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Enjoy that wild salmon, it could be extinct-- or at least unobtainable-- in your lifetime.  This is the message I get the more I look into it. It's one reason why I write on the behalf of wild salmon, because it is so good as a food, and such an inspiring work of nature, but it is becoming so rare. What would the Pacific Northwest, my home, be like without it? The rivers would seem barren. The orcas in the ocean would starve and diminish. The Web of Life would fray badly.

And it is fraying now.

What are the alternatives?

Declining ocean fish stocks have led to a rapid growth in fish farming. Let's see how that's working out.

Think farmed fish are the answer? Think again:

The total world aquaculture production contributes to the global fish supply. Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food sectors, with production increasing from 10 million tonnes in 1990 to 29 million tonnes in 1997 (FAO, 1999). More than 220 species of finfish and shellfish are farmed today.

However, carnivorous farmed fish are fed on high levels of fish meal and fish oil and require a fish biomass input superior to the fish biomass produced. For the ten species of fish most commonly farmed , an average of 1.9kg of wild fish is required for every kilogram of fish raised. Unfortunately, there is an increase in the production trend of carnivorous fish (such as salmon or shrimp), rather than herbivorous or filter feeder fish. Small pelagic fish mainly provide the fish meal and fish oils used for aquaculture feed. Aquaculture's growing needs increase pressures existing on wild fisheries for small pelagic fish, which already suffer from overexploitation and are strained by climate changes resulting from the El Niño warming effect.

Pelagic fish are oily fish that live in the deep sea. This group includes herring, sardines and anchovies. Perfectly good fish in their own right, less likely to contain heavy metals as do the larger predator species, and in my opinion what we should be eating instead of tuna and farmed salmon.

Fish as food and fish food; a redundant article perhaps but I feel the need to show how the message is coming in from many authoritative sources:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - One-third of the world's ocean fish catch is ground up for animal feed, a potential problem for marine ecosystems and a waste of a resource that could directly nourish humans, scientists said on Wednesday.

The fish being used to feed pigs, chickens and farm-raised fish are often thought of as bait, including anchovies, sardines, menhaden and other small- to medium-sized species, researchers wrote in a study to be published in November in the Annual Review of Environment and Resources.

These so-called forage fish account for 37 percent, or 31.5 million tons, of all fish taken from the world's oceans each year, the study said. Ninety percent of that catch is turned into fish meal or fish oil, most of which is used as agricultural and aquacultural feed.

Ellen Pikitch, executive director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science and a professor at Stony Brook University in New York, called these numbers "staggering."

A recent study (pdf) on salmon mortality in the Columbia and Fraser Rivers has put the spotlight on the effects of farmed salmon lice that infest wild smolts coming out of the Fraser. A 2005 study found a correlation between  proximity of fish farms and lice infestation. The fish farm industry refutes that and says that it is closely monitoring lice in its rearing pens. They apply lice killer, how and how much, I don't know, and what effect the chemicals have on the fish and on fish-as-food I don't know. But it's troubling.

Ocean Fish in Steep Decline
Fish farming get its food from the oceans. This fact leads one to ask how the sources of the world's wild fish are doing. Bummer.

A bleak warning from the UK:

A hidden catastrophe is unfolding off the coasts of Britain which could leave our seas filled with only algae and jellyfish, a leading conservation organisation warns today. The Marine Conservation Society says severe overfishing is the biggest environmental threat facing Britain and is having a profound effect on marine ecosystems. The warning comes in Silent Seas, a report released as the government prepares its marine bill for parliament.

The report comes the day after the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, which advises Europe's politicians on fish stocks, warned that parts of the North Sea should be closed to mackerel fishing because stocks of the species could be on the brink of collapse.

Simon Brockington, head of conservation at the MCS, said: "There's a moral imperative: we simply shouldn't be living in such a way that drives species to extinction."

What's even worse is how the food-fish are obtained: trawling, where the ocean floor is scoured of everything, brought to the surface, picked through for say, shrimp, and then the other 95% of sea life, now dead, are thrown back.

