Jun. 20th, 2009

jacktellslies: (geroges barbier mermaid)
I email my favourite coworker quite often. My missives are never anything more than a link or two, something I find that I think he might like. In the past couple of days I feel as if I've been writing him constantly, so I thought perhaps some of this deserved a wider audience.

To begin with the most simple: a visual tool for determining the ecological footprint of and toxins contained in popular seafood.

While we're on that topic, if you don't already know of it, the pocket guides provided by the Monteray Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch is invaluable, but alas is only useful to its maximum capacity within the US.

I enjoy BlogFish a great deal, and the Plitt Seafood Twitter feed, which somehow manages to rival me for regular ecstatic fishmongering updates, but both might appeal more to those of us in the industry rather than out of it.

The Ethicurean's review of The End of the Line, a documentary on overfishing and the ecological impact of modern fishing practices that I've not yet seen, suggests that the film doesn't ask enough of viewers. Switching to smaller fish that are lower on the food chain is an excellent start, but the author, who apparently goes as, ahem, Twilight Greenaway, wonders if significantly lowering our seafood consumption might be the only truly viable way to save the world's collapsing fisheries. I've wondered this often. But I think that the best solutions we've found so far include human jobs and traditions within the definition of sustainability. I'd note, however, that when people speak of the jobs of fishermen, they're usually referring to people in large boats with expensive GPS systems, not the communities of indigenous people upon whose coastal waters they are encroaching. This is old news, but that sort of thieving is why we have Somali pirates.

Increasing acidity in the Pacific Ocean is preventing west coast oysters and other shellfish from successfully building shells after their larval stage, so no new ones are growing. This is very bad, both for the cleanliness and health of the waters that they filter, and for the larger fish who feed on them. And, obviously, for humans, who would become dull, unintelligent, uncultured, and lacking in all vigour were it not for the oyster. I wonder if this isn't one of the issues that led to the closure of the California and Oregon salmon fisheries for the second year in a row.

Fortunately for us, small-scale aquaculture is possible. This regularly sends my fishmongering friend and me into incoherent raptures.

And, as neither of us have land of our own just yet, a farm in a box sounds pretty exciting, too.


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