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Salmon Identity Theft
by Rob Holston


April 11, 2005

Because concerns about the safety of eating farmed raised salmon is at an all time high, the climate is favorable for the criminal element to make big bucks on stealing Alaska's well deserved reputation as a source for "wild" or Alaskan salmon. because knowledgeable chefs and consumers around the country are willing to pay up to $20 a pound for great tasting, nutrient packed "wild" or Alaskan salmon, and farmed raised, "dyed to order" Atlantic salmon sell for as little as $5 a pound, salmon identity theft has become big business. It is a crime and should be prosecuted.

Farm raised salmon can be identified as impostors by DNA and dye and food additive analysis. All salmon identity thieves should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. This may be a national problem, but the greatest impact is on Alaska. Within Alaska the greatest impact is on Ketchikan, Alaska's southern most city where late fall runs of Coho and winter fishery Kings could be adding big bucks to Ketchikan fisherman's abundant spring and summer salmon fishing by providing discriminating consumers with "wild" Alaskan salmon all year round.

Local city and borough leaders should direct legal staff to coordinate with the state attorney general's office to seek prosecution against the salmon identity thieves. It is time for local leaders to step up to the plate and get the prosecution ball rolling. Local fishermen and fish processors have much to gain and Ketchikan's economy could boom if we can protect "wild" and Alaskan salmon identity. Ketchikan could once again become the "'Wild' Salmon Capitol of the World".

Rob Holston
Ketchikan, AK - USA



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