An excellent Nat Geo article describes a harrowing decline in valauble food species, exemplified by the crash of the bluefin tuna

Once, giant bluefin migrated by the millions throughout the Atlantic Basin and the Mediterranean Sea, their flesh so important to the people of the ancient world that they painted the tuna's likeness on cave walls and minted its image on coins.

But, uh oh, bluefin tuna makes the best sushi.

Over the past decade, a high-tech armada, often guided by spotter planes, has pursued giant bluefin from one end of the Mediterranean to the other, annually netting tens of thousands of the fish, many of them illegally. The bluefin are fattened offshore in sea cages before being shot and butchered for the sushi and steak markets in Japan, America, and Europe. So many giant bluefin have been hauled out of the Mediterranean that the population is in danger of collapse. Meanwhile, European and North African officials have done little to stop the slaughter.

"My big fear is that it may be too late," said Sergi Tudela, a Spanish marine biologist with the World Wildlife Fund, which has led the struggle to rein in the bluefin fishery. "I have a very graphic image in my mind. It is of the migration of so many buffalo in the American West in the early 19th century. It was the same with bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean, a migration of a massive number of animals. And now we are witnessing the same phenomenon happening to giant bluefin tuna that we saw happen with America's buffalo. We are witnessing this, right now, right before our eyes."

And that is just one species.

Popular species such as cod have plummeted from the North Sea to Georges Bank off New England. In the Mediterranean, 12 species of shark are commercially extinct, and swordfish there, which should grow as thick as a telephone pole, are now caught as juveniles and eaten when no bigger than a baseball bat. With many Northern Hemisphere waters fished out, commercial fleets have steamed south, overexploiting once teeming fishing grounds.

Africa's and Asia's surrounding seas are in steep decline. It's happening eveywhere. Bringing the crisis home, here's a bit of the fraying fabric that strikes the hearts of many in the Pacific Northwest. San Juan Islands orcas starving for lack of food.  

Right now, looking at the mess we're in in every direction, I'm beginning to get overwhelmed by how bad it is on every front. Economy, energy, food, climate, species extinction, population... population? No one talks about that anymore. I wonder though, when we will....

I'll leave it here.

Rec List? Great! Let's spread the word about living sanely.

Here's more on farmed fish problems. Farmed fish have been shown to produce sea lice that harm wild stocks, and the Canadian government has taken this and other farmed fish issues seriously. Last week a production quota scandal arose over Canadian farmed fish.

A central-coast salmon-farming operation has drawn the wrath of environmentalists for violating its licence by pumping out unsustainably high numbers of fish. Living Oceans Society said Monday it was "appalling" that government documents show Mainstream Canada salmon farm sites in the Broughton Archipelago produced as much as twice the tonnage allowed in their licences.

Production limits are supposed to minimize the impact that animal waste from fish farms will have on the local environment, reduce the risks of hyper-concentrations of sea lice, and minimize the health risks that overcrowded sea pens would pose to the fish themselves.

Originally posted to bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:16 AM PST.

