Bottomfeeder_
Is the world at last waking up to the fact that we’ve basically eaten our way  to the floor of the ocean, down to the bottom feeders, and pretty soon those will be gone, too?  "There are no more fish in the sea," said a 3rd generation fisherman in Senegal in The NYTimes, which ran two foreign stories in the past week on ways we’re decimating our fish, what it says is the world’s most traded animal commodity (100 million tons sold yearly): the first story about Europe’s dangerous appetite for fish, the other about fishing practices off the coast of West Africa and how collapsing fish populations are shaping immigration patterns; and in fact, they’re really part of the same story.  The Times then wrote an editorial about fishing practices, asking the World Trade Organization, which can influence government subsidies to fishing industires (and potentially limit harmful fishing practices), to be more zealous in their concern for the environment (opposite the editorial page was this excellent essay by the writer Sarah Vowell on Christ, MLK, and Reagan, completely off topic but outstanding).  Just yesterday I received a galley copy of Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood, by Montreal-based writer Taras Grescoe (has last book was Devil’s Picnic, about eating prohibited food), which is billed as a piscatorial version of Fast Food Nation.  And on page one of today’s Times, Marion Burrows sent a shudder of dismay through the sushi eating hordes of Gotham about high levels of mercury in our tuna (Sam Fromartz comments on his chewswise), that is, the fish that do exist can make us sick, followed by another editorial. Put all this bad but true news of how we’re depleting our oceans with the growing dead zones, swaths of ocean so depleted of oxygen nothing can live in it largely as a result of the way we’re trashing our land, and you’ve got a pretty grim picture of a world ignoring the most basic advice: don’t shit where you eat.  Ignoring it on a massive scale.  I grew up on a lake so polluted that the river feeding it caught fire.  I didn’t eat a piece of fish that hadn’t been breaded and then frozen until I was an adult.  Now I want to eat fish but I have to check the little chart of good-fish bad-fish my 8-year-old brought home from the zoo last weekend.  What to do?  I hope Grescoe’s book, due out in the spring has some answers. Yet if we keep trashing our land, it may be too late.  As the second Times editorial points out, it’s all connected.

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50 Wonderful responses to “We, The Bottomfeeders”

  • JD

    Don’t forget this one from NY Times about all the mercury showing up in sushi tuna:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/dining/23sushi.html

    Pretty frustrating that we’re being told to eat more fish (because it’s healthier than piles of red meat) and simultaneously figuring out that ocean life is not replenishing itself as quickly as we’re depleting it. Throw in the fact that aquaculture in many parts of the world subjects the livestock to dangerous levels of antibiotics and you don’t know where to turn next.

  • Jennie/Tikka

    Was just discussing this last night with the hubby. We live in Southern California but we know damn good and well we can’t eat the fish we could catch off the Santa Monica peer, etc. — especially in the winter after a rainstorm….which is when they have to close the beaches to swimmers because it will sicken them.

    The terminal point for all of L.A.’s stormdrains is at Playa Del Rey and drains directly into the waters of the local beaches…where kids swim & surfers surf.

  • CG

    There’s something about this problem that seems to cause people to put in a double-order of otoro. How is this problem different from the other environmental troubles in that it drives us to consume till the last belly’s gone? Sup with that?

    I’ve been trying to cook more with squid (an ingredient that my fisherman uncle would call ‘bait’). It’s somewhat renewable and extremely versatile in the kitchen. Worth a try!

  • Maya

    Last semester in grad school I learned about the issues facing the Pacific Islands – overfishing, pollution from boats and shrimp farming are destroying corals and mangroves. Besides providing an economic living, corals and mangroves dissipate the wave energy of tsunamis and mitigate damage from hurricanes, literally saving lives. But this ecosystem is going downhill. The United Nations put out a really important report on it:

    http://www.unep.org/pdf/infrontline_06.pdf

    I don’t mean this to sound snotty, but I would be cautious about taking advice about sustainable seafood from a zoo. Unfortunately many promote practices that are good in some way and lousy in another.

    For a long time I went by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s seafood guide when asked by people what seafood was sustainable. What I didn’t realize was that fish farms cram fish into small spaces and spread diseases into the ocean and to the wild fish population. Fish on fish farms have lowered immune systems and are loved by parasites.

