Or more accurately: 10 reasons we don’t love those organizations and why we think they are hurting fishing industry progress and ocean conservation.
- Labeling seafoods with confirmed accounts of slavery on its harvesting boats and in its supply chain in the same categories/color as well-managed, sustainable American fisheries. (Imported squid and Maine lobster are both yellow.)
- Minimizing the importance of fishermen by putting its singular purpose on ocean conservation and disregarding social, community, socioeconomic, and other environmental impacts of its recommendations.
- Accentuating America’s reliance on imported seafood by recommending a higher portion of imported and often farmed seafood versus domestic wild-caught seafood.
- Though claiming ocean conservation as a main goal, hypocritically recommending fish from faraway thereby increasing the carbon footprint and not really benefiting the air, ocean, or species living in either.
- Neither organization are involved in the fishing industry but make generalized recommendations for gear modifications, bycatch, and discard.
- Failing to recognize the progress, hard-work, and extraordinary efforts made by US commercial fishermen to alter their gear, change the way they fish, abide by new regulations, and learn about new species in order to make their livelihoods and fisheries more sustainable.
- Dehumanizing fishermen and inspiring consumers to demonize the fishermen by telling half the story, presenting negative information, and lumping all fisheries into one story.
- Creating consumer complacency
by sharing seafood guides with limited information and allowing consumers to
blindly make decisions, enabling them to feel good about their choices- without
having learned anything or asked any questions about the fisheries or species.
Abides: to accept without opposition or question.
- People are eating less fish because they are confused and intimidated by generalized seafood guides and fear-generating media stories spawned by negative misinformation from these organizations.
- Using fishermen’s plight to earn more money for their organizations and thereby continuing this cycle of imported seafood, fraud, and misinformation, rather than creating positive energy and valuable relationships with fishing industry members in order to benefit the ocean, fishing communities, and our marine resources.
As I started this I wondered if I’d be able to get to ten but then my concern quickly turned to, will I be able to stop at ten? Like, I also wonder if these generalized guides and single-goal-oriented organizations are partly responsible for how negatively the fishing industry is framed in all forms of media. Even the best articles are often begun with titles about avoiding fishing and destructive fishing. Doom. Gloom.
Unless we are able to provide consumers with valid, proactive, positive solutions, how will they ever comfortably and knowledgeably make good seafood choices that take into account each stop on the seafood (food) system? Perhaps this in an opportunity where we can learn a lot from our colleagues and friends, the farmers: eat close to home; get to know what’s available in your area; learn the seasons as they apply to fishing and marine species; and eat more fish….
Much like how there is a necessity for hunting in Africa in order to curb the poacher problems, we should always have fishing. (Suggestions to close parts of the ocean to fishing are ludicrous for so many reasons, but that’s a whole other post.) Well-managed and sustainable fisheries like those in the United States are role models to the rest of the world. Eat. More. Fish. (Specifically, lobster.)
|Fishing does not stop and start at your convenience, Seafood Watch.|
|OK. Honestly, this one is probably overkill but it's Monday and I was having fun.|