Overfishing, it Needs to Stop: The Effects of Human Demand for Seafood
Many people don't have the urge to fight for the defense of fish populations. One of my close friends once said, "I am a pescetarianism because fish aren't cute, they're ugly." Many people feel this way, but isn't that the opposite of what you were taught? Treat others equally, no matter what the shape or size. Everyone wants to save the Chinese Panda, dolphins and snow leopards, but has everyone turned their backs on the tuna? Believe it or not but, tuna canners actually supported the dolphins and required that their Tuna be caught in a "dolphin safe" manner because dolphins were often drowned because of certain tuna fishing nets. The public out cried for the dolphins, but didn't care at all for the actual fish being canned, described in the book Song For The Blue Ocean. How could people really not even give some thought to it? According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Tuna are majestic animals. Bluefin tuna, if allowed to, can live up to twenty years. It takes them twelve years to become mature and they wait for a group of tuna to form before reproducing. They grow to be 1,400 lbs and are quick learners. Many have learned to avoid any kind of boats if they come within a hundred feet of them writes Mr.Safina, author of Song For The Blue Ocean. They migrate for thousands of miles and move in synchronization,like the cute little fishes in the dentist's aquarium, except their enormous. This migration can take up two years to complete.
According to Mr.Safina and the N.O.A.A., because of the bluefins rarity and size, the market value for these fish are unfortunately the highest in the seafood market and at least half of the United States tuna are exported to foreign countries, especially Japan. Fishermen are making millions of dollars off these fish, and their populations are on the brink of extinction.
The next time you go to your grocery store's fresh seafood section, or your local fish market, think twice about what you are buying. I recently did some research on the local grocery stores around my hometown in Latham,NY. I found that one grocery store is actually partnered with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute and Linda Greenlaw, a fisherman that writes about commercial fishing. This greatly differs from another store which talks of no such partnerships, but instead emphasizes their use of state of the art technology 'flash freezing' and their use of farmed raised fish that have been scientifically fed to give consumers the texture and taste they expect. Try researching what you are buying, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Printable Seafood Guide available at montereybayaquarium.com, just click on seafood watch.
Song For The Blue Ocean by Carl Safina