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  •  tips for anything resembling hope that the planet (221+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, Ed in Montana, vicki, northsylvania, catdevotee, cassandra m, AaronInSanDiego, miasmo, alisonk, Gooserock, decafdyke, mattman, PeterHug, RunawayRose, leberquesgue, Swoof, GayHillbilly, FredFred, xynz, sobermom, Matilda, object16, MarkInSanFran, bumblebums, DemInGeorgia, Naturegal, BlackGriffen, dlcampbe, Euroliberal, megs, SecondComing, peace voter, boilerman10, buckhorn okie, otto, lanellici, nargel, ClickerMel, navajo, sidnora, nio, hopesprings, emmasnacker, American Zapatista, Wilmguy, hoolia, pdl ithaca, NYFM, Sychotic1, defluxion10, BlogDog, alizard, migo, barbwires, kfred, OrangeClouds115, Hardhat Democrat, haileysnana, Thestral, Josiah Bartlett, egmacrae, rapala, nailbender, madaprn, sarahlane, Fabian, jabney, marina, radarlady, escapee, PAbluestater, Doolittle Sothere, el dorado gal, LarisaW, Tonedevil, offred, kamarvt, Simplify, kaye, EJP in Maine, trinityfly, billybush, GreyHawk, eaglecries, Ice Blue, blue jersey mom, kaliope, Tunk, MajorFlaw, dsteffen, JanL, ThatSinger, third Party please, ksingh, BachFan, BalanceSeeker, sierrartist, Pinko Elephant, vigilant meerkat, Ky DEM, Naranjadia, Patriot4peace, A Siegel, 4Freedom, pi1304, imabluemerkin, JVolvo, justCal, ER Doc, think blue, lazybum, CA Nana, fiddlingnero, RantNRaven, Dreaming of Better Days, chapel hill guy, MadMs, AllanTBG, Nulwee, DBunn, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, dotsright, donnamarie, Loudoun County Dem, godislove, jetskreemr, Van Buren, FishOutofWater, LillithMc, LamontCranston, horsepatsy, joyful, Fantastic, RosyFinch, millwood, Moderation, malie, Puffin, willb48, Light Emitting Pickle, JeffW, ynp junkie, hulagirl, I, CDH in Brooklyn, lineatus, Lujane, Haplogroup V, pickandshovel, AJsBodBlog, SayNoToJanuary1933, squarewheel, Wild Starchild, wv voice of reason, SciMathGuy, ksull, El Yoss, soarbird, radmul, Discipline28, BoiseBlue, Carol in San Antonio, Methinks They Lie, Yalin, Daily Activist, ThompsonLazyBoy, platypus60, pnn23, blueocean, XNeeOhCon, Houston Gardener, Wings Like Eagles, longtimewatcher, Wendy Slammo, Leftcandid, ozarkspark, capasb, cassandraX, Amber6541, BigVegan, ladygreenslippers, grassrootsnm, klimtone, Interceptor7, TheWesternSun, randomcharacters123, consciousempress, RJP9999, Jimmm, pixxer, Kristina40, qi motuoche, WattleBreakfast, nirbama, Urtica dioica gracilis, MsGrin, USHomeopath, kathleen518, nosleep4u, bvig, scott on the rock, the girl, bluebuckaroo, Sport, implicate order, Olon, Amayi, buffalogal55, Ricola, Alanna Trebond, Running2Ks, supplanter, John Rose, feeny, Shazzbot, Kat08, political mutt, NotActingNaive, General Hubbub, green plum

    isn't totally f****d.

    emerging research proven

    by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:18:06 AM PST

    •  It's pretty much over (6+ / 0-)

      Six billion today, nine billion by 2050.

      I guess I don't feel all that bad about Man's coming extinction; those who have harmed me may not suffer, but their children will.

      Fuck you, Jenna!  Fuck you, Barb!

      •  Man is not going extinct (8+ / 0-)

        in our lifetime, our children's lifetime, or our children's children's lifetime. Absent a catastrophic event at the level of wiping out, say, all vertebrates, the species is simply too adaptive.

        Our species may be decimated (literally) or worse as our pillaging of resources continues and the resources dwindle, but we'll survive. Granted, their may for a while be only a few tens or hundreds of thousands of us and our existence will the pre-societal nasty, brutish, and short lot that Hobbes wrote of, but we'll be here for good or bad.

        There are 10 types of people in the world--those who know binary and those who don't.

        by DoLooper on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:43:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  All more reason for voluntary human extinction (6+ / 0-)

          "Lies return." - African proverb

          by Night Train on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:26:39 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

            •  I'm with you :) Hope topcomments likes this! n/t (3+ / 0-)

              Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

              by pixxer on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:15:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  That comment doesn't make much sense to me. (6+ / 0-)

                The proposal is not for suicide; it's for cessation in reproduction. Whether or not one agrees with it, it's certainly worthy of serious debate. But it often seems to evoke snarky responses from people who are determined to not think about it, and who thus deliberately misunderstand it.

