Those of us who care about wildlife want wild fish to flourish, not be exterminated. Yet fish supply chain and law failures put illegal-caught fish on our plates. We're duped into participating in morally repugnant extermination of wild fish.
A new study says up to $2 billion worth of wild-caught seafood imports comes from pirate fishing around the world.
A new study estimates that 20 to 32 percent of wild-caught seafood imported into the U.S. comes from illegal or "pirate" fishing. To get those numbers, Pitcher and three other scientists analyzed data on seafood imported into the U.S. in 2011. They combed through government and academic reports, conducted fieldwork, and interviewed stakeholders.
... the biggest source of illegal imports is processing plants in China, which handle the majority of seafood consumed in the U.S. "In many cases there is no documentation there, so illegally caught stuff can be deliberately or inadvertently mixed in," says Pitcher.
A few US companies take extra care to avoid illegal catch.
... Whole Foods Market, says his company combats pirate fishing in a number of ways. The store chain buys products that are certified by the independent Marine Stewardship Council, which has strict chain-of-custody requirements that prohibit illegal fishing. Whole Foods also sends buyers directly to docks to pick up fish when it is brought in, before it gets into a system of distributors and processors. Finally, Whole Foods uses a software program called Trace Register that tracks seafood at every step of the supply chain.
Other U.S. companies have started adopting similar measures in recent years, including Costco, Trader Joe's, Darden (owner of Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and other chain restaurants), and many independent restaurants.Long adds that he would like to see universal tracking numbers for all commercial fishing vessels so that crews can't get away with changing boat names or flags to evade detection.
Fishing quotas and restricted fishing areas are implemented to protect fish stocks because there simply aren't enough wild fish to continue feeding ourselves any more. If fish stocks become too depleted it adversely affects the balance of nature in the sea and raises the prospect of extinction.
The problem is everyone needs food and Americans and other westerners have the money to buy it. The poor can starve as they often do. There are far too many people on the planet which is fast becoming a giant feeding trough for a parasitic species. It is obvious that there just isn't enough food to go around.
A cull is the obvious solution so if about four or five billion people voluntarily submit to slaughter or at least sterilization the problem will soon abate. The Earth and it's life could begin to recover.
Has anyone a better idea ?
Maybe I should start buying my fish from Whole Foods.
"...farmed salmon are likely the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply."
"A 2006 investigation by Consumer Reports discovered that 56 percent of "wild salmon" was actually farmed, unknowingly increasing consumer exposure to PCBs."
It's a quandry I've been faced with: to eat fish or not. I know it's suppose to be good for you, but, as you have highlighted, who knows what we're really eating--not to mention the legality.