fishing for our future

 

malaysia fish mongerTravel is one of those gifts when our senses can instantly lift into overdrive. Sights and sounds. Cultures and food. Oh the food! Pad Thai in Thailand, Nasi Lemak in Malaysia, Chilli Crab, Vietnamese Pho…the list is endless. But where does it all come from? Intrepid’s Kat Cayley goes fishing for the facts…

“When at home we scrutinise where and what we eat. Cage eggs versus free range eggs. Farmers markets versus supermarkets. So there’s no reason to let things slip through the net when we are overseas.

Sustainability of food resources has been an ongoing issue and we can no longer ignore one strained resource that has received recent publicity. The subject of our worldwide fish stocks and depletion in our oceans is of vital concern for the stability of the marine environment and so important for our future.

Overfishing occurs when fish and other marine species are caught at a rate faster than they can reproduce. We now know with certainty that the fish in the ocean are a finite resource. Many marine scientists now believe that overfishing is the biggest threat to the ocean environment, even greater than that of other human-caused disruptions like increasing pollution. The high demand for fish, along with more effective fishing techniques, has led to many species of fish around the world being depleted, making them commercially extinct.

If global overfishing continues, regardless of how many boats are used or what techniques are employed, wild fish populations will be further reduced. Today, most of the world’s major commercially valuable fish populations are overfished, and the remainder is exploited at their maximum possible level.

What can you do to help?

Buy your seafood from fisheries that use non-destructive fishing techniques. You can download pocket guides with easy to use lists of fish that are caught in a sustainable fashion and are not toxic nor hazardous to your health:
Australia & New Zealand- www.marineconservation.org.au
USA & Canada – www.montereybayaquarium.org
UK – www.fishonline.org

You can also view an international guide to ocean friendly seafood and sushi at www.blueocean.org. And it gets even easier in this high-tech world, Blue Ocean Institute has launched a free FishPhone iPhone App which is now available for download in the App Store.

At home and when travelling, it pays to be mindful of what fish you eat and where it comes from. Not only for your health, but for the health of our future generations and our oceans.”

* photo by Wesley Hutchinson – Intrepid Photography Competition

 

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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2 comments

That’s a good idea, Angie, but realistically, it is like asking people to be vegetarians. Only a few of us will be willing to go that far. I have learned not to be evangelical about vegetarianism, because that just makes people feel like not changing anything at all. But tell them how they can reduce their impact, and we can at least set them on the right course.

Angie Sivertsen / Reply

Here’s an idea – stop eating seafood!

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