Where have all the fishies gone?

Is anyone else concerned that we are overconsuming and polluting a MAJORITY of the world’s fish-stock?  This idea is mind-boggling to me.  I have the feeling that just the thought of this is enough to turn clueless Americans into self-deluding Americans… we’re good at ignoring the truth when it hurts.   What’s a little oil spill in the Gulf when you’ve got to get to work (along with the 2 other individual drivers in your household and their respective gas-guzzling cars) on a fishing rig…

Well, a little oil in the Gulf means a good dose more poison in our fish food chain.  And it’s not just oil contaminants, but the dispersants used by BP and the government to break up the oil globs.  The government has just instituted testing to determine the potential toxicity of dispersants.

PLUS, a couple weeks ago, the feds (Obama) erroneously announced that most of the oil is gone.  GONE!?  GONE WHERE?  Apparently, plenty has settled at the bottom of the ocean where phytoplankton and fish eggs dwell.  Houston, we STILL have a problem. (i.e.  a serious case of out-of-sight, out-of-mind fallacy syndrome.)

So what fish are safe to eat?  Even if a fish isn’t caught in the Gulf, I’m concerned about what fish to watch out for due to their migratory patterns taking them through the Gulf and into other fishing waters with lax or no fishing restrictions.  After all, the waters are reported to be popular for fishing enthusiasts because, “The Gulf of Mexico is famed for it’s deep sea fishing and is one of the prime migratory routes for a variety if species… Some of the sport fishing species available just a few miles offshore from the Gulf Coast stares are shark, mahi, grouper, tarpon, tuna, kingfish, Spanish mackerel, permit, amberjack, cobia, dolphin, barracuda, and red snapper,” says AnglersAddiction.com.

That’s a lot of fish, including red snapper and Spanish mackerel, which I THOUGHT was on the OK’d list.  Not so sure about that any more…

Luckily, there are some good lists published by seafood watch groups, including this one from the Monterey Aquarium which offers regional recommendations in it’s SEAFOOD WATCH POCKETGUIDE.

Yay!  Now we can know what to look out for even when we’re on the road.  For quick reference, here’s a list of what they’ve OK’d on the East Coast/NY region.

Arctic Char (farmed), Barramundi (US farmed)  Catfish (US farmed)  Clams, Mussels, Oysters (farmed) Clams: Softshell/Steamers (wild) Cobia (US farmed)
Crab: Dungeness, Stone Croaker: Atlantic* Halibut: Pacific Lobster: Spiny (US) Salmon (Alaska wild) Scallops (farmed off-bottom) Squid: Longfin (US)
Striped Bass (farmed or wild*) Swordfish (Canada and US, harpoon
and handline)* Tilapia (US farmed) Trout: Rainbow (farmed) Tuna: Albacore including canned
white tuna (troll/pole, US and BC) Tuna: Skipjack including canned
light tuna (troll/pole)

Now, when was the last time you asked about HOW your fish was caught?  Troll?  Handline?  Time to learn a new language…


About C. Sala Hewitt

C. Sala Hewitt
This entry was posted in Climate Change, Food Justice, Good Food & Recipes, Practice Makes Perfect and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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