As many of our JFAT friends and fans already know, we have been members of the Long Beach Aquarium’s ‘Seafood of the Future’ program since our inception back in 2010 when we opened our first location in the Point Loma Marina Harbor in San Diego.
But for those of you who don’t know this, you may be asking “What is this and what’s the big deal?” My response to this question is that, as a neighborhood restaurant, we have always been a responsible business not only to the local community, but to the world community as well.
In our industry, most of us are increasingly aware of the fact that we are fishing many of our wild species to extinction due to both poor harvesting techniques as well as the increasing global demand for seafood that comes with the growth of the world population.
Even with all its vast, deep oceans our Blue Marble* is only capable of providing so much seafood each year and unless we get real about our attitude toward seafood and aquafarming we are facing some serious problems in the near future.
One challenge we face is that there are still is a lot of flawed perceptions among the public that farm-raised fish are inferior to wild. I get so tired of listening to people at my local fish counter telling the butcher that they NEVER eat farm-raised fish because it’s not as flavorful or not as healthy for you. Every time I hear that I tell them to log onto Seafood for the Future’s website because they may be surprised by what they learn about aquaculture.
The reality is that California, as well as the entire United States imports 90% of the seafood we consume and just recently the scales tipped where now over 50% of the seafood we buy and consume today is produced through aquaculture.
If best practices are applied, aquaculture has the lowest impact on the environment of any animal protein we raise on land. Salmon aquaculture started 30 years ago and yes, it wasn’t very efficient or environmentally responsible at first, but knowledge and techniques have changed dramatically since then and continue to improve year over year, especially in the US.
SFF just recently release a video recapping the current state of our oceans wild harvest as well as aquaculture. I would encourage you all to watch this and pass along to others so they are better informed about all that’s happening in our oceans. I’ve attached the link to the video below as well as one to the list of SFF’s recommended seafood species.
Thanks for listening…I’m off my soapbox for now.
* The Blue Marble is an image of the Earth made on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft at a distance of about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles). It is one of the most reproduced images in human history.