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Yes! We Have No Sustainable Fisheries!
July 30, 2011 2:56 PM   Subscribe

The EU is to (finally) reform the Common Fisheries Policy [NYT] (BBC Q&A). As fishsubsidy.org note, the industry is currently subsidised by over €1bn a year, and the new policy fails to allow for a large change in fleet size. If you're looking for ways to help on a personal level, mefi's own Zarkonnen has produced a guide to what seafood is safe to ethically eat that I've found useful. [via mefi projects]
posted by jaduncan (27 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
In 2012 I'll be four fresh fish, and rapidly diminishing thereafter. :-(
posted by five fresh fish at 4:09 PM on July 30, 2011 [6 favorites]


Frankly, I think it's best to start eliminating fish from one's diet. Other meats as well. We can't do this world population on advanced-species animal protein.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:18 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess they've dumped enough battery acid in Somalia to force a change at last.
posted by parmanparman at 4:52 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Get 'em while they're fresh - limited supplies.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:33 PM on July 30, 2011


Thanks for the post, I shared the link to the guide on sustainable seafood. Great link.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:13 PM on July 30, 2011


Thanks for the guide. It would be nice, though considerably more difficult to have a list of what products sold in stores, say Trader Joes or Whole Foods are acceptable.

Naturally, restaurant fish generally can't be trusted...except for squid and octopus. Best eat them before they take over the oceans.
posted by happyroach at 7:24 PM on July 30, 2011


Eh, before the guide I just stuck to farmed fish. Imagine how much happier I am now. ;)
posted by jaduncan at 7:50 PM on July 30, 2011


The Monterey Bay Aquarium maintains a list that classifies all seafood and sushi according to what is safe and sustainable and what is not. There is a website and an iPhone app. I highly recommend it.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:08 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah, there is an Android app too. Both available at the link above.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:09 PM on July 30, 2011




There are still some problems with the species-focused approach to "good/bad" fish to eat, because harvesting method and scale of operation (consolidated global corp with absentee licensee who can sell license on commodified market vs. locally held family business license?) both matter a lot in the consideration of what a healthy fishery looks like.
posted by Miko at 8:41 PM on July 30, 2011


I suppose we should just be glad there isn't (yet) a well funded, nationally publicized denialist campaign to say that there are plenty of fish and that scientists warning of stock collapses are just corrupt socialists trying to scam people out of their money.

It means it might be possible for politics to work.
posted by Grimgrin at 9:16 PM on July 30, 2011


In this game the only winning move is for everyone to stop eating fish. Anything else and the greed and the quota cheating will still decimate the stocks that are left. Pay the fishermen to not fish for 3 or 4 years and see if the stocks rebound. We seem to have no issues paying farmers not to grow crops.
posted by troll on a pony at 10:58 PM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


This has 13 comments; three posts later, "hyper-minimalist poster designs" has 37.

The human race has a serious attention problem.
posted by wo is me at 11:34 PM on July 30, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, it's indeed a pity that there weren't fifty or sixty more posts all saying "Oh noos! The ocean is doomed! Let us bewail how horrible it is!"

The information was there at the top; was there any useful reason for people to post, or did you just want more people to join in on the "Doom doom DOOM!" circle jerk?
posted by happyroach at 1:12 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


This has 13 comments; three posts later, "hyper-minimalist poster designs" has 37.

This is an improvement on the MeFi norm, where people who approve of firebombing SUVs because THEY DESTROY THE PLANET show up to say, "Fish is so delicious! I can't stop eating it! Tee-hee!"
posted by rodgerd at 1:32 AM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Get 'em while they're fresh - limited supplies.

Yes. Selfishness distilled to its pure essence.
posted by rain at 1:57 AM on July 31, 2011


Hurrah! I was in a fish-and-chip shop last week, and guessed "Pollock" as an ethical fish, and I was right! Conscience appeased!

Have we worked out how to render jellyfish to edible protein yet? Ah, you can cook them straight out! How to cook jellyfish. Good-oh. I mean, yuk, but we'll have to get over that.
posted by alasdair at 2:57 AM on July 31, 2011


The information was there at the top; was there any useful reason for people to post, or did you just want more people to join in on the "Doom doom DOOM!" circle jerk?

Weak. Was there, conversely, any useful reason for people to post "oh, what lovely hyper-minimalist poster designs"?

"Useful" is not a necessary condition of MetaFilter discussion.

I stand by my earlier statement.
posted by wo is me at 6:13 AM on July 31, 2011


A few years ago I spent some time around the fisheries scientists who were supposed to set the expected catch limits for different species. I think it was a constant frustration for them: they'd set a level based on their best understanding of stock levels, then the number would go to Brussels and inevitably be revised way, way upwards in the face of industry lobbying.
posted by col_pogo at 6:30 AM on July 31, 2011


For those interested, here's a whole sociological monograph (a 2.9MB book, for free from the U of Amsterdam Press website) on the "paradoxes" and difficulties involved in trying to have a scientific approach to fisheries management in the EU.
posted by col_pogo at 6:39 AM on July 31, 2011


You can't have "selfishness" without "fish". :)

Seriously, the oceans are fucked and when they're empty in 40 years or so, nobody will care that you only ate organic artisanal hand-shucked salmon.

Pass the plankton balls!
posted by Meatbomb at 7:21 AM on July 31, 2011


We pay attention to superfluous stuff instead of serious stuff. I think that's beyond debate. And attempts to make serious stuff as sexy as the superfluous stuff hasn't worked.

Anyone have anything other than nihilism as a response?
posted by panaceanot at 7:23 AM on July 31, 2011


Seriously, the oceans are fucked and when they're empty in 40 years or so, nobody will care that you only ate organic artisanal hand-shucked salmon.

"The oceans are fucked" because of the choices of selfish assholes.
posted by rain at 7:53 AM on July 31, 2011


"The oceans are fucked" because of the choices of selfish assholes.

Who, along with their close cousins the apathetic, way outnumber conscientious individuals. Nothing will change without worldwide legislation and enforcement.
posted by adamdschneider at 8:57 AM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyone have anything other than nihilism as a response?

I don't know how to save the world, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve ignoring the mess we're in in favour of OOH! SHINY!

And apparently it doesn't involve eating fish.
posted by wo is me at 9:26 AM on July 31, 2011


Seriously, the oceans are fucked and when they're empty in 40 years or so, nobody will care that you only ate organic artisanal hand-shucked salmon.

While I don't agree with the screw-your-ethical-choices sentiment, it is probably worth noting that the scale of the catastrophe represented by ocean acidification is such that many of the world's leading marine researchers came together in 2008's Honolulu Declaration to basically state that there is no regional conservation issue worth wasting resources on, because if we can't get our carbon dioxide emissions down to near-zero by midcentury, the bedrock of the whole system - coral reefs - will enter an inescapable death spiral (aka mass extinction event).

So in fact the SUVs of death are probably a bigger problem in the long term than what you order at Red Lobster this evening.

That said, I've been judiciously avoiding some of the more obvious travesties - Red Lobster, for example, and bluefin tuna, in recent years. Also trying to develop a repertoire of sardine recipes.
posted by gompa at 9:40 AM on July 31, 2011 [2 favorites]


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