All posts by NFI Media

Dubious Celebrity Diagnosis?

Did you hear Joe Rogan claims to have “poisoned” himself with arsenic by eating too many sardines?

Right, so arsenic is a naturally occurring element and the most harmful form is inorganic arsenic. The main form of arsenic found in fish is organic arsenic.  Unlike inorganic arsenic, organic arsenic is not harmful to humans.

An anecdotal celebrity medical tale should not be the basis for nutrition advice. Just ask Jeremy Piven who claimed he got mercury poising from eating too much sushi and that he grew breasts from drinking too much soy milk.

Below is a walk down memory lane to see how that worked out for Mr. Piven:

Again With Jeremy Piven Seriously?

Piven Now Famous For His Fable

Quick Question For Jeremy Piven

Media Should Continue to Treat Jeremy Piven’s Medical Claims With Skepticism

Another Piven Rehash, Are You Serious?

Piven A Pescaholic?

Does Piven Want A Lawsuit?

Did you hear Joe Rogan claims to have “poisoned” himself with arsenic by eating too many sardines?

Right, so arsenic is a naturally occurring element and the most harmful form is inorganic arsenic. The main form of arsenic found in fish is organic arsenic.  Unlike inorganic arsenic, organic arsenic is not harmful to humans.

An anecdotal celebrity medical tale should not be the basis for nutrition advice. Just ask Jeremy Piven who claimed he got mercury poising from eating too much sushi and that he grew breasts from drinking too much soy milk.

Below is a walk down memory lane to see how that worked out for Mr. Piven:

Again With Jeremy Piven Seriously?

Piven Now Famous For His Fable

Quick Question For Jeremy Piven

Media Should Continue to Treat Jeremy Piven’s Medical Claims With Skepticism

Another Piven Rehash, Are You Serious?

Piven A Pescaholic?

Does Piven Want A Lawsuit?

NFI Internship: 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 2023.

The deadline to apply is April 28, 2023

When applying to this internship position, please send the following to NFI’s Communications Director, Melaina Lewis at

  • Current resume.
  • Cover letter explaining your skill set and why you should be considered for this opportunity.
  • Two work/class writing samples (such as published articles, news releases, fact sheets, memos, plans, essays, 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 and 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.

Prior internship experience is a plus.

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.


Aquaculture and the Future of Fish?

Did you know 52% of the seafood people eat globally comes from aquaculture? Well, it does and that’s why countries and states interested in the future of fish are devoting time and resources to crafting and investing in effective aquaculture policies.

In Virginia, Governor Glenn Younkin has appointed NFI member Kimberly Huskey, from Cherrystone Aqua Farms, to the state’s Aquaculture Advisory Board. NFI is pleased to see that the Old Dominion is focused on the future of fish.

TIME Magazine Editors Forget to Research Salmon Story

A recent column in Time about farmed salmon appears to have attracted little or no editorial oversight as it was rife with inaccuracies masquerading as opinion.

This is not the first time this once vaunted publication has botched reporting on seafood. The hit parade started in 2010 —Taking The Time To Get The Story Rightwith more in 2015 — TIME magazine continues to fail its readers, another in 2016 — Seriously… what is wrong with Time Magazine? And again in 2017 Reporting on Reporters: Time Magazine.

Below, you can read a letter to Time’s editors from the National Aquaculture Association, it is a fact-based refutation of the story but should also serve as a very clear warning to other publications to do their homework before printing hyperbolic rhetoric without genuine review.

July 22, 2022 

Edward Felsenthal 

Editor-in-Chief and CEO 

Time Magazine 

RE: Salmon Wars authors replace facts with fiction in their fishy look at salmon farming 

Dear Mr. Felsenthal: 

Authors Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz have an opinion. That is, salmon is a bad for you and bad for the planet. They ask that it be removed from your menu. They are entitled to their opinion. 

With TIME publishing this opinion, it asks the question: “Is Farmed Salmon Healthy and Sustainable?” 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Frantz clearly say no. However, professionals in the fields of nutrition, health, and ecology say yes. National health authorities worldwide and trusted dieticians suggest including oily fish like salmon regularly in your diet. Registered professional biologists and marine ecologists ensure salmon farms exceed the strict regulations and third-party certifications that are in place to protect the environment around a farm. Licensed veterinarians care for salmon daily. 

