If Alaska's salmon industry is to enjoy prosperity again, it will have to distinguish wild salmon as an environmentally friendly, better-tasting product compared with farm-raised fish. The state can do a lot to help the industry get that message out, but it won't do much good if consumers looking to buy salmon don't know where it came from.
Good news, then, that a new federal law will require fish sold in this country to be labeled as wild or farm-raised and disclose the country of origin, starting no later than 2004.
The labeling law is good for Alaska's salmon industry, obviously, but it's also good for would-be salmon consumers. The more information they have before making a decision to buy, the better off they are. Some may not care whether a salmon was raised on a farm in Chile or caught in the cold, clean waters off Alaska, but those who do care will be able to tell the difference and can decide accordingly. And it is those consumers who could determine what kind of future beckons for Alaska's salmon industry.
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