According to UNEP, 30 percent of global fish stocks have already collapsed – meaning that they now yield 10 percent or less of their previous potential. I also know full well that some one billion people around the world, most of them from developing countries, rely on seafood as their primary source of protein and a major source of their sustenance.
Responsible fisheries management and improved practices here in the U.S. and around the world are a good start and help alleviate some of my guilt. Fish farms also have a role to play in meeting the world’s growing demand for seafood, but they are not without their challenges or critics. And while I’m intrigued by the promise of genetically altered fish, there are many unanswered questions and many associated risks still to be addressed.
Although my concerns about the health and vitality of the world’s fisheries are rooted in a desire for ecological sustainability and preserving biodiversity, a connection between overfishing and societal health and wellness (in America at least) is becoming increasingly clear. I’m talking specifically about portion sizes and how (and how much) we consume. The seafood platters I saw this summer were huge – as big, or bigger, than I can ever remember. This trend isn’t limited to fish, and it certainly isn’t limited to Cape Cod.