FISH … Wild or Farmed …do you know what to look for?


How to

Identify

Sustainable Seafood

Know the label to look for when shopping for fish.

by Virginia Sole-Smith

This international nonprofit organization uses independent certifying agencies to make sure fisheries are catching their fish in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The label now appears on more than 180 frozen, fresh, and smoked-fish products sold in grocery stores across the country, including Whole Foods and Target,Wal-Mart has committed to buying all its store-brand fish products from MSC-certified fisheries within the next two to four years. For more information, visit  eng.msc.org  

Please ask your grocer if they buy and sell certified Sustainable fish … Nativegrl77

 facts about MSC

 

       Our vision is of the world’s oceans teeming with life, and seafood supplies safeguarded for this and future generations

Our mission is to use our ecolabel and fishery certification program to contribute to the health of the world’s oceans by recognising and rewarding sustainable fishing practises, influencing the choices people make when buying seafood, and working with our partners to transform the seafood market to a sustainable basis.
MSC vision and mission

  1. The MSC is a global program with fisheries participating from all the world’s oceans

    We have a staff of 100 spread across the HQ in London and regional offices in the Netherlands, USA, Australia, Baltic region, France, Germany, Japan, South Africa, and Spain, where our multilingual staff can be contacted to answer questions.
    MSC offices and staff

  2. The MSC program assesses wild capture fisheries only

    The MSC assessment program is used to certify wild capture freshwater and marine species. Our program does not assess fish farming (aquaculture), although some forms of enhanced fishery may be eligible for assessment.
    Why MSC doesn’t certify aquaculture fisheries

  3. We do not certify fisheries, we set standards

    To maintain impartiality, the MSC operates a ‘third-party’ certification program. This means that MSC itself does not assess fisheries or decide if they are sustainable. Instead certificates are issued by certifiers who are independently accredited to be able to perform assessments of fisheries and decide if they meet the MSC’s standards.
    Third party certification

  4. The market for certified sustainable seafood creates an incentive for fishery improvements

    Most fisheries say MSC certification helps them retain existing markets and gain access to new ones. For example the Germany North Sea saithe fishery used to rely entirely on fresh fish sales, but is now winning contracts for frozen fillets because its customers are requesting MSC certified products. This presents a powerful incentive for other fisheries to demonstrate their sustainability or to make improvements so that they can be eligible for certification too.
    Benefits of MSC certification (PDF, 8.2 mb)

  5. Fisheries in the MSC program can influence fishery policies

    An example from the South Africa hake fishery illustrates how fisheries in the MSC program can influence government policy. The fishery introduced tori lines (streamers flown from boats to keep birds away) in response to one MSC condition. These are now mandatory on all trawling vessels in South Africa.
    Net benefits report (PDF, 8.2 mb)

  6. The MSC program has delivered environmental improvements in fishery management

    For example the MSC assessment process for the Ekofish Group plaice fishery led to a voluntary agreement with NGOs to close certain sensitive areas for this bottom-trawl fishery, and to take part in scientific research on the impact fishing gear has on habitats and the seabed.
    Find out about other environmental benefits resulting from the MSC program

  7. The MSC program uses the best available science

    MSC certification is a robust scientific process, which draws on scientific expertise from marine scientists worldwide as well as contributing to improving scientific understanding through the fishery assessment process.
    MSC standards and methodologies

  8. Every MSC certified fishery has demonstrated that it maintains sustainable fish stocks, minimises environmental impacts and is effectively managed

    These are the three MSC environmental principles that every fishery in the program must prove it meets. Measurable environmental benefits that have occurred in MSC certified fisheries include the recovery of the New Zealand hoki fishery‘s historically low stock levels, due to a raft of management measures including a stock rebuilding plan.

