Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Sushi Dilemma

What seafood to eat?

I love the health benefits and the taste of good seafood. Yet I’m sensitive to the plights of the world’s oceans. You hear all the time about how in the good old days they were reeling in whoppers all the time with the simplest methods because the oceans’ bounty was literally teeming to the point of overflowing. In typical capitalist response we rolled up our sleeves and got down to consuming with wanton regard for the future. This is a recurring theme (see ‘American Bison’ or ‘Old Growth Forest’ for more depressing history).

Now we hear that the reefs are ghost towns and the catches smaller in diversity of species, raw number and size of fish. The giants being pulled from the deep have shrunk in every way over time in conjunction with our targeted elimination of the oceans creatures starting with the biggest and most popular and working our way down. This means fewer and smaller blue whales, great white sharks, swordfish, blue fin tuna and salmon. And the list goes on and expands as each preceding species dwindles, gets more expensive and must be replaced on restaurant menus with a lesser tasty species.

Everyone knows it’s our consumer demand that is to blame. Everyone’s at fault (who eats fish at least). We’re told this at the same time that chic sushi restaurants continue to carve up endangered blue fin tuna (buttery, delicious toro) and push it on us priced at the ounce and served with a side of sex appeal. In my experience hypocrisy this blatant is easy to get angry about. So where’s the outrage? Or do we care if our children know what a blue fin tuna is?

Love it as I do, I can no longer eat a species of fish in good conscience without knowing a few things first. It is good to know from available literature what species are still abundant in the oceans (as those are what we turn to when the former culinary favorites go down) but I think we need to look a little deeper and make sure that not only are the species we turn to still healthy in number, but also being responsibly managed for the future.


No comments:

Post a Comment