fishing for our future
Travel 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