  9. The MSC program is transparent

    Information from each step of the assessment process is available on the MSC website to make it easier for stakeholders to contribute. We also invite stakeholders to participate in key improvement projects and publish progress online.
    Consultations

  10. We work collaboratively with stakeholders around the world

    The input that stakeholders provide during a fishery’s assessment is key to ensuring a thorough assessment and a credible outcome. For this reason, certifiers are required to carefully consider all comments received, and justify and document their responses. The MSC also has an objections procedure which provides a mechanism for any disagreement with the assessment of the fishery to be reviewed and resolved. The MSC is continually improving its program, and stakeholders are invited to contribute to its development through regular meetings of the Stakeholder Council and public consultations.
    Have your say

  11. We work with fisheries in developing countries to ensure there is equal access to the benefits of certification

    The MSC program is open to all fisheries regardless of size, scale, location and intensity. To promote equal accessibility to its ecolabelling program, the MSC works with stakeholders and fisheries from all over the world. Through the MSC’s Developing World Program, the MSC seeks to promote increased participation of developing country fisheries in certification.
    Developing World Program

  12. We are a non-profit organisation

    The MSC is a registered charity and non-profit (501c3) and to a great extent relies on financial support from donors with an interest in protecting sustainable fishing. The majority of this income is received in the form of grants from private foundations, as well as some more limited support from governments, companies, other NGOs and individual supporters. Additional revenue is also generated from MSC International (the trading arm of the MSC) which administers a fee structure for use of the MSC eco-label, helping the MSC to become more financially independent and reduce its dependence on charitable donations.
    Make a donation

  13. We meet best practice for ecolabels and setting social and environmental standards

    The MSC has the only seafood ecolabel in the world that is consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s guidelines for ecolabelling of fish products.
    How we meet best practice

  14. MSC certification helps to safeguard livelihoods and sustain communities

    Encouraging responsible fisheries management improves security for the livelihoods of communities who depend on them, especially for smaller scale artisanal fisheries. In the Net Benefits report there are many examples, such as in the American Albacore Fishing Association Pacific tuna fishery which in 2005 had unstable incomes and lack of resources to invest in repairing vessels. After certification, the fishery found new buyers in Switzerland, Germany, France and the United Kingdom – and, confident of a market, was able to set its own price for the first time in its history. Now fishing is a reliable industry for the future of the community.
    Net benefits report
    (PDF, 8.2 mb)

  15. Buying MSC labelled fish makes a difference

    To remain MSC certified, fisheries must continually meet requirements for maintaining fish populations, so your favourite fish can still be enjoyed in years to come.
    Where to buy sustainable seafood

  16. You can be sure that all fish with the MSC ecolabel can be traced back to a certified sustainable fishery

    MSC-labelled seafood is traceable through the whole supply chain. When a product is sold with the MSC ecolabel, each business in the chain must have a Chain of Custody certificate, proving they have demonstrated to independent auditors that MSC certified fish comes from a certified supplier and is kept separate from non MSC-certified fish.
    MSC chain of custody certification

  17. 23% of shoppers across markets around the world recognise the MSC ecolabel

    2010 research carried out in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, France, and Japan shows that across these regions, 23% of the adult population is now aware of the MSC ecolabel – up from 9% in 2008.
    Find out more about the research

  18. Consumers respond positively to the promotion of certified sustainable seafood

    When promoted as part of a campaign called ‘Les Jours Bleus’ (Blue Days), the MSC ecolabel helped increase sales for MSC Partners. Findus increased their market share for breaded fish in Carrefour stores by 30% in volume. Sales of Connétable products were multiplied by 10 compared to their average annual sales throughout the year.
    Les Jours Bleus campaign

  19. Our ‘Fish & Kids’ project teaches the next generation why seafood matters

    By working with education caterers, schools and children, the MSC is bringing sustainable seafood to over 4000 (roughly 20%) of primary schools in the UK. The project teaches children about sustainable seafood issues and helps schools source MSC fish for school meals. In 2010 the project was also launched in 60 schools in Sweden.
    Fish & Kids website

  20. The MSC is widely recognised as the leader in the sustainable seafood labelling field

    Independent comparisons of seafood labelling programs routinely place the MSC at the top of the list and recognise the MSC as having the most robust and scientific standards of all seafood ecolabelling programs.
    MSC standards and methodologies

Visit certified sustainable fisheries on the map and find out more about them.

Fisheries on the map

Support our work

Financial support is critical to our success. Find out how you can help.

Donate now

VP Biden ~~ on voting rights


Democrats
One of the most important things we do as Democrats is protect the right to vote. We’re the political party working to expand that right, so votingcan be easier and more secure, and so that more voices are heard — not fewer.That’s why Democrats started the Voter Expansion Project. We’re taking everything we’ve learned and built from years of fighting Republican attempts to block access to voting, and using it to help even more people vote.

