Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wild caught has become the end all bucolic catch phrase for some seafood consumers and chefs alike. Although there is a vast amount of information about seafood sustainability in general and aquaculture specifically many simple gloss over the findings.
In day to day talks with chefs and consumers I have noticed this tendency of people to lean toward wild and shun farmed seafood. I wonder why that is? The same person hardly bats an eye in purchasing other commodities like beef, pork, and chicken that have long been removed from the wild. Even the most organic and free range chicken is still vastly dissimilar to a wild bird. I have eaten pheasant, wild duck, and even crow and I doubt that those wild animals could support consumer demand for wild poultry. So why should we believe that wild seafood can continue to support an ever growing demand. Is our taste for these species so strong that we must fish them until supply teeters on the edge of deletion?
What we need is a kind of paradigm shift that aligns seafood reality with seafood sustainability. Maybe wild seafood species should be treated a little more like wild land animal species before more drastic measures are needed.
So the next time you are at your local fishmonger/restaurant ask what sustainable farmed seafood they have..either way you may be surprised at the answer.