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SHFT Sampler 9-2-10

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Weekly links: Seafood's dirty dozen, Banksy on BP, and 7 ways to recycle denim.

Pier Pressure: From The World's Best Ever, British art prankster Banksy makes a sly comment on the BP oil spill with this “reconditioned dolphin ride with crude oil and a tuna net.” The Dirty Dozen: Mother Jones hips us to the 12 least sustainable seafoods from this year's Smart Seafood Guide, published by Food & Water Watch. The guide takes into account not only health......read more

Oceanic Plastic Pollution Enters the Food Chain

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Fish eat plastic, you eat plastic.

Hmm... maybe banning plastic bags wasn't such a bad idea after all. The LA times reports on alarming new oceanic research from southern California, where scientists from the Algalita Marine Research Foundation and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project found bits of plastic in  the stomachs of 35% of the fish they collected off the U.S. west coast. That's a lot of fish! The......read more

Is Pacific Seafood Safe from Nuclear Contamination?

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The seafood industry braces for the impact of the crisis in Japan.

This year's World Water Day brings fresh concerns about seafood safety in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami and radiation leaks in Japan. Fishermen, fish buyers, and consumers on both sides of the Pacific are dealing with the ripple effects of the crisis. Addressing U.S. consumer safety concerns, the Food and Drug Administration said it was taking steps to measure radiation contamination in......read more

Something's Fishy

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Voice your opposition to genetically engineered food. A petition from Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Stonyfield Farm, and Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation

The FDA is on the brink of approving genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. This would be the first genetically engineered animal on supermarket shelves in the United States. The salmon is engineered to produce growth hormones year-round that cause the fish to grow at twice the normal rate. The government already requires labels to tell us if fish is wild-caught or......read more

Potomac Tops List of America's Most Endangered Rivers

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Conservation group American Rivers urges support for clean water protection

In an announcement that's as laden with symbolism as rivers are with sediment, American Rivers has named the Potomac River, which flows through the nation's capital, the most endangered river in the United States. "America’s Most Endangered Rivers," the annual report from the clean water advocacy group, noted that the Potomac is under increasing threat from pollution caused by urban......read more

The Conservation Economy

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Conserving the nation's fish, wildlife and natural resources is a $40-billion industry, according to a new study

It's said that you can't put a price on protecting the environment, and on the face of it, we agree. But when we're always hearing about the economic benefits of industrial activity, it would be nice to know what conservation is actually worth, in dollar terms. Now, thanks to a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation study, we do. The analysis considered the jobs, tax revenue and other economic......read more

How to Save a Marine Ecosystem

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By promoting anchovy as a delicacy, rather than just farm food, Peru looks to secure a sustainable fishery

At only about five inches long, the Peruvian anchoveta seems an unlikely contender for the title of the world's most heavily fished species, by weight. And yet, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the diminutive silver forager is “the most heavily exploited fish in world history,” with annual catches in Chile and Peru sometimes totaling more than 9......read more

Tiny Bits of Plastic Pose Big Threat to Great Lakes

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Are plastic microbeads from consumer products are finding their way into the food chain

Long the dumping grounds for various types of toxic waste, the Great Lakes have faced no shortage of pollution problems over the years. The latest, while tiny in size, is one of the trickiest and most dangerous issues yet. Scientists have discovered that plastic microbeads, a common ingredient in facial scrubs and toothpastes, are finding their way into the Great Lakes--the world's largest......read more

Sustainable Seafood Comes to Brooklyn

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Transparency is the name of the game at an upstart fish market in Greenpoint

Inae Oh for the Huffington Post: Though studies have continuously shed light on the dangers of overfishing and its potentially disastrous consequences for marine ecosystems around the world, the challenge of finding sustainable, responsibly procured seafood remains persistent. The problem is particularly pronounced in New York City, where independent fishmongers have been rapidly pushed out by......read more

Farming the Bluefin

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Can aquaculture help save the world’s largest tuna?

The giant Atlantic bluefin tuna is one of the fastest fish in the sea. A fierce predator, it hunts incessantly and can cross the ocean multiple times in its life. Now, European researchers are looking to convert this very wild — and very threatened — species into a farm animal. In Sunday's Week in Review in the New York Times, Paul Greenberg, author of "Four Fish: The......read more

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