Give a person a fish, and you can be sure that fish has been carefully chosen and and is from the 'best choices' Seafood Watch list provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Give a person the link to said list and you can hope that they make the right choices on their own... tell a person about how serious the problem is and maybe they will finally begin to understand.
On a number of recent occasions I have found myself being that person at dinner... the person who is preaching to their friends about sustainable seafood choices. Hey, don't get me wrong, I don't want to be that person - I kind of hate that person, but it seems that there are quite a few people who don't know the whole story about the current condition of our oceans and are still ordering fish that are on the 'avoid list'. The reality is that our oceans are in bad shape due to overfishing, illegal fishing, habitat damage, bycatch, poor regulation of the worldwide fishing industry, and our ordering/buying habits.
"We need to train ourselves to see what is hidden under the surface of
the waters because fish stocks are in collapse and the oceans are in
trouble. Many recent studies, including the Pew Oceans Commission
(2003), have come to the same conclusions. The big fish, like the
thousand-pound tuna, are 90 percent gone. Newfoundland cod, wild
abalone, Atlantic halibut and Chilean sea bass are so scarce as to be
nearly nonexistent. Breeding swordfish populations have been cut in
half; marlin are rare. Pelicans in the Sea of Cortés starve for want of
fish to eat." (From Patagonia's Oceans as Wilderness Campaign)
The first thing that we need to do as individuals is to make ocean-friendly seafood choices EVERY time we order or buy fish, without exception. Here are some things you can do:
If you have a favorite recipe or restaurant that highlights the use of sustainable fish tell us about it!
Check back soon for our series of recipes on cooking with ocean-friendly fish choices!