There is a war being waged against science by activists that would prefer decisions be based on politics, anecdotes and shameless misrepresentations and the authors deliver on this approach by basing their arguments on false factoids pulled from the news or discredited old studies in place of real facts. Here are just a few examples: 

FALSE: Salmon are raised in “crammed” cages. 

FACT: Salmon are grown in sea cages that contain less than 4% fish and more than 96% water. 

FALSE: Salmon are “doused with antibiotics”. 

FACT: Salmon are raised with little or no antibiotics under the watch of veterinarians. Farmers have a stewardship responsibility to care for the animals they raise. Farm-raised salmon receive the least medicines out of all the most popular animal proteins we buy at the grocery store. 

FALSE: “A single meal per month exceeds contaminant levels set by the World Health Organization”. 

FACT: Farm-raised salmon is very low in contaminants and meets or exceeds standards established by the Food and Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. Salmon is one of the world’s best sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is welcome on the menu of every G7 country, the European Union and across North America. 

FALSE: “A toxic stew [under farms] drives away marine life”. 

FACT: Salmon farmers know that pristine marine cage conditions are essential for high-quality salmon. Farm locations are carefully selected to ensure the ocean bottom is protected from significant nutrient loading by placing the farm in deep and fast-moving water. Farmers use underwater cameras to properly disperse feed, they carefully monitor the ocean bottom, and, like a farmer’s field, sites are given time to rest before being used again. 

FALSE: “Salmon die at a rate of 15 percent, much worse than 5 percent for chickens.” 

FACT: Wild salmon have a 5% survival rate. Farm-raised salmon have an 85% survival rate over the two-year period in which they are raised. Broiler chickens live for less than two months before being placed on a rotisserie, making this comparison a misrepresentation at best. 

Ms. Collins and Mr. Frantz feel that farm-raised salmon is a new fish and an “industrialized imposter”. This would describe 100% of the farmed food products we eat that have, over centuries, replaced wild foods because nature could not keep up with growing demand. It is now very clear that overfishing can effectively strip our oceans empty. Fisheries management is improving and there are many examples of sustainable fisheries around the world. 

Aquaculture will not replace sustainable fisheries but it is a logical and responsible response to help meet demand locally and globally.

Demand for healthy seafood is increasing year on year and the United States imports 85% of its seafood from abroad running a $17 billion seafood trade deficit. Aquaculture will be an answer to keeping Americans well fed and healthy. 

Consumers have the right to choose what foods they eat. They also have the right to expect “investigative journalists” to do the homework needed to present them with fact, not fiction. 

We invite you and your staff to visit Maine where Atlantic salmon has been farmed in coastally located net pens since the 1970s. Current production occurs at 26 farm sites all located within state waters (3 miles from land). Annual production ranges from 33 million to 39 million pounds. Farms are regulated under the Clean Water Act, comply with the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, do not utilize any antibiotics or hormones as growth promoters, conduct and report environmental effects, and have not experienced an escape of fish since 2003. All farms are monitored regularly by a number of regulatory and resource management agencies and are certified by environmental certification programs that establish operating standards above those required by law. 

If you would like additional information about a Maine tour or marine aquaculture in the United States, please contact us at your convenience. 


Sebastian Belle 


Keeping Seafood’s Seat at the White House’s Table

This article ran in Urner Barry’s Reporter Magazine.

Seafood is arguably the healthiest animal protein on the planet. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) encourage people to eat two-to-three servings of seafood each week for numerous health benefits throughout the lifespan, including brain development in babies and strong bones and muscle maintenance in older adults. 

The DGA are an important vehicle for nutrition policy —they inform what’s in school lunches; Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages; and feeding programs for older adults.  Seafood has long been mentioned by the DGA as a healthy, lean protein and the 2010 DGA include the first specific guidance to eat two-to-three servings of seafood each week.  Since then, the seafood recommendations have become stronger and clearer.  The current 2020-2025 DGA encourage caregivers and healthcare professionals to introduce foods rich in omega-3s, like seafood, to babies beginning around the age of six months, rounding out recommendations for all parts of the life cycle. 

The latest DGA also emphasize that 94% of children and 80% of adults do not eat enough fish. The evolution of seafood in the DGA sees it move from a vaguely healthy choice to a powerful source of specific benefits from birth to old age.

