Next time you are in the grocery store and you see a can of tuna on sale for $1.29, consider the concept of a fisherman receiving nothing for his work, and the tuna being harvested with a wanton disregard for the health of the fish stock. The problems with worldwide tuna management are long standing and well known, but the revelation that Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, and Sysco are selling tuna from fishing vessels manned by slave labor is a shocking story that exploded internationally this week.
These are not isolated incidents. We have spoken before of such horrors, but maybe a wave of public awareness can begin to make a difference. Vice reported this week on rampant slavery on Burmese shrimp farms. The NY Times Roger Cohen described conditions on catfish farms in Vietnam. A very concerning story has emerged about krill, the small crustacean that supports the entire food chain of the Southern Oceans being used for fish farm feed. China currently harvests about 32,000 metric tons of krill annually from Antarctica’s waters, topped only by Norway and South Korea. Under China’s plans, detailed in the state-run China Daily, the world’s most populous country would increase those catches 30 to 60 times, harvesting up to 2 million metric tons yearly.
As countries around the globe begin to realize that healthy sustainable wild fisheries are to the advantage of all people and governments, we may be able to start to see international cooperation. Maybe we could be reaching a tipping point where a spotlight on these issues could begin real change.
Our most creative friend Chef Bun Lai highlighted the Feeding the Future event at Connecticut College serving sushi made from Wild Silver Salmon from Sitka, AK and invasive Wild Blue Catfish from the Chesapeake. And this week students at Bard College in NY’s Hudson Valley feasted on Acadian Redfish tacos. Now if springtime would only come……….
All the best,
from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team