When you buy seafood, do you actually get what you order? This is the question scientists from the conservation group, Oceana, have been asking. Over the past couple of years they have been investigating seafood fraud – or the mislabeling of seafood species – in major cities around the US. They have found that a high percentage (up to 55 percent) of seafood in Boston, Miami, and Los Angeles, is often sold as something it is not.
In early 2012, scientists at the Florida-based Nova Southeastern University Oceanographic Center began collaborating with tuna and swordfish fishermen to see if they could finally solve a problem facing their fisheries for decades – The catch of too many unwanted species. The scientist recruited several fishermen in the region to try out selective, environmentally friendly fishing gears as potential alternatives to the currently used surface longlines.
In 2009, when Palau announced they were creating the first ever “shark sanctuary” – permanently closing their waters to all shark fishing – they set an example for the world. Palau stood up for sharks – many of which (thirty percent) are threatened with extinction. Since then, several other countries (Maldives, Honduras, the Bahamas, Marshall Islands, Tokelau, and Federated States of Micronesia) have established “shark sanctuaries” too.