Look to the Ocean –
Stand on a beach -or-
Turn to a photo…
Find the the sea today.
Take a long, penetrating, thoughtful gaze.
Find something in that moment…
Find a way to make
even the smallest difference…
it profoundly matters…
This is the photo that brought CONCERN to me.
The profound question came to mind, “What do the seal and the fishing boat have in common?”
Okay, the answer is obvious: both rely on fish for their existence.
But here is the CONCERN-
Ocean fish populations are highly stressed by world-wide demand. That alone is of concern. But, in a study published in the journal, Marine Policy, a report exposes heightened stress due to “pirate fishing.” Technically known as IUU fishing- Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing.
“It ensnares seafood companies, supermarkets, and consumers alike in a trade that is arguable as problematic as trafficking in elephant tusks, rhino horns, and tiger bones.”
Seafood could well be on its way to becoming an unsustainable food source. Alarming statistics, details about who the “prirates” are, and responses by European nations, United States government, and the International Maritime Organization are described in an article written for Environment 360, the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies website.
As this problem is being sorted out, what can we as consumers do? The article suggests that we play a role by asking retailers to display the country of origin for the seafood they sell.
Among the egregious violations, according to the study:
- 40% tuna imported to U.S. from Thailand is illegal or unreported
- 45% pollock imports from China
- 70% of salmon imports- likely caught in Russian waters, but transshipped at sea and processed in China
- Likely- wild shrimp from Mexico, Indonesia, and Ecuador are also more likely to be illegal.
I encourage you to read the article, share your thoughts. In the meantime, I plan to better monitor who, what, where I purchase fish. It’s not only for my well-being… but also for that of the seal in my photo and other creatures who also rely on oceans for… FISH.