    Any “sustainable” fish population caught on a large scale is most likely caught by nets and bottom trawlers, not only unsustainable but cruel because so many other marine animals are caught in discarded nets.

    I’m also concerned that people confuse swordfish with sawfish, being that all 7 species of sawfish are on appendix 1 of CITES and are not supposed to be caught at all.

    There are just too many problems right now to consider fish a sustainable food at all, unless caught by individual fishermen with non-lead sinkers.

  • Maya

    ps Again I hope that didn’t sound snotty, I actually like Monterey Bay Aquarium and they do real conservation for the oceans instead of that bogus breeding in captivity nonsense (as far as I know) and I think I read that Alton Brown was speaking at a conference there! I’d be interested to hear about that.

    And I’m grateful for the wealth of info posted here, Chef Ruhlman!

  • Tags

    The most comprehensive reference I’ve seen regarding how to avoid toxicity in fish and where to get safe fish is Paul Johnson’s “Fish Forever.” (published 2007)

  • Alison

    Thanks for bringing this to our attention. This is something I’ve known about for years, but have successfully tuned out, as in “La la la, I can’t HEAR you!”

    Time to take my fingers out of my ears, n’est-ce pas?

  • Bruce F

    Ultimately food is about politics. Not the talking head, who’s winning the presidential horserace kind. The kind that starts with the basics.

    What do I want to put in my body? What’s the best way to do that?

    Thanks for pulling on the loose thread……

  • faustianbargain

    hmm..what to do, you ask?

    first of all, go vegetarian. most of the time anyways. if you love fish and think you will be deprived if you cant eat fish, set aside one or two ‘fish dinner days’ per month. and make it special and memorable. dont snack on fish. dont fritter away your fish ration for the month on crappy food. insist on the best..if unavailable,

    do without. and teach this to your children. your grandchildren will thank you if and when they dine on fish.

    the world’s fish and fowl are not our birthright. it is a luxury…and a trade-off between desire and responsibility.

  • luis

    Perspective please!… the average american is reaching the ages of seventy plus.
    Used to be folks retired at 65 and never reached beyond 66~67. So somebody is doing something right don’t you think guys???

  • Troll

    I recommend Paul Johnson’s “Fish Forever” for those interested in learning more about the subject. Find it strange that the New York Slimes used the term “uneconomic” in their typically hysterical, fact-free and uninformed editorial.

    Do people actually pay money to read that useless rag of a newspaper?

    I wouldn’t use it to wrap mullet.

  • carri

    I grew up north of Detroit on lake St Clair…we either caught our fish in little interior lakes or we bought morton’s fish sticks…no happy medium, no trusted fishmonger…I had no idea that people actually fished for living or that whole communities would be sustained by harvesting the sea. I now live in a small fishing town in Alaska married to a commercial fisherman who fishes in two well managed fisheries and watch as they battle huge commercial trawl operations for allocations…some fisheries are completely ruled by huge companies buying entire catch limits for their purposes…ever wonder how Skippers can serve all those crab legs? and don’t even get me started on that whole ‘Deadliest Catch’ thing!

  • ntsc

    It is interesting on the tuna with mercury that Masa was one of the worst and the best was the Broadway Fairway (big food store). Their own caffeteria sells sushi.

    As with Ruhlman until a girl (from Ohio now that I think of it) offered me sushi and I wasn’t about to appear chicken about it, fish was breaded and came frozen.

  • Malcolm Jolley

    Last year, at a press conference for one of the sustainable fish education programs, I asked a marine biologist about the ethics of eating farmed fish versus wild caught and he shrugged his shoulders and said in 20 years farmed fish would be the only kind of ocean fish left to eat.

  • rt

    One clarification: the WTO does not subsidize industries, countries do (or groups of countries like the EU). The Times wants those countries, using a WTO agreement, to agree to reduce subsidies. If people want the subsidies to stop they have to convince the leadership of those countries to stop, or they need to lobby their own government to pressure the subsidizing countries to stop.

  • Samuel Fromartz

    I was speaking with Tim Fitzgerald, an Ocean Scientist at Environmental Defense, who worried that the message people got from all this was not to eat fish. ED does a very easy-to-read guide of sustainability and toxicity in fish at http://ed.org/page.cfm?tagID=1521.

