By Vasco Schmidt
I recently was invited for dinner by some very good friends and was surprised to see that they fed their cat tuna. This resulted in a debate about why we should avoid eating tuna as much as possible. As I previously addressed, by choosing fish which derive from sustainable Aquaculture practices, we are favoring a more sustainable fishing industry. Presently, Aquaculture is not replacing the need to fish in the wild. As consumers, we have the power to change policies, favor environmentally friendly fish farming and fish consumption through awareness, pro-active behavior to reverse the negligence and ignorance that has caused the depletion of our oceans and in particular, our tuna stocks. Some species such as bluefin, and yellowfin tuna are already on the brink of extinction, as listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Tuna are not only dangerously over-fished, but are also caught and fattened in tuna farms, which has contributing to a sometimes negative image of Aquaculture. This is a somewhat dubious farming practice because these tuna are fed huge amounts of fish oil, which in turn is derived from wild-caught fish.
Another reason to eat Tuna only sparingly is that pollutant levels such as heavy metals (i.e. mercury) are very high in fish at the top of the food chain. But most importantly, if we carry on like this—depleting the wild Tuna stocks, by 2020 we are likely to lose some of our favorite fish. If you love to eat Tuna, whether grilled with a slice of lemon, as sushi, or sashimi then eat it on special occasions only. By making this choice you are doing your part to protect our oceans as well as leaving a natural heritage for future generations.
To find responsibly produced food from your area, check out Pick-A-Pepper.com.
Photo: C.K. Koay/ “Blue Fin Tuna” May 5, 2008. Online Image. Flickr Image <http://www.flickr.com/photos/ceekay/2745373743/in/photostream/>
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