NOAA and Native Alaskans Partner on Seafood Safety
Since the Exxon Valdez oil spill, native Alaskan Tribes have been concerned about contamination in wild seafood, an important part of their diet. According to Tribal representatives, because of those concerns, the Tribes’ traditional harvesting practices have declined, resulting in less healthy eating habits. Now, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) researchers are working with these Tribes to determine the condition of wild shellfish and salmon stocks to restore confidence in these resources. Between July 17 and 23 (2010), NCCOS and its partners collected tissue samples to be analyzed for contaminants which will provide the Tribes reliable data on whether or not their food is safe to eat. The project includes partners from NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fishery Science Center, the Chugach Regional Resources Commission, the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery, and local native villages and fishing cooperatives.