                "Lies return." - African proverb

                by Night Train on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:26:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Overpopulation is not the problem (5+ / 0-)

                  overconsumption, on the other hand, is. It is a lot easier to decide there's too many people than to give up bluefin sushi.

                •  Well, no, it does say "extinction." (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AaronInSanDiego, tryptamine

                  That I cannot support. We are too interesting a species to undergo extinction, if we can help it.

                  Reducing reproduction is a superb idea, but extinction is not, IMO. Therefore, cessation of reproduction is not a responsible idea. My reply elsewhere will tell you an overarching reason why I think that. For the record, my husband and I have produced one new perosn, and are therefore not replacing ourselves.

                  I just thought the previous reply was nicely done :)

                  Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

                  by pixxer on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 02:25:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I got news for you... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    northsylvania, phonegery, pixxer

                    the human species is going to become extinct sooner or later.  It doesn't matter how fascinating we are.  And right now, we're hastening that process our very ownselves.

                    I actually think that, were we as a species to actively act to slow down our reproduction rate and achieve zero population growth, or even negative population growth, we'd probably delay our own extinction.

                    •  Obviously, it is true that we will become (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      extinct someday. I am objecting to the 'movement' that suggests we engineer our own extinction by failing to reproduce. My point, made elsewhere also, is that limiting population growth makes sense, as you also say, but that attempting intentional zero-birth to extinct ourselves is basically unconscionable.

                      Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

                      by pixxer on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:03:22 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  ... (0+ / 0-)

                        attempting intentional zero-birth to extinct ourselves is basically unconscionable.

                        Unconscionable?  Why?

                        •  I wrote this up elsewhere in the thread. (0+ / 0-)

                          Instead of a link, here it is in a longer form.

                          I'm a Biologist (didn't say that before). For all of our smug and delighted self-flagellation - much of it deserved - for our bad choices, we are still one incredibly remarkable species. Though we are very new and still primitive, we are, to the best of our knowledge, the only species in the entire universe that has developed the level of consciousness that we enjoy. Until we have proof that we are not the most complex, most communicating, most interesting thing ever produced by this particular universe, the idea of voluntarily extincting ourselves is arrogant and (to use the understatement of the decade) short-sighted, beyond belief.

                          Not that that would be inconsistent behavior on our part ;)

                          Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

                          by pixxer on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:34:06 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  This planet (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Night Train, pixxer

                            had, and has, any number of 'incredibly remarkable species' that have been driven to extinction, either with our help or without it.

                            Let me tell you about some incredibly remarkable species.  I have three cats.  I cannot understand their language, but they understand mine, at least to some extent.  So do most of the dogs I've encountered in my life, and some species of bird, to boot.  I have one little cat in particular who is never happier than when she's snuggled up against my neck of an evening as I sit and read or watch teevee.  I feel the weight of her six-pound body on my shoulder, and listen to her purr and her heartbeat against my ear, and I have moments when I'm absolutely in awe of her absolute beauty and complexity and completeness and perfection.

                            There are sea mammals that arguably equal humans in intelligence, level of consciousness, and ability to communicate.  That we cannot understand their language is our failure of intelligence, not theirs.  And some of these very species are being hunted to near-extinction by ours.

                            The arrogance and hubris of the human race, as exemplified by your ode to the species here, simply boggles my mind.  Sure, we're complex and communicating and interesting.  But -- and I say this with absolute conviction -- we aren't any more special or deserving of survival than any other species on this planet.

                          •  Of course there are quite a few (0+ / 0-)

                            intelligent species on this planet, and I obviously agree that we have had a negative impact on many of them - possibly, of late, most of them. What I disagree with is intentionally extincting a remarkable species, ourselves, which, I would contend, is indeed the most interesting of the bunch. That's what I found "unconscionable" - intentional extinction.

