This week’s New York Magazine offers 10 Fish Species You Can Eat With a Clean Conscience highlighting America’s growing taste for more varieties of sustainable seafood. This trend is not only happening at hip restaurants from coast to coast, but even in larger institutional settings. University of California Berkeley, a thought leader in campus dining, is committing to serving students underloved sustainable species, to the benefit of fish, fishermen, and traditional fishing communities as well as to the delight of diners. We at Sea to Table are proud to be helping them.
NOAA issued a final rule setting the nation’s first comprehensive regulatory program for offshore fish farms in federal waters.”Just like factory farms on land, industrial offshore fish farms risk the health and welfare of communities, the environment and wildlife,” said Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. “This plan to allow a private industry to abuse our public resources must stop now.” Major concerns include the release of untreated waste; increased risks of diseases and parasites in wild fish by transmission from farmed fish; risks from drugs and chemicals, such as antibiotics and hormones, entering natural waters; and escapes of farmed fish altering wild populations. “This is a misguided decision,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for the Center for Food Safety. “We need to better manage and protect our native fisheries, not adopt destructive industrial practices that put them at risk.”
New technologies are being used to both understand and manage our vast oceans. New, marvelously-detailed maps of the seafloor from NASA’s Earth Observatory are the most complete ever made. A new initiative is arming coastguards with satellite intelligence that allows them to target their search for pirate fishing vessels in remote marine areas. “It is definitely a big deal,” said Bradley Soule, senior fisheries analyst. “[The global satellite tracking] gives you a sense of the scope … It is a wide-ranging problem.” Roughly one in every five fish landed around the world is caught illegally. Utilizing a somewhat lower tech approach, Dr. Lachlan McLeay of the South Australian Research and Development Institute believes he has developed a technique gauging sardine abundance by studying bird vomit. “My data shows that we can use terns to help us inform conservation strategies and manage marine resources better”.
Invasive Lionfish have come to dominate coral reefs from the South Atlantic to the Caribbean and throughout the Gulf of Mexico. This video taken off the panhandle of Florida shows the fearless nature of Lionfish, who seem only able to be captured by spear. They are very difficult to catch, but awfully good to eat.
All the best,
from the Dimin Family and the Sea to Table team