What would it take to make American seafood sustainable? Eating more of it is a good start — if you’re getting it from the right places.
The seemingly disparate issues of scarcity and abundance both pose problems for the future of seafood in the U.S. We’re eating too specifically among the varieties available to us: Late last month, Forbes reported that big-name chefs including Tom Colicchio are banding together to stop serving striped bass, stocks of which are down 85 percent this year.
At the same time, the seafood we have in abundance is problematic, too. Ninety percent of it comes from overseas, caught and processed in conditions that are often unverified. Last year, the Associated Press found that Burmese men are being enslaved to work on Thai fishing boats whose cargo is sold in American supermarkets.
It’s time to change the way we eat seafood. Where we buy it is a good start: Local businesses such as Village Fishmonger in NYC, which operates like a CSA for seafood, are not only serving what’s coming from local farms and waters, but they also care about sustainability, from stocks to fishing methods. Eating a broader range of fish and demanding better catch methods with our dollars are part of it, too.
This week is your chance to learn more during the third annual (and first multi-city) Sustainable Seafood Week, featuring tasting dinners, workshops, tours of local fisheries and more delicious-educational hybrid events.
We asked two of the big names behind the movement about how we can eat better seafood.