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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
Hi Jordan, Honestly, I don't know. I feel like we are coming up with small solutions for enormous problems. Overfishing is one of them and so we can avoid species that are overfished--Chilean Sea Bass and many types of tuna come to mind. And we can support the small fishing boats and try to outlaw large factory trawlers. The shark finning industry kills 8 million sharks a DAY. Shark fin soup is on menus in San Francisco. As well, we have ocean acidification as a very real problem that will threaten our estuaries and oysters. And there's rampant habitat destruction going on around the world. But I think we are starting to learn about the consequences of our behavior and that there will be real consequences for all of us, so hopefully we can change our habits--eating, transportation, farming, waste, all of it, and help turn things around. take care, Maria
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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
There are lots of ways a fish farm can be unsustainable. With salmon farms, they often have 500,000-750,000 fish in an offshore pen. Due to the crowding, they have to be administered antibiotics, sometimes very high levels. These, along with the fecal matter, kill everything around them. They are often Atlantic salmon being farmed in the Pacific, so if they escape and mix with wild stock, or their sea lice get on wild salmon, they can spread disease. As well, three pounds of wild caught herring and sardines are made into feed to produce one pound of farmed salmon. In regions these forage fish are being overfished, the entire eco-system could collapse. Also, shrimp farms are often very problematic as they pollute coastlines, and often times mangroves or important estuary areas are destroyed to farm them. As well, they can get really overcrowded and filthy. I think people wouldn't want to eat shrimp farmed abroad if they knew the details. So fish farms that are closed systems, so they don't pollute local waterways, feed fish a vegetarian diet, or a very low ration of wild caught fish to farmed fish, and don't overcrowd and use antibiotics are considered much more sustainable. Oyster, mussel and clam farms are in bays and estuaries, but these are actually very good for the environment as they work as filters to clean the bays. And, as we learned from Hurricane Sandy, they might have helped protect NYC and New Jersey from the storms. thanks, Maria
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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
Hi Aja, I did see that wonderful TED Talk by Dan Barber. I think it's an exciting new frontier. Right now salmon farms are unsustainable. They pollute the surrounding waters and use wild fish from the ocean to feed them. I wrote about a project in Nova Scotia about integrated aquaculture, which is similar to the Dan Barber talk. In the way that permaculture farming uses diversity, aquafarms can do this as well. There are some great projects underway. One example is McFarland Trout in Northern California that uses vegetarian fish feed and the waste from the fish is used to fertilize pastures. As well, it's powered by the local stream. So not all are bad, just some,(mostly tuna and salmon) and in particular the huge industrial fish farms. best, Maria
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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
Hi Rachel, The "sea web' refers to the interconnectness of everything. Today I just read that the company Unilever that makes facial cleanser uses microbeads made of plastic. These go down your drain and into our ocean. So from how we fertilize our lawns to the products we use on our face, not to mention the carbon monoxide released into the air, all impacts the ocean and the fish we eat. So we can no longer think that everything is separate or disconnected. Using "The Whole Fish" is actually a metaphor for our ecosystems that are inter-related. best, Maria
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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
Hi Jim, I think what we eat, and like to eat comes from habit and culture. In Norway, people eat herring for breakfast; here, people rarely touch it. If we make parts of the fish something children will enjoy and put them in dishes they like, then they will start to eat them. Children will reach for sugar and fats before a vegetable and fish, but if they get good habits when they are young, this will help with their lifestyle as they become adults. take care, Maria
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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
Hi Emily, Why would you do that? Just eat sustainable fish. Sardines are plentiful and considered Very Sustainable by Seafood Watch. (My favorite are Wild Planet--a great company). Also, wild Pacific salmon is sustainable. There are some wonderful tilapia farms in the United States where the fish help fertilize crops. As well, oyster farms are good for the environment. You can also join a Community Supported Fishery and help support our small fishing boats who are trying to fish responsibly. So eat seafood, just make conscious choices. Thanks for the question, maria
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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
Hi James, I'm not sure any parts are dangerous, but the gills taste bad and I'd avoid them. And like any food preparation, you want to make sure the fish is fresh as possible. (Fresh frozen can be good as well). The prime fillets or the perfect oysters don't need much of anything, but a fish head I use for stock and add ginger and seaweed. So yes, preparation is important. thanks, Maria
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Maria Finn
Posted over 2 years ago
Live Q&A at 3:00PM Eastern: Why do the choices we make about the seafood we eat play a part in a complex and interconnected ecosystem?
Hi Rachel, Thanks so much for having me on. Years ago, I went to Alaska to make lots of money in the fishing industry. I made very little money, but had the adventure of a lifetime working eight fishing seasons in Alaska. At first I worked on commercial boats and had a young female skipper for salmon and herring fishing. Experiences out at sea taught me tremendous awe and respect for the ocean and its creatures. Later, I worked along rivers off the road system in remote field camps monitoring the salmon swimming upstream for the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. While on the Yukon Delta, I had a lot of interaction with the local Yupiks and many of the women showed me how they prepared salmon to dry for the winter. They also used the heads, bellies, eggs-- all the parts. Currently, I live in the San Francisco Bay area and write about food quite a bit. There's been a trend with foodies in using all parts of the animal as a way to show respect, waste less, and save money. My experiences in Alaska seemed to come full circle, particularly as sustainable seafood and states of our oceans are reaching critical points.