                            I would find it unconscionable for any species to do this, though AFAWK we are the only ones capable of deciding on it and doing it. I would find it unconscionable for any species intentionally to extinct any other species, too, of course.

                            That we sometimes do so b/c of idiocy rather than b/c of intention proves that our still-primitive intelligence, psychology, and social behavior have a way to go. Nevertheless, we are still as promising a species as the universe has, to the best of our knowledge. It would be unconscionable to extinct ourselves.

                            Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

                            by pixxer on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:04:48 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Okay, just for the sake of argument (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            I'll give you this:

                            It would be unconscionable to extinct ourselves.

                            if you'll give me this:  it would be equally unconscionable to extinct any other species on Earth as well.  And yet, we humans do it, every single day.

                            I don't know if there is a God, but if there is, I think s/he loves my cats every bit as much as s/he loves me.  More so, if there's any merit involved.

                            And FWIW, there's just a teeny weeny bit of tongue lodged in the cheeks of the VHEMT folks, as evidenced by their motto:  May We Live Long and Die Out.  It never hurts to have a sense of humor about things.

                          •  Well, we agree then :) (0+ / 0-)

                            Note that my post above says:

                            I would find it unconscionable for any species intentionally to extinct any other species, too, of course.

                            That we sometimes do so b/c of idiocy rather than b/c of intention proves that our still-primitive intelligence, psychology, and social behavior have a way to go.

                            I do agree, also, that the message of VHEMT seems tongue in cheek. "Well, we're a washout, and dangerous besides, so let's just disappear. :)" This thread started with what looked like serious defense of the idea that we really should do that, which is where I came in with 'no we shouldn't'.

                            Good discussion - thanks!

                            Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

                            by pixxer on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 11:52:59 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  "Arrogant" (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            Until we have proof that we are not the most complex, most communicating, most interesting thing ever produced by this particular universe, the idea of voluntarily extincting ourselves is arrogant and (to use the understatement of the decade) short-sighted, beyond belief.

                            Actually, I think the burden of proof is on those who claim that we are the most complex, most communicating, etc., etc.

                            We foolish, violent apes are so far from being able to understand any life forms on this planet that I don't think we have any business trying to prioritize their right to survival. Especially when our own species has been directly responsible for the extinction of more species than any other, and we have made the planet so incredibly filthy with our cities and landfills and other poisons.

                            Were we to suddenly disappear from this planet, no other species would mourn us or even care about the detritus and debris of "civilization" left in our wake.

                            Sorry - but when I consider "what a piece of work is Man," I'm not terribly impressed.

                            "Lies return." - African proverb

                            by Night Train on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 08:06:37 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                •  A number of young couples... (5+ / 0-)

                  of my acquaintance have made the decision not to have children and several others have said that they will only have one biological child and adopt another older child--perhaps one with special needs.  This is likely a step in the right direction but there are still places in the world where, because of a lack of education, income and social support, couples have many, many children with no thought of how they will support them.  Horrifyingly, some have taken to selling children to slavers for money.  Jesus weeps.  

                •  You've seen (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  Idiocracy, right? One of my favorites.

                  Klamath Clean Water Act comments extended to 2/23/09

                  by Urtica dioica gracilis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:03:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Urtica (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pixxer, Urtica dioica gracilis

                    looks like we won on the dams!

                    emerging research proven

                    by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:18:54 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  :)) *dancing a happy little jig* (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      I love your enthusiasm and appreciate you and all that you do very, very much!

                      I was just reading about it:

                      A lot of work must still be done. The deadline to sign a final dam removal agreement is June 29, 2009, meaning there is still time for PacifiCorp or the federal and state governments to back out of the deal.

                      There are also a number of hurdles that have to be overcome by 2020 before the dams can start coming out, including the passing of significant state and federal legislation, and studies that will determine if dam removal is even feasible.

