The Sad State Of Seafood

April 18, 2017

Last week, it was announced that by the year 2050, Twin Cities lakes will have been so concentrated with road-salt runoff that they will no longer support native fish.

It’s a distant threat, and one that may only directly affect us in the land of Friday-night fish fries, but big-picture, it’s a microcosm of a global problem. As a lover of seafood and an admitted wild-caught snob, I can tell you it’s led me to adopt a “consume it while you can” attitude, and that’s only worsening the problem.

Whether or not you love seafood like me, the problem matters, and we need to lessen the environmental burden to preserve fish for future generations. Here’s what you should know about the future of seafood:

  • The menu is changing, and it calls for more variety. The “seafood pyramid” moving forward, according to Business Insider.
  • Aquaculture’s bad rap is unfair. As Canadian chef and TV personality Ned Bell told VICE in 2016, “People tend to forget that we still get to eat wild seafood. We don’t eat wild pigs, wild chicken or wild beef. We eat farmed, cultivated animals all the time. So it’s interesting because when you shift that focus to the farming of fish, ‘farm’ becomes a four-letter-word.”
  • There are many ways to farm fish. Farming methods include bag-and-rack, hatchery, open net pens, ponds, raceways and more.
  • Not all methods are created equal. Many of the main arguments against aquaculture – that it can negatively affect native species, lead to the transfer of disease and parasites, and generate excess waste – are being solved with new systems, like this:

  • The sustainable seafood rulebook is constantly changing. But thanks to retailers like Whole Foods, it’s easier than ever to make make informed decisions.

The current state of seafood is rather sad, but steps to sustainability are ready for the taking.