I found an interesting article on Pollock fishery in Alaska. The new Fish McBites that are now advertised and popular at McDonald’s fast food restaurants all over the country actually come from “Wild caught Alaskan Pollock’. These fish that are now the Fish McBites, are certified as a well-managed, sustainable fishery by Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute and the Marine Stewardship Council. The bites aren’t exactly healthy, though.
“According to McDonald’s the snack size McBites are 210 calories, including 100 calories from fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, and 12 grams of protein. The regular size McBites have 320 calories, including 140 from fat, 500 milligrams of sodium and 18 grams of protein. The larger, shareable size of McBites is 630 calories, including 290 from fat, 1,000 milligrams of sodium and 36 grams of protein. None of these figures include additional calories and sodium content of the tartar sauce.’
The above paragraph shows that just because these fish are “Wild caught Alaskan Pollock’, that they are not necessarily healthy. McDonalds definitely used the MSC certification as a selling point. Even though McDonalds claims that the Pollock fishery is sustainable, the Association of Village Council Presidents in Bethel says that it cannot be considered sustainable because of the incidental harvests of wild salmon. Former Alaska legislator Nels Anderson sent emails to McDonalds and the MSC saying:
“If the Marine Stewardship Council and McDonald’s were to check with the North Pacific Fishery management Council and get the bycatch numbers of king salmon, chum salmon, other salmon species, marine mammals and birds, the would be shocked beyond measure and McDonald’s should immediately cease and desist selling pollock under the MSC ‘sustainable’ label and MSC remove pollock from their list of ‘sustainably’ caught fish’
I found the above very interesting because it really goes to show that if you research the food you are eating that claims to be “helping: the environment, or a specific community, that you might figure out that it may not be the complete truth. These certifications are a way to sell the product, and try to make the customer feel as if they are doing good by eating food from a sustainable fishery.