Researching possible solutions to avoid the collapse of the marine ecosystems has taken me all over the web. Most solutions that I have come across are common sense, however during my research one theme kept popping into my head is this;
“I grew up in a fishing town, and saw the scallop dredges destroy whole populations of marine life in Jervis Bay. As I diver, I saw the damage first hand – the bottom of the bay became a desert. Initially we could hand-pick enough scallops for a few meals in one dive, but by the end we couldn’t even find a single scallop. The ‘boom’ industry suddenly went into bust, all the fishing boats disappeared and I’m sure many family fishermen lost lots of money (and their livelihood), but they only had themselves to blame. Plenty of people had been warning them about what was to come. Thankfully now, 20-30 years on, the bay has largely recovered and is now a renowned tourist diving destination.”
This is a very good real life example of the typical boom/bust scenario that we see with overfishing, but one that has a happy ending.
“In March 2010, Mars Petcare announced an industry first — a commitment to using only sustainably sourced fish by 2020. At the beginning of 2011, we started on this journey by introducing Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified fish varieties for its WHISKAS® brand in Europe.”
Many other companies could follow suit and raise their credibility.
For a global resources the Marine Stewardship Council’s website www.msc.org is a good place to visit. They have a certified ‘Fish to Eat” guide, with lots of articles about fisheries that have been awarded the MSC certification. They also have an international guide to Dining out, which lists all of the MSC certified restaurants. This is what the MSC logo looks like, so look for it at fishmongers and supermarkets.
Have a look at the video below to get a better idea of what the MSC are all about and why it is now required to help people make better seafood choices.
So in summary, eating sustainably harvested seafood is probably the only way we will be able to make a difference, other than petitioning governments to assign realistic fishing quotas and ensure they enforce them.
Over the last few days, I have learnt so much. I did know a little about the issue before hand, but certainly not enough. I am so glad that I wrote this series, as it has helped me to understand this issue so much better and let me share my research with you, the reader.
If anyone has any other solutions that they know of that I may have missed, please leave a comment (besides giving up eating fish altogether). Kim and I intend on continuing to only buy MSC certified fish when we do partake in the odd fishy morsel. It is the only thing I can think of that will make a difference on a personal level.