People tend to resent the government telling them what they should consume - the kind of fat, the amount of salt and the size of soft drinks.
But they should welcome the government speaking up about seafood. Specifically, combatting black market fishing and seafood fraud.
Consumers deserve to be confident that, when they buy grouper they're not getting wreckfish.
They should not have to worry that what they buy is unsafe to eat.
And commercial fishermen should not see their livelihoods diminished by black market fishing. According to the White House, 20 percent of the wild marine fish caught each year are part of the black market, at a cost of $23 billion to the legitimate fishing industry.
The Lowcountry is a seafood place. Restaurants win wide acclaim for their seafood dishes. Recreational shrimpers fill their freezers when the season is right and anglers vie for trophies for reeling in the biggest fish. Commercial shrimp boats and fishing vessels still call this home, even as making a living has become more difficult.
It's a topic familiar to the Lowcountry, where programs like the Sustainable Seafood Initiative have been raising awareness of the problem.
And the problem is now on the president's table. Mr. Obama has vowed to fight the fraud, and administration officials are setting up a task force to study how to do so.
It won't be too soon.
And it might not be readily apparent what to do.
Marine scientist John Dean has long advocated for better seafood labeling, as they have in Europe. There, seafood catches are labeled and traced by bar code through the entire supply chain.
But stopping seafood fraud is a complicated and expensive task that most local jurisdictions would be ill-equipped to manage. If the federal task force comes up with a realistic strategy to clamp down on this menace to citizen's health and livelihood, it will have served a function that the government should be performing - and that even people who use too much salt can appreciate.
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