Just say NO to MSC certification for the Menhaden (Bunker) fishery

Here is a link to the video on Youtube for you to view to be more informed about this action:

Posting this for folks to be able to send directly, this is a copy of the letter that we are encouraging folks to send to the decision makers at SAI Global and the Marine Stewardship Council:

To: peter.granat@saiglobal.com
Cc: wkiene@gmail.com; certification.americas@saiglobal.com; samuel.dignan@saiglobal.com; 
Subject: Just Say NO to MSC Certification For The Menhaden (Bunker) Fishery

Dear Mr. Granat,

I am reaching out to you to let you know how disappointed I am in the
work of your firm, SAI Global. As the CEO of a company engaged by the
industrial reduction fishing fleet, you should be aware that your
organization’s integrity is on the line as you consider the
sustainability of the menhaden fisheries in both the Atlantic and the
Gulf. Thus far, Sam Dignan, the lead assessor for both fisheries, has
done everything possible to take the industry’s side, with reaching
and contradictory opinions used to fit a round peg into a square hole.
He should be held to account for that bias.

While this kind of behavior might be expected in such a brazen
pay-to-play arrangement created by the Marine Stewardship Council,
your company has the opportunity to prove that it cannot be bought,
and that your analysts will handle their jobs with objectivity and
Menhaden were dubbed the “Most Important Fish in the Sea,” by author
Bruce Franklin because of the critical role they play in the marine
ecosystem feeding predators and filtering water. Every East coast
state, except Virginia, has acknowledged this ecosystem role for
menhaden by outlawing the practice of reduction fishing. These states
knew that it made no sense to grind up the base of the food chain for
such low margin returns on a global commodities market. Leaving more
menhaden in the water will mean a healthier, more resilient ecosystem
and a far stronger coastal economy.

However, Cooke Inc, the parent company of Omega Protein, and Oceana,
the parent company of Daybrook fisheries in the Gulf, want to lock in
their profits indefinitely by continuing to exploit this valuable
public resource. The MSC badge of approval enabled by SAI Global will
help them do that.

Reduction fishing is an antiquated process that has no business in
21st fisheries. Viable substitutes exist for every current use of the
products made from menhaden. The one possible exception is feed for
salmon farming, an economic foundation of Cooke’s sprawling
international fishing operation. Salmon farms themselves are fraught
with problems, as they put the local ecosystem and wild populations of
salmon at risk. The bottom line is that reduction fishing is both
harmful to the ecosystem and completely unnecessary.

SAI global acknowledges that menhaden are a “key low trophic level
species,” which theoretically should establish a much higher bar for
certification. Instead, Dignan et al, employ wordsmithing gymnastics,
weak conditions, and flawed conclusions of the sort that only high
paid industry consultants could muster to justify certification.

That’s why numerous well-established conservation groups have filed
formal objections to the Atlantic menhaden purse seine certification
recommendation, and will no doubt oppose the Gulf menhaden purse seine
certification as well.

SAI Global should reject the certification request of Omega Protein,
lest its organizational integrity is put at risk.


Your name here

We Thank you in advance for sending your comments!!


  1. Bad policy to allow fishing of the main big fish staple intake menhsdem. Big business is ruining our oceans main source of food for bigger fish. please consider ant way possible to restrict the over fishing of the Menhaden.


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