NPR

Will Fish Get A Humanely Harvested Label? These Brothers Bet $40 Million On It

Beef and poultry get labels designating humane treatment; seafood doesn't. Two fishermen want to change that. Their state-of-the-art ship makes fishing safer for crew and minimizes pain for fish.
Blue North is a new fishing vessel designed to catch Pacific cod using a Seafood Watch granted catch method. It also utilizes a stun table to render fish unconscious before processing. Source: Courtesy of Blue North

When it comes to seafood, we're awash in labels. There are labels to identify sustainable wild, farmed or Fair Trade fish. We're able to scout the canned tuna section for lingo like "pole and line caught." And plenty of us use Seafood Watch's green, yellow or red color-rating system to help us avoid a side serving of guilt with our fish supper.

But there's another designation many consumers look for in land-based proteins like beef, poultry and pork that is largely missing from the conversation about seafood: humane treatment.

A pair long-time fishermen — Michael Burns and his brother, Patrick Burns — are trying to change that.

The brothers — now both in their 60s — spent decades fishing the Gulf of

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