    The point is THERE ARE good choices in seafood, both wild and farmed. On the former, fish like Alaskan salmon, cod, and halibut are well managed and amply available. (The frozen stuff is even fresher than fresh, because it’s flash frozen at -40F right on the boat.) THERE ARE fish low in toxicity too, but you need to be smart about it. Generally avoid bigger fish like tuna, swordfish, bluefish.

    As for farmed, we’ve gotten the message that all farmed is bad. Not so. Tilapia farmed in US rates high as does cat fish for environmental impact. So does baramundi (hard to get, but a delicious farmed fish). There are even strides being made with salmon and shrimp.

    So the message is, be smart about fish, but don’t avoid it altogether. Aside from ED, the Monterey Bay Aquarium site is good.
    http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp

    So is this one, aimed at fish for kids:
    http://www.kidsafeseafood.org/home.php

  • Dick Black

    Here is something American seafood eaters should know. Last year, the FDA banned several types of fish and shrimp which originated in China. Citing the presence of malachite green, a chemical used to ward off infections in pond raised fish and shrimp, the ban is still in place today . Now every shrimp and fish eater thinks they are safe from the evils of Chinese farm raised seafoood. Wrong.

    The same producers are simply shipping containers to Malaysia, Thailand, or Indonesia and having a quick repackage done to circumvent the ban. Enjoy your bucket-O-shrimp for $5.99 at Long John’s.

  • Darcie

    Growing up as a land lubber in the geographic center of North America, the only fish I saw for decades was Mrs. Paul’s or Chicken of the Sea. And like Mr. Ruhlman, now that I am interested in learning to cook and eat it, the confusing and conflicting information discourages me from trying.

    The funny thing is I was always told that eating fish was BETTER for the environment than eating land mammals or fowl. I guess that just isn’t true.

    Thanks to all for the links. I hope they help in my decision-making.

  • Jon

    Interesting comments, however I have to disagree with your take on the schizophrenic NY Times Ed by Vowell. It’s interesting to me how easily people forget that it is Christians and most commonly Republicans who have throughout history fought for the rights of black americans. MLK left a wonderful legacy indeed but unfortunately that legacy has been hijacked by two of this country’s biggest racists Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. I like to think that King would be proud of the progress this country has made. Many, like Jackson and Sharpton tend to confuse equality of opportunity with equality of outcome. I would guess that Dr. King might be more aligned today with the ideas put forth by none other than Bill Cosby on how to best improve conditions for black americans.

    Oh and by the way…isn’t this blog supposed to be about food.

  • russ parsons

    Brother Ruhlman, you really ought to check out Paul Johnson’s new book “Fish Forever.” Johnson owns Monterey Fish in Berkeley, supplier to TK, Alice Waters, etc. He’s been in the business for decades. The book is a great guide to which fish we should be eating and which we should be avoiding (and very good arguments why). And there’s some good recipes, too.

  • Techie

    So, in 10 years when there are still fish in the sea, will we see a retraction?

  • Bruce F

    Jon@12:37-

    I know that arguing with trolls is pointless and, to a certain extent counterproductive, BUT as long as your post is allowed to stand, here’s my response.

    Your comment is full of it. The Republican party supported the rights of blacks until the civil-rights and voting acts of the early ’60s. Since then, the voting history that you’re proud of doesn’t exist. The Congressional Black Caucus has 43 members, all in the Democratic Party. There isn’t one single black member of Congress who is a Republican.

    The nicest thing I can say about your comments on Sharpton and Jackson is that you’re full of crap.

    Back to the food.

  • Darcie

    Techie, I don’t see where anyone has suggested there will be no fish in 10 years. The way I understand it, *if nothing is changed* we may reach a point soon (years? decades?) where we will have done irreversible damage to some fish populations who will never fully recover and may, indeed, become extinct. How long until that happens is not known, but I think that thinking only 10 years into the future is the kind of short-sightedness that gets us into trouble. It seems there’s a lot of “if it doesn’t happen in my lifetime why worry about it.” IMO.

  • Wilf Capes

    Well well, it’s about time someone had the gumption to say something about the Euros insatiable desire for fish.

    I am former cod fisherman in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Our goverment imposed a complete cod moratorium on the whole cod industry in 1992. It still exists today.

    I strongly believe as do many experts around the world, that our stocks were depleted by the mega Spanish, French and Portugese war ships that came into our waters and wreaked havoc on it. Always sneaking around, playing cat and mouse with the authorities,never once obeying any international guidelines.

