Oceana : In Their Own Words

What They Tell You About:


Compass Andrew Sharpless, Oceana's chief executive, explained his approach to Fortune magazine, "People start to care much more and understand the threat to the ocean, when you tell them their tuna fish is contaminated. It's a dramatic, eye-opening moment for people." Oceana's direct communications to parents and, especially, donors is filled with hyperbolic warnings about "neurotoxins" and "sucking the life" out of the sea.


What They're Not Telling You

While it makes for a dramatic sound bite, Sharpless' scare tactics are completely hollow and putting at risk the public health his organizationalleges to want to protect Tuna are deep ocean fish hundreds of miles out at sea, totally remote from the local power plants Oceana says it wants shut down. What's more, the mercury found in ocean fish like tuna is largely naturally occurring in trace amounts not associated with harm -- and has always been a part of the marine environment an inconvenient truth that Oceana's scare campaigns never admit. While it's understandable that eco-activists would fight against power plants, Oceana is trying to hijack a healthy and popular seafood like tuna in order to advance an ulterior agenda.

The Tough Questions:
How does Oceana justify scaring consumers, especially when the FDA and major health groups have said that curtailing or eliminating seafood is the wrong thing to do?