In the NYTimes today, Mark Bittman writes about the perilous condition our oceans are in from the vantage of a seafood eater (the graphic at left was published by the Times to accompany the article). Having been thinking recently about how and why the conditions of our oceans fail to fully capture our imaginations in the same way our methods of raising livestock and corn do, I was glad to see it. Here's how it opens:
"I suppose you might call me a wild-fish snob. I don’t want to go into a fish market on Cape Cod and find farm-raised salmon from Chile and mussels from Prince Edward Island instead of cod, monkfish or haddock. I don’t want to go to a restaurant in Miami and see farm-raised catfish from Vietnam on the menu but no grouper.
"Those have been my recent experiences, and according to many scientists, it may be the way of the future: most of the fish we’ll be eating will be farmed, and by midcentury, it might be easier to catch our favorite wild fish ourselves rather than buy it in the market."
Read the article—it's quick and concise. The hope lies of course in a brutally obvious, but for Americans seemingly impossible, course of action: Don't spend more than you make. Or, don't capture more fish more than the oceans produce. Fisheries throughout the world must practice sustainable fishing or they will not survive, and we will lose a fundamental source of pleasure, diversity, and healthfulness in our diets.