    And now the Brits are whining that the cost of fish and chips are skyrocketing. BOO Freakin HOO. How about the thousands of honest hardworking people put out of work becuase Euros want our superior cold water fish.

  • Tags

    I agree 100% with faustianbargain’s post.

    Go vegetarian, at least most of the time. Michael Pollan essentially agrees when he says, “eat less, mostly vegetables”

    Insist on the best when available. Even that can be problematic when sushi grade tuna from mercury-laden older and larger predatory fish is considered the best.

    Do without. Most Americans will have a problem with this because there is a sense of manifest entitlement that is a direct descendant of the dusty old manifest destiny of days gone by. But you can grow exponentially by taking control of the situation, and you’re not missing as much as you think, especially if “with” means McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, and KFC.

  • Bruce F

    Wilf Capes@2:50 –

    There just aren’t enough (wild) fish.

    Many farmed products have problems too. Think of the lagoons of waste that industrial pig farming produces, transfered to the ocean. The dead zones created under and around salmon pens are nasty.

    Out of sight, out of mind. It’s a familiar pattern and the mess is then left for someone else to deal with.

    For a different view of the European fisheries policy check out this link –
    http://www.eurotrib.com/story/2008/1/18/81039/8945

    “The EU fisheries policy always makes me angry: it’s insanely stupid, supporting local fishing industries in the short-term while pretty much guaranteeing the destruction of fish stocks in the long-term. The excuse given is that such-and-such a community depends economically on fishing. Well, then they’re screwed when the stocks collapse, aren’t they?

    The basic problem is that there are too many industrial fishermen chasing too few fish.”

  • Nathalie

    Is it just me?

    As part of my continued culinary education, over the last few years, I have read, a lot, and have been bombarded with the most disturbing information about the toxicity of the food supply chain.

    I’m so F*^&$%*g SAD, and MAD and everything in between!

    Not simply because I have some bloated sense of entitlement, but, because naively, I trusted the people who are responsible for these things to do the RIGHT things… feeding animal parts to other animals, yes fish too? WTF!

    Can you say ‘YOU’RE FIRED’?

    Nowdays, I feel like I need a litany of PHDs to shop for dinner.

    Go vegetarian you say? Yeah right, like that industry, overall, is all organic, prestine and sustainable?

    What are we to do, move into the Northern wilderness, slap on the some loin cloths, live in tents, forage the land (finger crossed it’s not toxic)?

    I’m dizzy with this stuff now. I feel like I’m drowning in an Enron sea of misinformation and I can’t get out!

    Is it just me?

  • Wilf Capes

    BruceF@3.24

    You are right. I think many people knew this and hence the fish quota was devised. Quotas do not scare some of these behemoth ships though. They just take what they please, leave their waste behind, scurry back like rats to unload and return as quickly as possible to reload.Modern day pirates, except with bad garlic breath.
    John Crosbie, Canada’s Fisheries Minister in 1994 and fellow Newfie imposed the moratorium because he knew the industry faced extinction if something of this nature wasn’t done. He didn’t ask for foreigners to step in and decimate it even further. I think all these countries with major fish hankerings should learn to eat other foods. Leave our fish alone.

  • Tags

    Of course, Nathalie’s right about the trustees of our food supply abrogating their responsibilities. She’s right that the vegetable farming industry is rife with corruption and greed-driven ambition. She’s right about the Enron analogy.

    The steps that need to be taken will no doubt be rejected by many, leaving those with an actual sense of responsibility to bear more of the burden.

    Just like when a country goes to war to defend itself and some of her sons need to give up their lives in her defense. Sacrifices are inevitable, but the more people embrace them sooner, the easier it is to pay the price.

  • Hank

    I am an ex-commercial fisherman and may I suggest that the only true way to preserve the fisheries of the world is to do to fishing what we have did to hunting a century ago: Hunters chase their quarry under strict limits – set seasons, daily and seasonal bag limits, limits to the gear we use to hunt and limits on technology we use to help us.

    Fishing needs to have similar limits, most notably on technology: Fisheries survived before the advent of the factory trawler and the mega-boats my Newfie colleague above mentioned. Ban them and leave fishing to owner-operated little boats (like Alaska’s salmon fishery) and you will regain some sustainability.

    But will fish every be cheap again? Probably not.

