Your tuna sandwich will taste better and be better for the environment, if the can is labeled “U.S. troll-caught,”, “Product of the U.S.” or “U.S.-caught.” Photo by Kelly Cline | IST.
U.S.-Caught, Sustainable Tuna
CAPSULE REPORT: When President-elect Barack Obama made tuna salad with his family on “60 Minutes” last year, he used a recipe, specifying troll-caught albacore. This is Page 2 of a two-page article. Click on the black link below to see the recipe on Page 1.
A Lesson In Sustainability: Sustainable Seafood Terms
The world tuna population is endangered: Due to the popularity of tuna, several of the major species are on the endangered species list. Learn more about it here.
U.S. fisheries are taking the lead in sustainable tuna fishing. These terms will explain both the situation and the solution:
- Fewer Food Miles: Caught in the Pacific Northwest and canned at local canneries in Oregon, Washington and California, the distance U.S. albacore travels from ocean to plate is significantly lower.
- Fewer Trace Metals: With tuna, the larger the fish, the higher the amounts of accumulated metals, including mercury. Trolling catches younger and smaller albacore weighing between 5 and 15 pounds. These juvenile albacore have significantly lower levels of mercury. The Oregon State University conducted a study in 2004 to determine mercury levels of North Pacific troll-caught albacore. These tuna were found to have low total mercury concentrations (average 0.14 ppm), very low compared to the 1.0 ppm methylmercury action level set by the FDA and comparable to “light tuna” or Skipjack. Read the full report at http://wfoa-tuna.org/health/mercurystatement0206.pdf.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Get up to six-times the heart–healthy omega-3s from your tuna sandwich. Cooked just once in the can, custom-canned U.S. albacore retains all its good fats (omega-3s). Health experts recommend eating omega-3-rich fish, including albacore, at least twice a week. According to the American Heart Association, research on omega-3s suggest they may reduce the risk of diabetes, reduce insulin resistance in people with diabetes, enhance bone density, inhibit proliferation of cancer cells in the breast, prostate and colon, and aid in curbing psoriasis. Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease seem to improve with more omega-3s. In infants, they improve cognition and visual acuity.
- Sustainably And Ethically Caught: Trolling is a low-impact method where small, barbless hooks are used to catch albacore one at a time. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program gives U.S. troll-caught albacore a “green” rating, the highest obtainable. Trolling is one of the most environmentally-sound fishing methods. For a full explanation, visit Monterey Bay Aquarium’s website.
- U.S. Troll-Caught: Using U.S.-caught tuna supports fishing communities in California, Oregon and Washington. Eighty percent of seafood consumed in the U.S. is imported, some from countries that have lower environmental and sustainability standards. U.S. fisheries are some of the most regulated in the world; fishers must adhere to strict environmental regulations and quotas which ensure the ongoing health of the marine environment.
Learn about the Seafood Watch program of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Foundation.
Sellers Of Sustainable Albacore Tuna
Custom-canned albacore is available across the U.S., labeled as “U.S. troll-caught,” “Product of the U.S.” or “U.S.-caught.” Some quality brands include:
Photo courtesy IslandTrollers.com.
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