February 25, 2008
American consumers seeking information about which seafood is sustainable, safe,and healthy need to look no further than the new government-run online consumer education tool, http://www.fishwatch.noaa.gov. Visitors to the site will learn about sustainable seafood and how to distinguish science-based fact from fiction.
“The American public looks to their government for information they can rely on, and we’re proud to give them FishWatch,” said retired Vice Admiral Conrad C. Lautenbacher, NOAA administrator. “Consumers are rightfully confused given all the misleading and conflicting information available to them, but FishWatch will help them become better educated and prepared seafood consumers.”
Mutton snapper broodstock in Florida Keys.
+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
FishWatch.noaa.gov features information about 50 of the most commonly harvested and farmed species that are consumed in the United States. The species-specific pages offer the most accurate information available on population size, annual landings, management goals and milestones, life history and habitat, fishing practices, photos, factoids, and nutritional content. The public also will find import/export statistics and a whole page devoted to seafood and human health.
The seafood and human health page will be of particular interest since it includes facts about mercury and offers helpful hints about selecting, buying, storing and preparing seafood to ensure quality and safety.
Electronic data storage tag being placed on a Pacific cod.
+ High Resolution (Credit: NOAA)
NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service is the U.S. authority on marine fisheries science, conservation, and management. A critical element of the agency’s mission is to make fisheries data and information available to all its audiences, including seafood consumers. FishWatch provides consumers with relevant, factual data to assist in decisions about sustainable seafood. These data are taken from a variety of NOAA sources, including stock assessments, fisheries surveys, fisheries management plans and amendments, environmental analyses, and cooperative research. Information on FishWatch is the most timely and accurate information available on U.S. fisheries.
Health guidelines on FishWatch are consistent with existing government seafood consumption guidance developed by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency. Following these guidelines will allow the public to enjoy seafood and benefit from its vast nutritional value while minimizing any health risk associated with environmental contaminants.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of our nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 70 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.