Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 12:32 pm
Swordfish from Canada feature a label from the Marine Stewardship Council at a Whole Foods in Washington, D.C.
Credit Margot Williams / NPR
Earlier this week, NPR aired a three-part investigation of the Marine Stewardship Council on Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
As Daniel Zwerdling and Margot Williams reported, the MSC certifies seafood that is supposed to be good for the environment. But some environmental groups argue that the label is misleading, and that as more retailers promise to sell only sustainable-labeled seafood, the program is certifying fisheries that don't deserve it.
Dennis Roseman, left, and Jamie Manganello pull in a swordfish off the coast of Florida. The Day Boat Seafood company went through a complicated process to become certified as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council.
The long, clunky-looking fishing boat pulls up to Day Boat Seafood's dock near Fort Pierce, Fla., after 10 days out in the Atlantic. The crew lowers a thick rope into the hold, and begins hoisting 300-pound swordfish off their bed of ice and onto a slippery metal scale.
A sockeye salmon that was caught from the research vessel Miss Delta off the coast of Vancouver is examined. The MSC has certified the fish as "sustainable" even though there is concern from scientists and environmentalists.
Next time you walk up to the seafood counter, look for products labeled with a blue fish, a check mark, and the words "Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC." Then ask yourself, "What does this label mean?"
Rebecca Weel pushes a baby stroller with her 18-month-old up to the seafood case at Whole Foods, near ground zero in New York. As she peers at shiny fillets of salmon, halibut and Chilean sea bass labeled "certified sustainable," Weel believes that if she purchases this seafood, she will help protect the world's oceans from overfishing.