Sustainable seafood at The Gray Lady and “The End of the Line”

The New York Times has had a nice little run on sustainable seafood lately (timed, no doubt to coincide with World Oceans Day interest, but also to capitalize on buzz regarding The End of the Line [which was a #worldoceansday recommendation by yours truly]). The Editors have gathered differing opinions* in their Room for Debate post The Seafood Eater’s Latest Conundrum, and Mark Bittman has a piece in the Dining section Loving Fish, This Time With the Fish in Mind, as well as a post on his Bitten blog The Struggle Over Fish.

It’s nice to see this get more mainstream exposure, but it’s clear by how… well, whiny Bittman and others sound when describing how hard it is to make sustainable seafood choices that we still have a long, long way to go. It’s irritating in the same way that the “math is tough” disengagement is. Really, what you consume as food literally, you know, keeps you alive. There isn’t much that tops that in terms of things that should earn a little of your time and effort. I wonder how many fisheries have to crash (and note to Bittman, that started well before the ’50s) before that sinks in…

The End of the Line trailer below. More on sustainable seafood at my Monterey Bay Aquarium post.

*[Ray Hilborn (University of Washington professor), Taras Grescoe (author of “Bottomfeeder”), Susanne Freidberg (Dartmouth professor and author), Sheila Bowman (Monterey Bay Aquarium), and Carl Safina (Blue Ocean Institute)]

[LATE UPDATE: Jennifer Jacquet at Guilty Planet has weighed in reiterating her stance that the “debate” doesn’t cover the true spectrum without voices like hers arguing for a moratorium on eating seafood.  I encourage you to read the comments as well, particularly Mark Powell’s. I think they both make excellent points.]


2 responses to “Sustainable seafood at The Gray Lady and “The End of the Line”

  1. sustainableseafood

    Well said. However, sometimes it is not so much a matter of effort as a matter of whether the information is available. A typical consumer must assume that the fish is legal, has been identified correctly, and that the chef, his distributor, and the fisherman are all going to give the correct information about how and where it was caught.

  2. The role of the commercial sea food breeder has greatly increased over the last few years especially around Australia and even inland with salmon egg farming. Great piece it stirs thought and debate.

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