish around the world. BlueNalu centers sustainable practices by growing only the fish fillets to reduce waste, avoiding animal testing and focusing “on species that are overfished, primarily imported, or difficult to farm-raise.” While consumers continue to seek eco-friendly alternatives, BlueNalu is still 12 to 18 months from having products in the test market phase. The company is on plan, however, and worth watching as it expands production capabilities to accept product test manufacturing in the second half of 2021. BlueNalu will also seek approval from the FDA when ready to launch. Throughout the initial stages of development, the executive team at BlueNalu has continuously sought guidance from the FDA to work within guidelines. Hopefully, this will allow for quick approval when the company is ready to apply. BlueNalu is quick to recognize it is only one of three options for seafood, with the other two being wild-caught and farm-raised. To distinguish itself, the company aims to inform potential consumers about the benefits of the product, including that it will be free of microplastics and mercury. The company also acknowledges that its product is cell-based, stating on the BlueNalu website, “We believe that truthful and accurate labeling is necessary on all seafood products in a way that demonstrates whether it comes from wild capture, fish farming or via cellular aquaculture.” Rather than hiding the fact that its fish is made in a lab, the company plans to advertise it, insisting, “Labeling is of utmost importance to protect those consumers who are allergic to fish.” + BlueNalu Images via BlueNalu 

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BlueNalu is developing innovative cell-based seafood

Trump allows commercial fishing in Atlantic national monument

June 9, 2020 by  
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The Trump administration announced on Friday that the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument, which encompasses over 5,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean 130 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, will open to commercial fishing. The announcement came after the president attended a round-table discussion with commercial fishers from Maine who were concerned about the economic tolls of COVID-19 in their industry. Ocean experts are cautioning that the decision will cause comprehensive harm to the environment in the long run, especially as the proclamation will allow fishing within the monument without changing its size or boundaries. Brad Sewell, senior director of Oceans for the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement that such a significant change to a monument must be done by Congress. Sewell cited that the Antiquities Act gives the president the power to protect specific natural areas, not the other way around. The 5,000-square-mile ocean monument is home to sea turtles, endangered whales, unique species of cold water coral reefs , four extinct underwater volcanoes and deep sea canyons teeming with marine life. Related: Sea turtles thrive on empty beaches during COVID-19 lockdowns The Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument has been open to sport fishing but closed to commercial fishing (with the exception of the red crab and lobster) since its creation in 2016 by President Obama. Any continuing fisheries were given a 7-year transition period to end their operations in the area by 2023. The Seamounts monument has been no stranger to controversy, even before Trump’s recent decision. A year after its designation, five commercial fishing groups sued the Obama administration because they felt the president had created the monument illegally. Now, Trump’s announcement raises the question of the limits of presidential powers regarding changing the rules of national monuments altogether. National Geographic’s Pristine Seas founder Enric Sala told National Geographic that these types of national monuments are established to preserve the country’s natural and historical sites. “We need pristine areas set aside so that we can see nature as it was before we overexploited it, and understand the true impact of fishing,” Sala said. “If commercial fishing were allowed in a monument, it would become just a name on a map, and no different than any other place in the ocean.” Via National Geographic Image via NOAA

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Trump allows commercial fishing in Atlantic national monument

How Thai Union rapidly pivoted to a greener business strategy

January 20, 2020 by  
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The Thai canned fish giant is moving beyond past criticism to lead the seafood industry towards a more planet-friendly future

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How Thai Union rapidly pivoted to a greener business strategy

How lobsters became victims of the tragedy of the commons

June 9, 2018 by  
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Will New England lobstermen be able to survive the threat of climate change against their generations-old traditions and livelihoods?