  • Maya

    I totally understand what Natalie and Luis are saying and I meant to mention that the nutrition that fish provides can be at least partially replaced. Omega 3s: flaxseed oil (great on salads!), vitamin D can be found in food and sunlight (different forms) and of course protein can be found other places.

    I’m not a nutritionist so there may be caveats to all this, but there are 3 components of nutrition: nutrients, bioavailability and absorption. So if fish is better on the last 2, there may be issues.

    But people who are frustrated should simply try to find a good, simple nutrition book and most importantly LEARN TO READ LABELS! BBC Science website is where I get cutting edge info on this stuff too.

    As a side note, as a veterinary nurse (and biologist) I discourage cat owners from feeding fish to cats; it has thiaminase, an enzyme which destroys thiamine, a vital nutrient that cats need, plus mercury levels, plus cats evolved from African wildcats who don’t eat fish. So we can cut back some from that supply.

  • luis

    HANK…
    “I am an ex-commercial fisherman and may I suggest that the only true way to preserve the fisheries of the world is to do to fishing what we have did to hunting a century ago: Hunters chase their quarry under strict limits – set seasons, daily and seasonal bag limits, limits to the gear we use to hunt and limits on technology we use to help us.”

    Hank, folks that are still out there killing whales and overfishing the oceans are just plain bad folks. A hunter that goes out and shoots up the woods does it because he wants to hurt and kill and maim creatures that are not threatening him/her and are totally defenseless. These people are the lowest sort of selfish unfeeling people on earth. There is NO EXCUSE to overfish the ocean or kill every creature on the planet. NONE. None of these folks are starving or couldn’t find some other means to make a living. They have a right, the don’t have a right to destroy the planet.. is neither here nor there. They DO IT because they can.

  • Maya

    I think Hank’s statement was misinterpreted, but anyway I wanted to say, Hank I really like your idea – it’s exactly how I feel about fishing and meat farms. People will not only have to pay more for animal products but will also have to cut down on consumption – but it would really be worth it for everyone.

    It’s a damned shame that we humans did not act out of compassion for marine animals in fishing nets, seabirds poisoned by oil spills etc etc, imagine if we had moderated bottom trawling and ocean pollution, not to mention found alternative fuels, 15 years ago.

    If we had we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in now.

  • carri

    luis, all due respect but you cannot lump all people who make their living harvesting the sea into the same bad category…there ARE really bad people out there mostly with big corporations behind them, but there are also people like me and my family and many of my friends and their families who fish responsibly, following both strict harvest and handling guidelines to bring the best, most sustainable product to market!

  • luis

    carrie “you cannot lump all people who make their living harvesting the sea into the same bad category…”

    you are right, far from it. True farmers and fishermen with notable execptions (like whalers and many many others….) are TRUE stewards of the land. I trust the land and ocean to them. But Carrie…long netting the oceans and discarding 70% of the dead catch is criminal. Comercial or not it is unforgivable. Killing dolphins in quantities to harvest tuna is unforgivable. Carrie this is not Kansas and we don’t live in a wizard of oz world. I see no need to devastate and ravage nature AT ANY LEVEL.
    Wether they are slaughtering elephants in an animal preserve or just devastating the oceans… there is nothing good about it. It is shameful and it dimishes our environment.

  • Tags

    What’s needed is a clear standard global system with formalized layers of enforced deterrence, starting with notification and shame and ending with dissolution of the perpetrating entity.

    The global enforcement body would determine how many layers of deterrence are needed, what the individual layers should be, who would enforce them and how. Some layers would be voluntary, followed by layers with teeth to inflict punishment.

    There are no clear standards now, and those who would thwart clarification of standards should be first warned, then excluded from the process.

  • Hank

    Well Luis, I am certain we will disagree on hunting, and I don’t feel like hijacking this thread going into it. And the Inuit and Greenlanders who are out there killing a whale or two a year are certainly not going to damage the population (although the Japanese factory whalers certainly do!)

    But the fact of the matter is that fisheries can indeed be fished commercially in a sustainable way – look at the Alaskan fisheries as one example. The Sicilian matanza-style tuna fishing is another.

    Size and scale matter in both hunting and fishing. We ended market huntiing in 1918 because the resource couldn’t hack it. Now there are more whitetail deer than there have ever been in North America, even though non-commercial hunting has been going strong in all those ensuing years. It is possible that fishing will go the same way – i.e., non-commercial only.

