Digital Dharma

The Middle Path, One Day At A Time

The life-and-death quest for ethical seafood

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I strongly suggest — nay, I order you to read not only this article but the ones linked in the sidebar. So there.

The world’s oceans are being transformed, and not for the better.

Around the world, unappetizing creatures are proliferating in the absence of big fish. Carpets of primitive sea squirts now cover continental shelves. The filter-feeding fish that once cleaned the oceans are being caught and ground into fertilizer, causing giant abundances of toxic plankton. Flotillas of jellyfish, some 10 miles square, are stinging sea cages full of salmon to death.

Scientists now know that the eating habits of a single species, Homo sapiens, are driving these changes. By knocking out the chain’s upper levels (which include predatory fish like tuna, swordfish, and shark) through violent overfishing, and skimming off the middle and bottom for industrial use, we are changing, perhaps permanently, the structure of an environment that nourishes us. Unless we adjust our attitude toward seafood, ours might be among the last generations able to enjoy the down-to-earth luxury of freshly caught wild fish.

The good news is that there is a way to eat that balances conservation and health—even when it comes to the complex, multispecies cuisine that is seafood. And it can be done without leaving the oceans, or our plates, empty.

Fish or Foul

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Author: Bill

Stumbling down the Middle Path, one day at a time.

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