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How lobsters became victims of the tragedy of the commons

Endangered shark fins discovered on a Singapore Airlines flight to Hong Kong

June 1, 2018 by  
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Hong Kong is the biggest trading hub for shark fins in the world. Although they’ve taken steps to halt illegal trading, conservation group Sea Shepherd recently uncovered a shipment with fins from endangered sharks that arrived via a Singapore Airlines flight for a Hong Kong dried seafood company. Sea Shepherd said the fins came from whale sharks and possibly oceanic whitetip sharks. Endangered shark fins arrived in a 2,150-pound shipment marked ‘Dry Seafood’ for Win Lee Fung Ltd . The shipment came from Colombo, Sri Lanka by way of Singapore. Singapore Airlines bans shark fin cargo and said they’d sent a reminder to all stations to administer sampling checks on shipments with such a label. They also said they blacklisted the shipper. Sea Shepherd Asia director Gary Stokes told Reuters , “This is another case of misleading and deceiving. The shipment came declared as ‘dried seafood’ so [it] didn’t flag any alarms.” Related: 500-mile-long shark highway could become a protected wildlife corridor Shark fins can be imported in Hong Kong, but for species listed by the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), there must be a permit. The species discovered in the shipment were CITES Appendix 2 species and were concealed among legal fins. Sea Shepherd said smugglers operate by utilizing a vague description — and as Hong Kong Customs is barely able to check 1 percent of containers arriving in the territory, a shipment with a label like ‘Dry Seafood’ could easily escape notice. “Sea Shepherd Global have asked the Hong Kong Government for a mandatory use of the international Harmonized Shipping Codes for all wildlife products at time of booking for any goods destined to Hong Kong,” Sea Shepherd said in its statement. “Only then would Hong Kong Customs and [Agricultural, Fishers & Conservation Department] stand a fighting chance to have more effective inspections on containers when they know the contents before they arrive.” As of now, shark fin smugglers only have to declare what was in a shipment 14 days after it has arrived in Hong Kong or pay a penalty of around $10. The World Wildlife Fund said around 100 million sharks could be killed every year, and they’re frequently targeted for their fins. + Sea Shepherd Via Reuters Images courtesy of Sea Shepherd Global

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Endangered shark fins discovered on a Singapore Airlines flight to Hong Kong

Companies push to start oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

June 1, 2018 by  
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Following Congress’s move to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil and gas production, a long-sought goal of the Republican Party, fossil fuel companies are moving forward with their plans to develop the wilderness and hope to survey the region by winter. Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and Kaktovik Iñupiat Corporation, two Alaska Native companies, as well as one oil company have applied for a permit to begin seismic surveying on the refuge’s coastal plain. However, despite promises that the process would be as environmentally sensitive as possible, documents obtained by the Washington Post indicate that the Fish and Wildlife Service rejected the initial plan as “not adequate,” noting its “lack of applicable details for proper agency review.” The area the companies hope to explore for oil is also the location of the calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd, from which the local Gwich’in First Nation community finds food and cultural significance. In fact, the prospective area where two teams of 150 people are proposed to survey isn’t even visited by the Gwich’in people out of respect for its importance. The speed with which the companies have pushed to begin oil drilling has concerned the locals. “Why can’t they just wait to have more information?” Gwich’in Steering Committee executive director Bernadette Dementieff told Earther . “The oil isn’t going anywhere. There’s nothing wrong with waiting. It makes no sense to rush.” Perhaps the oil companies are concerned that the U.S. may, under a different Congress, return to its long-held status quo of banning oil drilling in the refuge. Related: Spending bill would open the world’s largest intact temperate forest to logging Although the nearby Native town of Kaktovik supported oil and gas drilling in 2005, more recently, the mayor sent a letter to Congress to oppose opening the land to industry. The process has moved forward so quickly since the bill opening the refuge to oil drilling was signed into law that Dementieff was not even aware of the drilling application until she was contacted by Earther. “That is completely insane and disrespectful,” she said. Dementieff believes that Native communities in Alaska will rally together to stop the drilling from ever occurring. “We’ll go to every courtroom. We’ll go to every community meeting. We’re not giving up. We’re not going to allow them to destroy the calving grounds.” Via Earther Images via  Depositphotos and Bob Clarke

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Companies push to start oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

Innovative tip-to-tail ideas for reducing seafood waste

February 15, 2018 by  
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Seafood and the circular economy are converging as innovative startups craft everything from renewable energy to “fish leather” shoes.

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Innovative tip-to-tail ideas for reducing seafood waste

Costco, Whole Foods fight slavery in food production

February 6, 2018 by  
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To fight slavery within supply chains, companies of all sizes have to do their part by finding ways to engage with suppliers with the help of advocates.

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Costco, Whole Foods fight slavery in food production

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