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Who Counts the Fish?

In the last 15 years we’ve seen the collapse of fishing grounds as well as the decline of specific fish species.  As a user of fish purveyors I do my very best to keep abreast of fish populations.  But who do I rely on to keep me accurately informed?

There are government and independent groups around the world that monitor the fisheries and seafood stocks. In the a recent Food Arts magazine issue there is an article outlining the struggles of these groups to monitor the populations while struggling to maintain consistency in their goals. The struggle arises from the conflict of the goals, interests and missions of each group. 

“It’s a challenge to have that many different countries involved,” says Christine Patrick, NOAA spokesperson.  “They all have their interests and battles that don’t always align with what’s in the best interest of the fish.”(Food Arts, March 2011, pg. 50)

In 2010, President Obama signed an Executive to create the National Ocean Policy.

According to the White House website the Order established for the first time a comprehensive national policy for the stewardship of the ocean, coasts and Great Lakes.  This will set us on a path toward planning for preservation and sustainable usage.

But as Warner Chabot, executive director and CEO of the California League of Conservative Voters, the nonpartisan political action arm of California’s environmental movement.  “Regulations can solve part of the problem. But regulations also can be very tough to enforce.  That’s why we need market solutions like Seafood Watch.  In a decade, it’s made sustainable seafood a mainstream issue. It has rocked the ocean conservation world.” (March 2011, Food Arts, pg. 50)

And that brings me to the organization I turn to, Seafood Watch of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.  These are the people who “count the fish” for me so I can fulfill my client’s wishes while aiding in the goal of sustainable fish populations.

Be an informed consumer.  Please see the following sites:

http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx?c=dd

http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishwatch/

http://www.blueocean.org/sushi

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