All posts by NFI Media

SoFISHticated Season 4, Episode 3: From Rockfish to Robots: The Future of AI in the Seafood Industry

Seafood’s leading podcast for actionable industry information.

Listen in and buckle up, this episode of SoFISHticated is taking us to new places: the world of Artificial Intelligence. Saif Khawaja, Founder of Shinkei Systems, joined co-hosts Richard and Kayla for a knowledge-packed episode about how AI is being incorporated into the seafood industry. 

Key takeaways:? 

  • Seafood is behind when it comes to AI integration.
  • There’s always going to be a person behind AI, but is there an upside for a labor-strapped industry?
  • First adopters are starting with AI in the area of supply chain and logistics.

Seafood: 1, Poor Reporting: 0, You’re Missing the Point

If there’s one message to get across to news outlets, like Newsweek and The New York Times, it’s this: you’re missing the point. 

Your recent articles about studies that show mercury levels in seafood have remained the same for the past 30 to 50 years may be accurate but they’re a surface level look. What isn’t reported is that during the past 30 to 50 years, American consumers have not gotten sick because of mercury in seafood. The fish aren’t dying of mercury poisoning— and neither are consumers… isn’t that a good thing? There’s something at play here that reporters are missing or ignoring.  

Americans are simply not exposed to levels of mercury in seafood that warrant concern. Not only is seafood consumption woefully low, but the 10 most popular types of seafood in the United States represent more than 75% of all fish eaten and none of them are considered high in mercury. 

So, why all this theoretical handwringing about mercury levels that haven’t changed for decades? Here’s another unreported fact; there are no cases of mercury toxicity due to the normal consumption of commercial seafood found in published, peer-reviewed journals… in the last 30 or 50 years for that matter. 

Trace amounts of mercury found in commercial fish are by and large naturally occurring. The presence of mercury and the fact that it is naturally occurring was proven in the California courts when America’s canned tuna companies fought against mischaracterizations that canned tuna was polluted by manmade contaminants and required labels to warn consumers. 

The California courts were clear in the original case all the way back in 2006, a verdict upheld on appeal by the California Attorney General in March 2009, that the mercury in canned tuna is naturally occurring and in amounts too small to be of any health consequence. Therefore, it did not meet the standard for labels under that state’s Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly known as Proposition 65. 

Any media messaging that could turn people away from eating a food they are strongly encouraged to eat more of requires eyebrows to be raised and questions to be asked. 

Medical professionals encourage consumers to eat more, not less, seafood. Not only can it dramatically combat leading causes of death—the Journal of the American Medical Association found low seafood/ omega-3 fats account for 7.8% of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes deaths, making it a top five contributor to these preventable conditions—but the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have established that eating seafood during pregnancy contributes to “improved infant health outcomes, such as visual acuity and cognitive development.” 

Let’s face it: seafood is good for you and mercury levels staying the same as they were 50 years ago is not a nutritional concern. The only concern that should be written into the narrative is supported by health professionals: Americans aren’t eating enough seafood.  

SoFISHticated Extras: Preparing Sushi at Home

Seafood’s leading podcast for actionable industry information.

If you listened to our episode on sushi with Michael McNicholas of Culimer USA LLC, you may have heard the word “omakase.” But in this SoFISHticated Extra we learn a new term—what exactly is “homakase”? 

Tune in as hosts Richard and Kayla dive into preparing sushi at home and its rising popularity with Michael McNicholas.

SoFISHticated Season 4, Episode 1: The Sushi Market and NFI Sushi Council

Seafood’s leading podcast for actionable industry information.

In the first SoFISHticated episode of 2024, co-hosts Richard and Kayla are joined by Michael McNicholas of Culimer USA LLC, to talk about a product that’s so well know, like Cher or Prince, it goes by only one name: Sushi.

The three will walk through the sushi market—its history and its future—and talk about the newly formed NFI Sushi Council, including its mission and how to join. This episode is pretty raw-some, so be sure to tune in.

Key takeaways:? 

  • Does sushi still have room to grow?
  • What’s holding consumers back from trying sushi?
  • Why is now the time to join NFI’s Sushi Council?

NFI Internship 2024: Communications & Multimedia Position

The National Fisheries Institute’s Summer Internship Program

Communications & Multimedia Intern

National Fisheries Institute — the leading trade association for the commercial seafood industry — is seeking a Communications & Multimedia Intern to work in-stride with NFI’s communications team. This internship opportunity will provide the selected candidate with excellent experience in industry storytelling — both proactive and reactive — in the Nation’s Capital.

This hybrid internship will be managed by the Communications team in its headquarters just outside Washington, D.C. Current undergraduate juniors and seniors with communications & marketing, and/or information graphics or multimedia design backgrounds are encouraged to apply for this paid internship, which will begin in May/June 2024.

The deadline to apply is March 31, 2024

When applying to this internship position, please send the following to NFI’s Media & Communications Manager, Kayla Bennett,

  • Current resume.
  • Cover letter explaining your skill set and why you should be considered for this opportunity.
  • At least two work/class writing samples (such as published articles, news releases, research papers, creative briefs, infographics, design projects, website pages, PowerPoint presentations, etc.).

