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What do you mean? No more sushi?

When I was in elementary school I worked in the Sea Lab and my 5th grade year I was given the honor of being “manager” of the lab. I loved working with the fish; measuring PH balances, feeding freeze dried worms to the newts and taking care of the clown fish.

The same year, my teacher took us to what was the Omnimax theatre at Caesar’s Palace to see a documentary called “Blue Planet.” Not to be dramatic but seeing this film really changed my small view of the world. The movie talked about the repercussions of polluting the ocean and overfishing. After this, I became obsessed with “saving the oceans.” I begged my mom to send me to Cimi Sea Camp in Junior High and was convinced that I was going to become a marine biologist.

As I got older, I realized that maybe marine biology wasn’t the road that I wanted to continue on but I never lost my sincere wonder and love for the ocean.

My brother told me to watch the documentary “The Cove” a couple of months ago. After watching the senseless slaughter of dolphins and the truth behind the devastation that humanity is wreaking on the marine ecosystem, I realized that nothing has gotten better since “Blue Planet.” Cutting up plastic soda holders and being careful of what I wash down the drain is no longer enough. The decline of the marine ecosystem has gotten to a point of “a mass extinction that is already underway.”

In the article, “Graphic Shows the Last Fish in the Sea” from Takepart.com the facts are sobering. An ocean once filled with an estimated 11+ tons of fish and marine life has now dwindled to roughly 3 tons. This decrease has taken place over the last 100 years.

So what then?

The one difficult part of this is the fact that countries like Japan and the northeastern and gulf regions of the United States rely on fishing for jobs and life. So, asking people to stop eating fish is a “catch-22.”

“There is a growing contingent of conscientious mariners out there who refuse to eat all seafood, arguing that sea life has been so injudiciously hammered in the past five decades that if it’s going to survive, we need to give it a true break. That path, of course, puts at risk the livelihoods of 30 million-plus global fisherman and the related industry they support.” – To Sushi, or Not to Sushi? by Jon Bowermaster

Yet, if we continue to fish the oceans at this rate, there won’t be anything left to fish for and our entire eco-system will suffer at a catastrophic level.

Realize that:

  • 75% of the earth is covered by the ocean.
  • 40% of all photosynthesis occurs in the ocean.
It is completely cliche but absolutely true…imagine having to explain to a child what a dolphin is and why they are extinct.
What can we do?
  1. Simply…start eating sustainable fish and eat fish only “on special occasions.” Sustainable seafood: seafood from either fished or farmed sources that can maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystem from which it is acquired.
  2. Talk to your favorite local sushi restaurant about serving sustainable fish and if they don’t listen, then find a new favorite place that will.
  3. Check Seafood Watch before choosing what to serve for dinner.
So, you have the facts and the information to make better choices. The rest is up to you…spread the word and try to educate your fellow fish lovers about this extremely important topic.
Here are some other websites to check out:
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