A recommendation from a seafood watch group warning consumers to avoid some Oregon salmon has coastal fisherman fuming.
The recommendation comes from the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program. It's advising consumers to avoid wild-caught salmon caught south of Cape Falcon. The watchdog group claims the salmon population swimming north from California's Sacramento River is too weak and unsustainable. But federal scientists predicted a good return and coastal fisherman say that’s exactly what they're getting. "With the amount of fish coming in, we actually glutted the market in the past couple of weeks," said Garibaldi commercial fisherman Darus Peake. Peake, who also serves on the Oregon Salmon Commission, fears the warning will deter consumers from buying their salmon. The recommendation come at the beginning of the first commercial salmon fishing season off the entire Oregon coast in three years. "To have someone from out of the state to bring this out make national news with this and basically just step on us.... it's going to take us months to recover from this," said Peake.
But the Seafood Watch program believes the federal government underestimated this year’s salmon return. "Their prediction over the last couple of years have been high what has come back has been lower... what they predicted so the confidence in this year’s prediction is not very solid," said Ed Cassano, director of the Seafood Watch program.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture issued a statement Tuesday evening assuring consumers that Oregon wild-caught salmon is safe to eat and the fishery is not depleted.