Potential Opportunities:

  • Help manage NFI content and collateral to our trade association members via videos, newsletters, website, and social media.
  • Develop media lists, influencer lists, media briefs, editorial calendars, and media results reports.
  • Participate in both internal team and external meetings on Capitol Hill or with member companies.
  • Work on press releases, media statements, op-eds, infographics, communication & media toolkits, fact sheets, collateral copy, start-to-finish video production, social media content/campaigns, and other materials.
  • Create website material and resources for NFI’s branded platforms.
  • Help record, produce, and market NFI’s podcast via several platforms.
  • Conduct social media analytics and brand research as well as audits.
  • Coordinate interactions with local, trade, and national media, as well as influencers, when appropriate.
  • Support and enhance NFI’s brands in printed and digital platforms.
  • Other duties, as assigned.

Other potential opportunities for growth:

  • Gain experience in technical skills like writing, editing, digital/web design, social media management and research as well as broader skills like understanding the integration between government affairs and communications strategy.
  • Tailor existing internship program to meet individual needs.
  • Write creative media briefs and blog posts.
  • Have one-on-one mentoring with designated individuals.
  • Exposure to a variety of marketing and communications focus areas, including media relations, internal communications, public affairs, strategic research, branding, crisis communications, social media, and more.

Ideal applicants possess:

  • Strong research, organizational and writing skills.
  • A proven understanding of marketing and communications, social media, and online and traditional media
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Proficiency using AP Style is preferred.
  • Solid critical thinking skills.
  • Ability to take initiative and assume responsibility.
  • Ability to work independently and in team settings.
  • Excellent attention to detail, including proofreading.
  • A positive attitude and drive.
  • Strong Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint skills.
  • Prior internship experience is a plus.


GSMC SoFISHticated Extras: Day 3

Seafood’s leading podcast for actionable industry information.

A 3-minute download on the insights and data from Day 3 of the Global Seafood Market Conference

Here’s what you missed:

• Whitefish woes & wows 
• Gen Alpha toddles towards seafood
• Are AI’s Digital Twins the Future of Seafood Market Research?

P.S. If you missed Bob DeHaan’s Day 3 antitrust briefing… let’s just say, you missed out.

GSMC SoFISHticated Extras: Day 2

Seafood’s leading podcast for actionable industry information.

A 4-minute download on the insights and data from Day 1 of the Global Seafod Market Conference

Here’s what you missed:

  • Find out why “chaos” is kind of our brand
  • Why land-based protein would love to have seafood’s problems
  • Why it’s good to be “annoyingly boring”

GSMC SoFISHticated Extras: Day 1

Seafood’s leading podcast for actionable industry information.

A 4-minute download on the insights and data from Day 1 of the Global Seafod Market Conference

Here’s what you missed:

Why retail sales are better than you think
Shrimp Panel—the anti-dumping effect
Taylor Swift takes over the seafood roundtable… no joke

Consumer Reports, Dedicated to Distortion?

The magazine best known for rating TV’s and vacuums really, really wants to give you nutrition advice. And while it may be good at testing toasters and car stereos it should probably be noted that its “Senior Scientist,” who can be found making nutrition recommendations all the time has a PhD in… wait for it…  “Integrated Pest Management.” Not making this up. Read for yourself.

So, here it goes again. This time Consumer Reports (CR) is focused on phthalates in food, a chemical found in plastics. However, testing random products without understanding what American’s actually eat doesn’t provide an accurate picture of consumers’ exposure to phthalates through foods. CR should have patterned its testing after FDA’s Total Diet Studies for a more scientifically based sampling scheme. But it did not, thus leading to a distorted report.

CR reports the total phthalates in nanograms per serving.  But they don’t report the serving size so there is no way to compare items listed in the article because each product’s serving size is probably different.  When FDA reports the results of testing the results are normalized for comparison purposes.

Reporting the results in nanograms per serving make the numbers huge and scary. Also known as distorted.  For example, pink salmon was reported at 24,321 nanograms/serving.  Assuming the serving size is 85g (85g is the reference amount for nutrition labeling purposes, but the actual serving size could be higher depending on the size of the can), the amount is 286 nanograms per gram which is 286 ppb or 0.286 ppm.  Not quite so scary.  (For reference: a nanogram is one billionth of a gram.  Compare to a microgram which is one millionth of a gram.  1 nanogram/g = 1ppb.  1 microgram/g = 1000 ppb or 1ppm.)

Safety assessments for chemicals are based on the daily exposure to the chemical, not on the amount of the chemical in a single product. For example, if 2 different foods have the same level of a chemical, but one product is consumed daily and the other product is consumed once per month, the risk of exposure is different.  The CR report does not take this into account. 

If you read carefully, CR reports that “regulators in the U.S. and Europe have set thresholds for … a few phthalates, and none of the foods CR tested had amounts exceeding those limits.” One more time, for the kids, “none of the foods CR tested had amounts exceeding those limits.”

Burying the lead and a history of cooking the proverbial books suggest a pattern that appears dedicated to distortion. Not a good look for Consumer Reports.