Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 13, 2019 


Public impeachment hearings in Washington; dreamers protest in Texas; roadless wilderness areas possibly at risk around the country; and an ozone indicating garden, at the North Carolina Governor's Mansion.

2020Talks - November 13, 2019 


Supreme Court hears DACA arguments, and likely will side with the Trump administration, but doesn't take up a gun manufacturer's appeal. Former SC Gov. Mark Sanford drops out of presidential race; and former President Jimmy Carter recovers from brain surgery.

Daily Newscasts

Something Fishy?

November 28, 2007

Bellingham, WA – Is fish "organic" if it's raised in the aquatic version of a feedlot? The debate over fish farming spills this week into the realm of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB), where scientists on both sides of the issue are weighing in on whether "farmed" salmon can be sold as "organic." Washington is one of only two states that allow salmon farming (the other is Maine).

Washington has a huge stake in the debate. Fish farming is a booming business, and even bigger in neighboring British Columbia, but conservation groups say the practice is bad for the fish and the environment. Anne Mosness with the Go Wild Campaign in Bellingham, says farm-raised salmon doesn't look or taste like its wild counterpart because of the way it's raised.

"There are so many known risks to salmon farming, and that's what we have experience with here in Washington, where they'e trying to whitewash the industry. In doing so, it's a real corruption of the term 'organic.'"

Mosness says raising fish in underwater pens creates pollution problems and makes the fish susceptible to diseases.

"In those few acres are hundreds of thousands of fish. They don't leave the cage, so their effluent is concentrated. Because they're confined, it's also a reservoir for pathogens and parasites."

Mosness says the "organic" label would allow inferior product to be sold at higher prices. Supporters of salmon farming disagree, saying the fish is safe to eat, and that smaller farms raise fish with more care than the large producers. Scientists on both sides of the debate will testify at this week's NOSB meeting in Virginia. The 15-member board advises the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture on issues related to organic products and production methods.


Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WA