I have been eating a lot of fish as part of my nutritional challenge for March and find myself having conversations with people who are surprised to learn about the ways our eating habits impact the world's fish stocks.
This is one of the fundamental ways we are continuously hurting the health of the biosphere - the biggest earth system that contains everything - the earth's surface, the atmosphere and all living systems - including YOUR FAMILY, your community and our society. We are over-fishing some stocks of fish which means we eat them faster than they can re-populate themselves. THIS DOESN'T MEAN WE CANNOT EAT FISH - we just have to be wary of how fast we are doing it and taking the pressure off certain species.
At the same time we are putting pressure on the oceans through our societal actions - the results are worse water quality (killing fish), toxic algal blooms, dead zones, plastic infested patch of ocean (Pacific Garbage Gyre), invasive exotic species, beach closures and coastal floods are increasing. These floods are linked to the continual destruction of wetlands, reefs, mangroves and the plants and animals that filter out pollutants and protect our shorelines.
I love eating fish - I'm from British Columbia - home of the pacific salmon. I couldn't imagine life without ever having tasted one of these beautiful fish. My dad used to take us fishing when we were kids and I have many fond memories of doing that with him.
What actions can you and your family take? Be conscious about what kinds of fish you are eating and how they are caught. Different types of fishing methods cause greater damage to the oceans than others. REMEMBER - you CAN make a difference by VOTING WITH YOUR WALLET.
Here are some resources for you:
- Environmental Defense Fund - Seafood Guide (USA)
- Environmental Defense Fund - Sushi Selector (USA)
- Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch (USA) - A GREAT visual map of USA regions
- SeaChoice - Choosing Sustainable Seafood (Canada) - has interactive database and pocket guides
- Australian Marine Conservation Society - Guide to Sustainable Seafood (has free guide to download)
Here are some great books for recipes, guidance and a really cool poster.
To your green family success!