                      When the KBRA was first announced, even the media insisted it contained a dam removal provision. Those who, correctly, said it had no such provision were lambasted and a PR flame war of sorts (and internal community/s dissension) commenced, publicly and privately.

                      An ugly worry nags me that this was done now to ease the corporate burden while Bushco still has the power.

                      Klamath Clean Water Act comments extended to 2/23/09

                      by Urtica dioica gracilis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:53:49 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  LOL! Well, it's not likely to catch on, (4+ / 0-)

            but it's food for thought, and especially, for discussion. I cannot agree, however. It's at least possible we are the only species in the universe with more or less advanced cognition (despite the fact that we are still rather primitive) and until we know that we are not, we have no business messing with a singular phenomenon such as ourselves. Improvement is the only answer at this point. Good luck with that...

            Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

            by pixxer on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:08:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Or, you know, vegetarianism (12+ / 0-)

            ..and more birth control.

            When my mom was upset she was pregnant with a third (breaking her "two is enough" vow), I told her I'd abstain from having my own kids. Raised my parter's kids. There are sane ways to pare ourselves down.

            How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

            by rhetoricus on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:11:08 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Eating meat (including fish) is indefensible, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ksull, RJP9999

              as far as I'm concerned.

              "Lies return." - African proverb

              by Night Train on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:16:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, on two points (5+ / 0-)

              Vegetarianism is more sustainable than eating our fellow creatures. I have lived as a vegetarian a few times in my life and did not suffer from the diet; I ate quite well. I do, however, love the taste of meat and have been lured back again and again. Each year brings more horror stories of the state of the world, though, which insists on eating the earth to total depletion.

              This diary has motivated me once again to give it my best effort.

              Aside from what I can do with my personal diet, I applaud you for abstaining from bringing more excess people into an already strained world. I made the same choice in my twenties. I was engaged once to a man who had an urge to reproduce. I told him I would adopt happily, but that just wasn't in his plan to see his seed thriving in the world. I don't really understand all that.

              I have a friend who has 4 and wants more! 6 billion rising exponentially each year is abhorrent to me.

              Memories of my youth in Portland seem like an idyllic past as I slog my way through groaning Bay Area traffic. Children today will rarely have the luxury of riding their bikes around to visit friends, building forts in the nearby woods, picking wild berries from a field, or riding to the nearby river to swim. I did all that and more.

              There is little beauty in daily life now with our overcrowded, franchised, packaged lives. Lives where children are rarely allowed out alone, but must be chauffered to the many scheduled events designed to get them ahead in life. No forts in the woods for these little ones.

              Weren't we prosperous enough with 3 billion people? Do that many people really believe that having their very own children is necessary? And how do they justify it in context of the health of the earth as a whole?

              "We must either love each other, or we must die." W. H. Auden

              by Liberalated Woman on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:08:51 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, our bodies... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tryptamine, RJP9999

                operate much better on limited amounts of meat.  A steak is fine once a year or half-year.  (Sorry, all you meat lovers.)  But it is much healthier to eat meat as an accompaniment to the vegetables and fruits our bodies crave.  Stews and soups are easy to prepare in a slow cooker and it is an inexpensive and healthy way to eat.  Beans and grains are complete proteins when eaten together and this is an ancient and excellent way to nourish your body since high meat diets are associated with a host of ills, among them, Type II diabetes and osteoporosis not to mention that eating lots of animal fat is associated with inflammatory conditions of all sorts.  Eggs are a much maligned food (as long as they are organic eggs) with a protein profile that is very digestible and easy to assimilate.  Chickens are easy to keep and live on bugs and weeds with a little grain thrown in.  (I'd much rather the chicken eat the bugs than me, but thanks for the Hakuna Matata suggestion ;-)  We eat very little meat (red meat no more than once a week) and only a little more fish.  But we each eat three organic free-range eggs a day (and our cholesterol is lower than the average, so I don't buy the whole cholesterol thing.  Besides which, the medical establishment has known for decades that high cholesterol is NOT linked to heart disease and low cholesterol is NOT linked to an absence of heart disease.  The Statin drugs--used for lowering cholesterol--are dangerous and a mere boondoggle for big pharma.)  

