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Sylvia Earle Does Not Eat Fish

September 3, 2014

And here she explains why:

Except for those living in coastal communities — or even inland if we’re talking freshwater species — for most people, eating fish is a choice, not a necessity. Some people believe that the sole purpose of fish is for us to eat them. They are seen as commodities. Yet wild fish, like wild birds, have a place in the natural ecosystem which outweighs their value as food. They’re part of the systems that make the planet function in our favor, and we should be protecting them because of their importance to the ocean. They are carbon-based units, conduits for nutrients, and critical elements in ocean food webs. If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all, because the methods are so destructive and wasteful. It isn’t just a matter of caring about the fish or the corals, but also about all the things that are destroyed in the process of capturing ocean wildlife. We have seen such a sharp decline in the fish that we consume in my lifetime that I personally choose not to eat any. In the end, it’s a choice.

There are few people on the planet who have thought more about that choice, so Earle is worth listening to (though she isn’t quite willing to tell people not to eat meat as well; attention Cowspiracy).

And, since we are on documentaries today, you can hear a lot more about her and her work in the Netflix doc Mission Blue.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 10, 2014 7:42 am

    “… If people really understood the methods being used to capture wild fish, they might think about choosing whether to eat them at all …” What she’s saying is all part of a much larger picture. Because if in the above sentence you would substitute “capture” for culling and “wild fish” for “cattle, pigs, livestock in general” most people equally would not eat meat. That being said the wider problem with wild fish unlike with livestock is that the oceans and their species are deemed without owners and lead to similar effects as described in the widely-read “tragedy of the commons”.

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