I read this recent post by searunner and really enjoy the tack it took… Such that I thought I’d reblog it.
Searunner Defines ‘trash fish‘ as “fish that were traditionally considered unpalatable, unfit for human consumption, or otherwise having no market value” and proposes that there is a “trend in commercial fishing today to move away from overfished species, and to start targeting fish that have previously had no market.”
This trend is important both ecologically and economically as it enables seafood producers to derive benefit of species that would otherwise be discarded, and provides for a reprieve in the harvest of key market species… until they can sustain catches. However this utilisation of trash fish has an air of transience about it…
The utilisation of trash species until key species are able to be re-utilised“
In today’s world of over 7 billion people… protein derived from seafood is vital… but as demand on seafood resources increases, so does pressure on seafood stocks… We need a paradigm shift. We need to diversify our palate and fish widely, rather than intensively. So I agree with searunner here but with one addition…
We need to implement this ecological and economic life raft permanently, rather than just move from one species to another as we have done throughout the ages in response to changes in specific abundance:
“... Luxury seafoods like lobster and oysters were once fed to prisoners and slaves, only until their populations began dwindling did they become more expensive and gain their spot on the menus of high priced restaurants.”
we need to erode the distinction between “trash” and “key” species altogether and move on from merely marketing the lesser utilised species as a legitimate seafood choice for consumers, and fully integrate ‘trash’ species’ into our seafood repertoire .
Imagine the consequences of this integration… I am!
More food, more choice, improved food security and reduced impact on the key market species.
If you’re finding this article, you likely know what a ‘trash fish’ is. Trash fish can be defined in a few different ways, but the trash fish I’d like to refer to here are fish that were traditionally considered unpalatable, unfit for human consumption, or otherwise having no market value. There is a trend in commercial fishing today to move away from overfished species, and to start targeting fish that have previously had no market. This trend isn’t necessarily born out of a desire to move towards sustainable fisheries, but instead it’s born out of the fact that there aren’t enough traditional market fish left in the ocean to make a living on.
“History is repeating itself, and what’s needed is an overall reduction in fishing pressure, not just a move to fishing for different species.”
Fishermen, restaurants, seafood distributors, and some environmental groups are working to develop new markets…
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