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Sitka to Mark Frankenfish Global Day of Action (1 to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Crescent Harbor Shelter)

Picture Source: U.S. National Oceanic & Atmosp...
Picture Source: U.S. National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Press release submitted to us by http://sitkawild.org

Contact:
Paul Rioux
Phone: 907-738-1271
Ray Friedlander                                                              February 5, 2013
Phone: 907-747-7509

Sitka to Mark Frankenfish Global Day of Action 

From Southern California’s Santa Monica Pier to Sitka’s Crescent Harbor Shelter, rallies are scheduled up and down the West Coast this Saturday as part of a final push to collect comments opposing a pending FDA decision to allow genetically modified salmon.  Public comment on the decision closes February 25.

The Sitka rally will be from 1 to 1:30 p.m. at Crescent Harbor Shelter.
Paul Rioux, who has previously made his living fishing, was the original organizer of the Sitka rally, but he said the event has taken on a life of its own with multiple fishing organizations and the Sitka Conservation Society getting involved.

Rioux has been following closely as the FDA has moved forward with its approval of genetically modified salmon, and, when he noticed rallies were being organized in other communities, he knew Sitka needed to have one too.

“The idea is to raise awareness so people know that they can comment on this,” Rioux said.  “It is a public process, but people don’t know that.”

The FDA has already issued a draft Environmental Assessment with a finding that genetically modified Atlantic salmon caused no significant environmental impact.  Final approval of the “frankenfish” could come later this year and would drastically change Alaska’s economy and ecology forever.

The purpose of genetically modifying the fish is to create larger and faster growing farmed salmon.  In Alaska it is well known that escaped farmed salmon can play havoc with wild stocks, while also driving down the price of superior wild fish.

Alaska has made a substantial investment in its wild salmon fisheries, and both of Alaska’s U.S. Senators have publicly spoken out against genetically modified salmon. Wild Salmon are the backbone of the economy of Southeast , providing over 4,000 jobs  to Southeast Alaskans. The viability of salmon fishing and processing affects the viability of the entire Alaska seafood industry. The approval of genetically engineered salmon will expand the price differential between wild versus farmed salmon, harm local fishermen, and possibly even reduce the political and economic will to maintain the ecological health of wild stocks.

The goal of Saturday’s rally is to get as many Alaskans to add their voice of opposition by submitting a public comment to the FDA.

To submit a comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search “GE salmon.”  Click on the “comment now” button and submit your information. > http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FDA-2011-N-0899-0003

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