While this shift in seafood’s place at the table has been monumental, there’s more the federal government can do to help turn nutrition advice into actual changes in the way Americans eat.   

Clear Up Confusing and Complex Seafood Advice

As the White House plans to convene its Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health for the first time in more than 50 years it will be important to make sure future seafood advice is clear, concise and science-based.  Consumers, policymakers and even many doctors are still confused about the benefits of seafood, particularly during pregnancy.  

The science is crystal clear – seafood, including traces of mercury alongside beneficial nutrients like omega-3s and selenium – provides brain development (and continued brain health) benefits.  Period.

The White House has the power to declare for once and for all what the Dietary Guidelines allude to:  The demonstrable health risk associated with eating seafood is not eating enough to reap the benefits.   

Focus on the Foods – like Fish – That Improve Public Health the Most  

The amount of health problems and potential interventions the White House could explore is overwhelming.  The science must inform the diseases with the greatest detriment to well-being and the most powerful dietary interventions.  For example, a Harvard School of Public Health study estimates that low seafood intake is responsible for about 84,000 American lives lost to heart disease each year, which makes seafood deficiency the second-biggest dietary contributor to preventable deaths in the U.S.  

Promote Affordable Accessible Seafood Options 

The 2020-2025 DGA emphasizes a need for affordable, healthy protein, “despite a common perception that eating healthfully is expensive, a healthy dietary pattern can be affordable and fit within budgetary constraints.” Frozen and canned seafood fill that need perfectly and pack a nutritious punch.

The Importance of Communicating the Benefits of Eating Seafood 

The medical and nutrition community, globally, agree; seafood is the healthiest animal protein on the planet, and maintaining access to safe healthy food, like seafood, will be imperative as we aim to feed a growing population.   

Seafood is a food to be encouraged and is not only needed for a new and aging population, but essential. It’s time for the federal government to effectively educate and communicate to Americans about seafood and the role it plays in their lifelong health and there is no bigger platform to serve these facts from than the White House’s own table. 

Wear Sunscreen and Read Past the Headlines

A recent study that suggested a link between fish consumption and melanoma has garnered quite a few headlines. The challenge is, many consumers (and even other journalists) don’t read past said headlines.  In this case, the hyperbolic proclamations are followed by densely packed text filled with high grade professionals essentially saying—whoooa there kiddo, that’s not quite what the study says.

The New York Times headline asked Can Your Diet Really Affect Your Skin Cancer Risk? And then answered the fish finding with these little gems:

  • “…while the finding raises questions about possible links between diet and melanoma, the study’s lead author and other experts cautioned that it’s not a reason to avoid eating fish.”
  • “I wouldn’t discourage people from having fish just because of our finding,” said Eunyoung Cho, an associate professor of dermatology at Brown University and the lead author of the study.
  • “This does not change dietary recommendations for fish intake as part of a heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory or broad cancer prevention diet,” said Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
  • Sancy Leachman, director of the Melanoma Research Program at Oregon Health & Science University, said the new study was well-designed and called the findings “intriguing.” But, she said, when “you crunch large data sets like this,” what you find are correlations between factors, not evidence that one causes another.

“It’s refreshing to see both the lead author of this study and the Times’ coverage resisting the urge to sensationalize,” said Jennifer McGuire, Registered Dietitian at the National Fisheries Institute. “This study changes nothing about longstanding common-sense nutrition advice and that’s made pretty clear.  What a rare but responsible thing to see public health being prioritized over click-bait.”

So, consider this a public service announce to please wear sunscreen and read past the headlines.

SoFISHticated Episode 2 is Available for NFI Members

In this episode, Richard and Melaina take a look at how the seafood industry can navigate this ongoing inflationary time, how consumers are reacting, and what Megan Thee Stallion has to do with menu consolidation.

Find out what on earth that means in NFI’s new member’s only podcast. 

Episode 3

SoFISHticated Episode 1 is Now Available

If there’s one thing NFI’s Richard Barry and Melaina Lewis know about Peeps, chocolate bunnies, and hip-hop feuds, it’s their impact on Lenten sales. 

Find out what on earth that means and what’s on the horizon for seafood during the Lenten season in NFI’s new member’s only podcast. 

Episode 1