Long Line, Trawl, Seine, Troll, Dredge, Trap… so many methods exist for getting fish out of the ocean and onto the concrete. But what happens when all of these techniques are used by millions of people worldwide to feed even billions more? When vast populations of humans rely on fish for their main source of protein? When proper regulation of fishing methods and stocks go by the wayside way out on the vast ocean?
At home, where tuna comes in a nice can, it is hard to think about how three-fourths of the world’s fish populations are fully exploited or over-exploited. Most of us have no input in the fishing industry other that what we pull from our wallets and slap on the counter. Many of us are uninformed. So, perhaps the first way that the Average Joe can have an impact on the fishing industry is to regulate what he buys. I know folks who have given up fish on the sole hope of one day seeing an ocean teeming to the brim with life as it once did.
It’s not very hard to replace fish for protein, either. There are beans, yogurts, cheeses, curds, synthetic proteins, whey, and many other healthy substitutes. Also, most people don’t want to give up fish because they think it is their only source for omega-3 fatty acids, but it isn’t. Algae-based omega-3 supplements exist (http://www.naturemade.com/products/supplements/vegetarian-omega-3) that provide the same nutrients without the fishy aftertaste.
Most people reading this don’t live in remote fishing villages or areas dependent on one single type of food. So, why not take advantage of our modern resources and replace fish with more environmentally healthy options? Living a fish-free life is easier than one might think. I love it.