And you know what? When more Americans vote, Americans elect more representatives to stand up and fight for their families, and protect their future. In other words, they elect more Democrats.

I’ll turn it over to our favorite VPOTUS to tell you more about our project — then please let him know you’re with him:

I’ll be sending you more information on the Voter Expansion Project shortly, and I look forward to working with you.

Thanks,

Pratt

Pratt Wiley
National Director of Voter Expansion
Democratic National Committee

P.S. — Speaking of Vice President Biden, he just announced that he’s going to be using Twitter a lot more during these midterm elections. Be sure to follow @JoeBiden!

CBO ~~ July 2014


cbologo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Are the Causes of Projected Growth in Spending for Social Security and Major Health Care Programs?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

end of June …

a message from Raina Thiele


whitehousebannerGood afternoon,In this update, you will learn about some of the ways in which President Obama and his Administration continueto address the interests, concerns, and needs of the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) community.Please visit us online to learn more about the White House Office of Public Engagement, the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the White House’s work with the Native American community. Please encourage your friends and colleagues to sign up for updates!

Best regards,

Raina Thiele
Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement
The White House
IndianCountry@who.eop.gov

President Obama Engages Native Youth at My Brother’s Keeper Town Hall

On July 21, President Obama hosted a town hall session featuring the My Brother’s Keeper  initiative. He announced new commitments in support of MBK and engaged in dialogue with young boys and men of color. Youth from the Center for Native American Youth’s Champions for Change program, the Native American Political Leadership Institute’s INSPIRE Initiative, and the Navajo Nation attended the town hall and asked the President about the Administration’s work to support Native American language and cultural preservation.

The President reaffirmed his commitment to Native American youth and the importance of honoring one’s roots. Discussing his trip to the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation in June, the President applauded the tribe’s work on Lakota language revitalization and remarked about the powerful stories he heard from the tribe’s young people.

Click here to learn more about the recent My Brother’s Keeper town hall.

My Brother's Keeper town hall

Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience Announces Tribal Climate Resilience Program

On July 16, the White House State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience held its fourth and final meeting. In an effort to help tribes prepare for climate change, the Administration announced its new Tribal Climate Resilience Program. As part of this initiative, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will dedicate $10 million in funding for tribes and tribal organizations to develop tools to enable adaptive resource management, as well as the ability to plan for climate resilience.

Additionally, the Department of the Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency will partner to create a new subgroup on climate change under the White House Council on Native American Affairs. This subgroup will share data and information and coordinate Administration efforts to assist tribes in climate resilience and mitigation efforts.

Click here to learn more about the Administration’s Tribal Climate Resilience Program.

AmeriCorps Expands Presence in Tribal Communities

As part of President Obama’s commitment to Indian Country, AmeriCorps announced $3 million in grants to support Native American communities. These funds will increase the number of AmeriCorps members serving tribal communities by 41 percent. In total, these 17 tribal grants will support more than 250 AmeriCorps members serving with tribal organizations in 13 states.

Click here to learn more about AmeriCorps expansion in tribal communities.

The President and First Lady’s Historic Visit to Indian Country

On June 13, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama traveled to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Nation in Cannonball, North Dakota for the President’s first visit to Indian Country since taking office. Accompanied by the First Lady, the President met with Native American youth, tribal leaders, and attended the tribe’s annual Flag Day celebration where he spoke to Indian Country.

“My Administration is determined to partner with tribes, and it’s not something that just happens once in a while,” the President said. “It takes place every day, on just about every issue that touches your lives. And that’s what real nation-to-nation partnerships look like.”

Also on June 13, the White House released a fact sheet on economic development and education, including a blueprint for reforming the Bureau of Indian Education.

Click here to learn more about the President’s June 2014 trip to Indian Country.

Click here to watch the highlights.

The President attends the Cannon Ball Flag Day Powwow.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended the Cannon Ball Flag Day Powwow in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on June 13, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Statement by the President on the Passing of Billy Frank, Jr.