    But if we manage to stop destroying habitat – and it is habitat that primarily determines a species’ population, not hunting or fishing per se – and reduce the scale of our fishing efforts, in effect purposely making ourselves less efficient, then the fisheries will recover to the point where guys like me can make a living off the oceans again.

    Anyway, that’s my $0.02.

  • Phil

    Listen, if I’m going out I’m going to be damned sure it’s in style. And death by sushi doesn’t seem like a bad way to go . . . for a foodie.

  • Tags

    Death by sushi doesn’t seem like a bad way to go, if it’s quick.

    But what are the odds of that happening? More likely low and slow is the way you’d go.

  • lipsmackin

    ATTENTION ALL! this is a huge problem take it from a Chef and avid fisherman who grew up in Southern Florida. When was the last time that any of you Chefs who are still using Sword has seen a loin from a “Marker” and above size fish?(Marker=90lbs or above)The answer is you haven’t and you never will because the Florida Fish and Game has opened Long Line fishing again on a “research basis”. This means any fish or sea mammal that consumes squid has will die with a hook in there mouth. The government has yet to mandate size restrictions on commercial fisherman, thus the majority of fish that are caught are not of reproductive age. One just needs to see what had happened to the Northern Atlantic Cod population to see what is coming down the pike. Fishermen have had to result to clubbing seals to make a living. Third world fish farms are not any better; Talapia, Bassa and shrimp that are raised in there own shit pools in the same place that 40 years ago was laden with DDT and Agent Orange.

    Demand something different!!!!!! If you like Grouper you will love Corvina….If you like Swordfish you will love Cobia….If you like Tuna you will love Wahoo…If you like snapper you will love Margate….If you like cess pool Farm Raised Salmon you will Love IQF Wild Coho or Sockeye Salmon….Make sure you “Maine” Lobster is really from Maine and not from Canada (Canada has no size restrictions)

    It is bad enough that urban development has destroyed all of the vital spawning grounds for the majority of the coastal fin fish populations in Florida and the Bahamas.

    It starts with each and every Chef and ends with each and every diner

    Thank you for my allotted soap box rant

  • Maya

    Hank, I really liked your statement, it was the most valueable 0.02 I’ve seen in a long time. I disagree with just one thing, deer populations exploded when all of their predators (wolves mostly) were extripated from those areas. Hunting does not adjust for natural selection so it cannot properly regulate populations – and deer can simply have a “better” year for offspring and the problem continues.

    But you’re so right, people will always want to eat fish and your ideas are much more sustainable than what we have now. Good.

    Phil, I would respectfully say that death by fish may be fine for you, but marine mammals dying with a hook or fishing line around their intestines, loons dying of lead poisoning or whales dying from nets in their infected jaws is anything but quick, and most certainly not worth it.

  • Hank

    Good point about the predators, Maya. And it is my hunch – only a hunch – that another factor is that the whitetail have evolved, or at least grown used to, living in suburbs. There are WAAY more whitetail around now than when I was a kid in the 1970s, and wolves have been missing for far longer than that.

  • luis

    This is a sad topic. I vote rulhman turns a page soon. Every post here is fine. Everyone really agrees in principle with everyone else. The rest is just beating ourselves up with a stinky fish…..Bravo for you guys. Your hearts are in the right place.

  • Cbaz1

    There are some pioneering open ocean aquaculture companies who are raising fish in a sustainable way like Snapperfarm http://snapperfarm.com/ and Kona Blue http://www.kona-blue.com/ . Its very expensive to farm fish this way and the problem is that fish distributors treat all fish as a commodity and do not care about sustainability. Since they will not pay a premium price for quality, companies like this will either be forced out of business or will have to become low cost, don’t care industrial fish producers like everyone else.

  • Tom

    I agree with that fish farming may be necessary. They can also be harmful. I saw a news show recently highlighting the problem with large scale fishing and short term farming of blue fin tuna to support Japaanese sushi comsumption. In essence, they catch tuna that do not meet sizing requirements and they feed them in captivity until they are large enough to harvest.

  • Tags

    What discussion of bottomfeeders is complete without mentioning…

    Walmart?

  • Kansas City rube

    I’m excited for this.

    Check out “Collapse” by Jared Diamond for an interesting study of what happens to societies that choose not to use sustainable food gathering practices.