Summer for the Sea

Thursday, 04 September 2014

Contents:
- California Bag Ban
- Seafood Labeling
- Shark Safe expands

Hello fellow ocean lovers!

It is with the greatest of pleasure that we bring you this latest newsletter! California's Legislative Session ended this past Friday (29 August), and the California Senate churned out some great pieces of legislation in its closing hours.

One of the biggest wins was the passage of SB 270, which will phase out single-use plastic bags in California grocery stores, convenience stores, liquor stores, and pharmacies. With well more than one hundred jurisdictions already covered by similar or stronger legislation, one-third of Californians already live in an area which regulates single-use bags. SB 270 raises the bar, however, as it is the first such law to be passed at a statewide level!

It is hard to put our excitement into words. As most of you know, the reduction of single-use plastics is a key focus of COARE's, and we have been working on a state-wide ban on plastic bags here in California for several years. This has been a long battle against big plastic, and we're thrilled to once again lead the way with precedent setting change.

You can view our official press release at:
      http://www.coare.org/news/cabagban

Seafood Labeling

Another important bill to emerge from the twilight hours of this legislative session was SB 1138, an Act requiring accurate seafood labeling.

While spending on seafood in the United States has grown to more than $80 billion annually, State law does not provide clear guidance regarding accurate labeling of seafood. This lack of standards has led to high rates of mislabeling. A recent study by one of our colleague organizations found 52% of all fish sampled in Southern California and 38% of all fish sampled in Northern California were mislabeled.

SB 1138 would make it unlawful to knowingly sell or offer to sell fresh, frozen, or processed food fish or shellfish without identifying the species of fish or shellfish by its common name. SB 1138 also makes it illegal to mislabel seafood as farmed or wild caught, or to mislabel its country of origin.

Conservation efforts like the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch and COARE's own Shark Safe Certification program rely on an informed public making responsible and sustainable choices. However, it is difficult to make sound choices if seafood is mislabeled.

Shark Safe expands

Speaking of the Shark Safe Certification Program, we're pleased to announce an expansion of our certification program to include pharmaceutical and nutritional supplement industries.

You may soon see nutritional supplements with the Shark Safe certification!

You can view our official press release at:
      http://www.coare.org/news/sharksafeexpand

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Wishing you healthy oceans,
Your friends at COARE

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