Friday, November 10, 2006

No More Endless Shrimp

Had been to Jaleo's in downtown DC last weekend. As is my wont I ordered shrimp tapas and the seafood paella. Needless to say, I pigged out. I did feel a tinge of remorse at so flagrantly abusing the ocean's resources, but I stuffed myself with the lobster regardless. Surely, there are plenty of fish in the sea, to use the old expression literally.

A couple of days later, I read this report that claimed there might be no more fish in the oceans by the middle of the century. Seafood stocks have been in decline for the better part of two decades now, but apparently the situation is far more serious than anyone had imagined.

Those who know me well know how much I like my shrimp. But in light of this report, I have decided to give up, or at any rate drastically cut down on, consumption of seafood. Also, I am switching to freshwater shrimp, in particular those bred in inland fish farms.

It'll take more than a few individuals changing their dietary habits to save the oceans though. There must be a concerted effort by the governments and industry to come up with a more sustainable model for fishing. Given the lack of accordance among countries and the strong fisheries lobby, I don't see this happening any time soon.

What can be done, however, is to develop a more environment-friendly means for fishing itself. Most commercial trawlers are rather indiscriminate when fishing in the deep. They just sweep the ocean with their massive nets catching just about everything that floats. Not all fish that are caught are fit for consumption though. Close to 50% of the catch is discarded and thrown back in the ocean[1]. This is a clearly terrible waste, and better, more eco-friendly techniques for fishing need to be put in place if we are to preserve the fragile ecosystem that is the world's oceans.

[1] Commercial trawlers are, in fact, the biggest threats to shark populations worldwide.


At November 14, 2006 at 12:25 AM, Blogger Sujith said...

I concur!

At November 14, 2006 at 8:01 PM, Blogger Cohan said...

Fish disappearing? Very fishy.

At November 15, 2006 at 1:21 AM, Blogger Sujith said...

Maybe...just maybe...they are following the dolphins!


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