Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Seafood Disconnect

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.


tessa dimin said...

Why eat wild fish.....because farmed fish are subject to overcrowding and large doses of anti-biotics, ocean fish farms are toxic, closed container farms require excessive amounts of electricity and my favorite reason; farmed salmon and others require massive amounts of bait fish to grow, something around a 7:1 ratio.

Better idea, eat bait fish instead! Wild fish tastes better, umm, umm, umm.

Fishmonger said...

Tessa, Your observations are valid and true, but there are farmed seafood alternatives that address these issues. My point is that limiting your choices to wild seafood is like putting your head in the sand and pretending problems will just go away. Thank you for your valuable comments and being part of the conversation.