Case Studies in Fisheries Conservation and Management: Applied Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

Case 2: What’s for Dinner? Environmentally Conscious Seafood Choices

doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781934874189.ch2

Although you’re usually very opposed to going on blind dates, your friends have convinced you that Alex is worth making an exception for. The only thing your friends will tell you is that Alex is very environmentally and socially conscious. And that Alex loves seafood and people who know how to cook.

You obviously want to impress your date, but you are concerned about picking the right seafood. Taste is no problem—you are an excellent cook and can make even liver taste delicious. You have been hearing a lot in the media lately about how fisheries all over the world are in trouble, due to habitat degradation, overfishing, bycatch, and a number of other problems. You would hate to unintentionally contribute to environmental problems just by making dinner.

So which seafood should you choose? Some fisheries catch a lot of bycatch of other species, including marine mammals, birds, and sea turtles; some fish populations have been overharvested and have low abundance; some fish species are long-lived and slow to reproduce; some fish have consumption advisories from high levels of mercury and other contaminants; some types of seafood are imported; some seafood production causes habitat degradation or risk to other species through poor aquaculture or fishing practices. How can you choose?