Monday, July 26, 2010
The limits of the sea
Paul Greenburg has written an excellent and surprisingly readable book about our relationship with the sea and its bounty. He does this not from a solely environmentalist perspective, but also as a fisherman and one who enjoys eating fish. He discusses the advantages of wild vs. farmed fish and the destructive practices of each which imperil future stocks. With farming, in particular, the four are very poor candidates for captive rearing although the lessons learned so far have been invaluable and can be applied to other species. He also explores potential replacement species against a checklist of qualities that should ensure greater success (the same qualities that have been proven in terrestrial farming).
I've never been a huge eater of seafood, although I've recently begun ordering it more often when we eat out. But I most appreciated the scientific aspect of the book that seeks to find the best possible balance, moving beyond the simple red or green seafood cards to maximizing a sustainable harvest while protecting resources. He acknowledges there are no easy answers, but perhaps leans a little too heavily on regulation as if illegal poaching wouldn't increase with such measures. Nonetheless, I think his suggestions are worthwhile and a good starting point. Overall, an important read for all those who are concerned about the future of the oceans and the "last wild food."