Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Smart Seafood

M'man Dave (Suzuki) includes the following in his newsletter.

Smart seafood
Confused about which type of fish to choose at your favourite restaurant or grocery store? We can help you make an informed decision.

Rockfish (sometimes sold as: Red Snapper or Yellow eye). These fish can live to be more than 100 years old, and are not reproductively mature until their late teens. They are often caught by trawling methods destructive to ocean floor habitats and are taken in by fisheries that have problems with bycatch. These fish are extremely vulnerable to overexploitation and their stock status is poorly understood.

Pacific Black Cod (e.g. Sablefish). Sablefish, found only in the north Pacific, have buttery flesh. Most of the U.S. and Canadian catch is exported to Japan where it is prized for sushi. In B.C., most Sablefish are caught using traps suspended deep in the water on long lines. Meanwhile, most Sablefish fisheries on the Pacific coast outside of B.C. almost exclusively use hooks or trawlers to catch these fish. The trap method of Sablefish fishing is considered to be a sustainable one – the rate of bycatch is very low and it does not harm ocean bottom habitats. Because the populations are abundant and the fishery is well managed, British Columbia sablefish are the best choice, with Alaskan sablefish a good alternative.

Those of you who know us know that we're mostly vegetarian now. Even Oscar is, though I don't believe he's realized it yet. I say "mostly" because I have certain conditions under which I would (usually with a guilty conscience) eat meat, and Christine to this point still eats fish, so I don't believe that we can claim the vegetarian tag officially yet.

When we told people about our decision, one comment that surfaced often was "I could never do that, I love meat too much". Fair enough, we're not trying to get other people to do it (and make no mistake, we didn't suddenly come to despise the taste of meat either). However, I thought the above was a good little tip for those who like the idea, but consider it to too big a plunge to take. You can still help without making a huge sacrifice. I hope that there are more to come.

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