Monday, April 07, 2008

Time to lay off the fish

Look, the seas are seriously overfished. Here's just one example:

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The stunning collapse of one of the West Coast's biggest wild salmon runs has prompted even cash-strapped fishermen to call for an unprecedented shutdown of salmon fishing off the coasts of California and Oregon.

"There's likely no fish, so what are you going to be fishing for?" asked Duncan MacLean, a fisherman from Half Moon Bay. "I have no problem sitting out to rebuild this resource if that's what's necessary."

The Pacific Fishery Management Council meets in Seattle this week and will likely vote to impose the most severe restrictions ever on West Coast salmon fishing to protect California's dwindling chinook stocks.

The Sacramento River chinook run is usually one of the most productive on the Pacific Coast, providing the bulk of the salmon caught by sport and commercial trollers off California and Oregon.

But only about 90,000 adult chinook returned to the Central Valley last fall -- the second lowest number on record and well below the number needed to maintain a healthy fishery. That number is projected to fall to a record low of 58,000 this year. By contrast, 775,000 adults were counted in the Sacramento River and its tributaries as recently as 2002.

90,000 is an incredibly small number. Heck, so is 58,000.

Please, folks. Do what you can to stick to plants. You'll be healthier. And so will the planet.


  1. What about farmed fish? Not all salmon is wild anymore, much of what I see in the supermarket is farmed. I don't eat too much fish because of mercury concerns, but when I do I'll try to buy farmed fish from now on.

  2. Well, Suzer, you might want to consider the following:

    "What many people don’t know is that farmed fish face many of the same health issues as factory-farmed animals. In order to be profitable, fish farms must raise large quantities of fish in confined areas, and the overcrowding leads to disease and injuries to the fish. The fish are given antibiotics and chemicals for the parasites like sea lice, skin and gill infections and other diseases that commonly affect them.

    The fish are also given drugs and hormones, and sometimes are genetically modified, to accelerate growth and change reproductive behaviors. Farmed salmon are also given chemicals, canthaxanthin and astaxanthin, to turn their flesh pink in order to make them more marketable. Wild salmon eat a diet of shrimp and krill, which contain natural chemicals that make the salmon pink. Farm-raised salmon do not eat a natural diet, so their flesh would be gray if they were not given the additives."
    The waste from fish farms is a major pollutant.

    Here's a guide for those who want to continue to eat seafood responsibly:


  3. Thanks, Ellie! That's an informative link. I've printed out the pocket guide for future use. :)


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