On May 5, President Obama released a statement on the passing of Billy Frank, Jr.:

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Billy Frank, Jr. — Chairman of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and a member of the Nisqually Indian Tribe. Billy fought for treaty rights to fish the waters of the Pacific Northwest, a battle he finally won in 1974 after being arrested many times during tribal “fish-ins.” Today, thanks to his courage and determined effort, our resources are better protected, and more tribes are able to enjoy the rights preserved for them more than a century ago. Billy never stopped fighting to make sure future generations would be able to enjoy the outdoors as he did, and his passion on the issue of climate change should serve as an inspiration to us all. I extend my deepest sympathies to the Nisqually Indian Tribe, and to Billy’s family, and to his many friends who so greatly admired him.

Click here to read the President’s statement.

White House Council on Native American Affairs Update

On May 1, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell convened a successful third meeting of the White House Council on Native American Affairs. Seven Cabinet Secretaries and senior officials discussed ongoing progress and current priorities aimed at working more collaboratively and effectively with American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes to advance their economic and social goals.

Among the topics discussed were promoting sustainable Tribal economic development; supporting greater access to and control over healthcare; improving the effectiveness of the Tribal justice systems; expanding and improving educational opportunities for Native youth; and supporting sustainable management of Native lands, environments, and natural resources.

The meeting was concluded with a discussion of the group’s preliminary findings and recommendations for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education.

Click here to learn more about the May White House Council on Native American Affairs meeting.

White House Council on Native American Affairs meeting

Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell convenes the third meeting of the White House Council on Native American Affairs, May 1, 2014. (U.S. Department of the Interior)

Stay Connected

The State of Social Security and Medicare


By

What You Need To Know From The Latest Social Security Trustees Annual Report

The latest annual report from the trustees for Social Security and Medicare came out today. It provided some very good news on the health care front: the report extended Medicare’s solvency by four years from 2026 to 2030. This improved financial health can be attributed in part to the Affordable Care Act, which is helping to reduce costs. Just a few years ago, before the Affordable Care Act was fully implemented, the trustees predicted that the Medicare trust fund would run out by 2016. Another reason to be thankful for the ACA.

On the Social Security front, some news reports are focusing on the financial shortfall that the program faces in the next 75 years. But it is both expected and manageable. Here are the four key takeaways, from a post by Center for American Progress experts Rebecca Vallas and Christian E. Weller:

1. Social Security can continue to pay all promised benefits for the next two decades. As was the case in last year’s report, the Trustees continue to estimate that Social Security will be able to pay all scheduled retirement, disability, and survivorship benefits through 2033. Social Security has two trust funds: one for the retirement and survivorship benefit programs, and one for the much smaller Disability Insurance (DI) program (although experts generally consider the two funds together due to the interrelated nature of Social Security’s programs). Individually, the Old Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund is projected to deplete its reserves in 2035, and the DI trust fund will do so in 2016. After 2033, the Trustees project that Social Security income from payroll taxes will be sufficient to cover 77 percent of promised benefits after 2033, unless policymakers implement changes before then.

2. Social Security’s shortfall is modest. The Trustees project that the entire Social Security shortfall for the next 75 years will be about 1 percent of GDP, or 2.88 percent of taxable payroll. The bulk of this shortfall, 2.55 percent of payroll or 88.5 percent of the entire shortfall, is attributed to OASI. The Trustees have long projected both the OASI and DI shortfalls. While an aging population is frequently discussed as the driving factor, recent analysis by Monique Morrissey at the Economic Policy Institute finds that as much as half of the shortfall is attributable to rising inequality and wage growth that has lagged behind gains in productivity.

3. The fact that action will soon be needed to address Disability Insurance’s finances has long been expected. As with last year’s report, this year the Trustees continue to project that the DI trust fund will be exhausted in 2016—something that has been expected for nearly 20 years.

4. A routine step would ensure that Social Security can pay all benefits in full through 2033. Rebalancing—an adjustment in the share of payroll taxes allocated to each of the trust funds—has occurred in a bipartisan manner 11 times in the program’s history to account for demographic shifts or other changes. About half the time funds have been reallocated toward OASI, and about half the time toward DI.

BOTTOM LINE: The trustees for Social Security and Medicare brought the good news that Medicare’s financial health is better than expected. And the predictions it makes for Social Security are both expected and manageable–permitting our elected officials can take action to strengthen this program that is a bedrock of economic security for working Americans.