Fish Radio

Frankenfish ok’d, comment on halibut bycatch, updates

November 20, 2015

Frankenfish will soon be coming to a store near you - with no labels to let you know you're eating GMO fish.

Frankenfish will soon be coming to a store near you – with no labels to let you know you’re eating GMO fish.

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch — Frankenfish gets ok’d by the FDA, comments are wanted on halibut bycatch, salmon forecasts, meetings and more after this —

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Despite opposition of more than 1.5 million Americans over two decades, genetically modified salmon was approved yesterday by the Food and Drug Administration. It is the first animal Ok’d for human consumption. More than 65 supermarkets say they won’t carry the Frankenfish, which grows three times faster than real salmon. No labeling will be required on the so called Aqua Advantage salmon. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski

The FDA –  to allow for the first time ever this genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, then at a bare minimum you’ve got to stick a label on it that says so.   This experiment I think puts at risk the health of our fisheries not only in Alaska, but throughout the Pacific Northwest.  

Moving to another sorry subject – Fish managers want comments on reducing halibut bycatch in Bering Sea groundfish fisheries. A proposed rule would reduce the overall annual halibut trawl bycatch from nearly 10 million pounds to 7.7 million pounds, a 21 percent drop. It also would reduce the bycatch taken by hook and line boats by 15 percent to 1.5 million pounds. Comments can be made through Dec. 28 by email or to NOAA Fisheries in Juneau. (

On a related note, the industry will get a first peek at proposed halibut catches for next year when the International Pacific Halibut Commission meets Dec. 1-2 in Seattle.

Finally, more salmon forecasts   are trickling in – a higher catch of 4.1 million sockeyes is projected at Upper Cook Inlet next year. Conversely, a lower pink salmon harvest of 34 million is projected at Southeast.

Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska company proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture.    In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.