SOS: Save Our Seafood?

Sarah Sandori

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An article in the journal Science warns that seafood may disappear before the year 2050.

This is alarming news to me. I expect to be around then, and would like to still be able to go out to a restaurant and enjoy a big mess of fish, crabs and shrimp. This Louisiana gal has always got to have her seafood.

Of course, I write off most alarmist science like this as overblown if not outright wrong. This is not to say that we won't face disasters in the coming years, both natural and manmade. I just think that people in general don't have a very good record of being able to predict the future, even people who are scientists.

The scientists behind this scary story blame pollution and overfishing for depleting our oceans. The lead author of the article, Boris Worm (what a name!) of Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, is quoted as saying: "If the long-term trend continues, all fish and seafood are projected to collapse within my lifetime-by 2048. "

So what can be done?

Worm and his co-researchers say we need to shift from single species management to management of the whole ecosystem. I'm not sure what that means exactly, but, according to Worm, "It just requires a big chunk of political will to do it. "

Now, that scares me right there. Look at our current crop of politicians (from all parties). Do we really want those jokers "safeguarding" our future supply of seafood? Whatever the solution, it likely will not be found in the realm of politics, "will" or no will.

The authors of the Science article call for new marine reserves, better management to put an end to overfishing, and tighter restrictions on pollution.

Some of these might be just what the marine doctor ordered, but it would be preferable, in my opinion, to encourage the discovery of solutions through encouraging entrepreneurs to get involved.

According to the news stories surrounding the release of this study, the National Fisheries Institute has come out with an opinion that runs counter to that of the researchers. In its statement, this organization-which represents the seafood industry-said that fish stocks "fluctuate naturally in population. " It called for developing new technologies to help conserve ocean stocks and preserve the marine ecology.

The news points out that seafood consumption in the United States continues to grow, and on a more somber note it is reported that fish is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world.

No, let's not lose our seafood. How to accomplish that, though-aye, that's the question.

Sarah Sandori is the food and entertaining columnist for the Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium . Have you ever wanted to be able to exactly duplicate a favorite dish from a favorite restaurant? Check out Sarah's article where she reveals her source for the most mouth-watering secret restaurant recipes in America:


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