                •  Can you cite some sources? n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  "Lies return." - African proverb

                  by Night Train on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 12:59:14 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  As a low-carber (0+ / 0-)

                  (staving off the diabetes) I totally hear you about the eggs. That said, I think the most dangerous thing about meat is the chemicals and hormones--if you get free-range and organic, you're much better off.

                  For me, the meat issue is just about the resources it takes to raise cattle, for example. (Actually, goats are MUCH more sustainable for both meat and milk in warm areas because they eat about anything, including stuff you'd want to clear anyhow).

                  How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

                  by rhetoricus on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 02:16:13 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Less kids (0+ / 0-)

                I applaud you for abstaining from bringing more excess people into an already strained world.

                Back atcha!

                How we know Daffy Duck is Republican: "It's mine, understand? Mine, all mine! Get back down there! Down down down! Go go go! Mine mine mine! Mwahahaha!" --BiPM

                by rhetoricus on Thu Nov 20, 2008 at 02:12:29 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Well done. (0+ / 0-)

              When my neighbor had her third, "oops" kid, I told her she was having our other one since we only had one. She was a kickass mom, so I don't feel so bad.

          •  Hey, that's a cool website. n/t (0+ / 0-)
          •  somehow, I don't see this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            being adopted into anybody's campaign platform.

            Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

            by alizard on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:55:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  that isn't exactly out of the question (0+ / 0-)

          Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future (Hardcover)

          In Under a Green Sky, Ward explains how the Permian extinction as well as four others happened, and describes the freakish oceans—belching poisonous gas—and sky—slightly green and always hazy—that would have attended them. Those ancient upheavals demonstrate that the threat of climate change cannot be ignored, lest the world's life today—ourselves included—face the same dire fate that has overwhelmed our planet several times before.

          Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

          by alizard on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:54:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  soylent green (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        defluxion10, Wild Starchild


        Of all the disciplines, history is best qualified to reward our research.--Malcolm X

        by consciousempress on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:33:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  {{{sigh}}} OK, thanks for the bad news. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bob zimway, RJP9999

      Much appreciate the update. I'll go eat some beans now.

      Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40

      by pixxer on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:02:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  More, Bob Zimway.... (6+ / 0-)

      You are rendering a service here, but your piece nneeds a summary. A final paragraph with a numbered list of thing to and not to do, to eat and not to eat.
        Would you address the matter of fish-health of farmed fish in more detail? I understand that is a big issue; we wont, for example, eat fish from China farms, but will from Norway farms just because we feel the N. Europeans would have a cleaner operation. Any insights there?

    •  WOW, what a fantastic diary!!! (5+ / 0-)

      any chance you'd be willing to cross-post this at my blog? (link below) - and would you be OK w it if I emailed this around to Organic Consumers Association and a few others? There's an upcoming national organic standards boards mtg this week talking about organic farmed fish standards that includes the bullshit idea that you can feed them wild fish and then certify them organic.

      In fact - since you're on the rec'd list - can you add the action step on there?

      •  ok here's the action step (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Urtica dioica gracilis

        email this man: James.E.Link at

        He's in charge of the Agricultural Marketing Service.

        More info about the issue in the upcoming mtg (Nov 17-19) of the Organic Standards Board

        Washington, D.C. (November 13, 2008)—The USDA’s National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) is poised to dilute the meaning of the trusted organic label when it meets next week to decide what the label should mean for fish. The NOSB will vote on their recommendations for "organic" fish production that would allow fish to carry the USDA organic label—despite being raised under conditions that fail to meet fundamental USDA organic principles. The NOSB recommendations allow:

        •       Fish to be fed food other than 100% organic feed—the gold standard that must be met by other USDA-certified organic livestock;
        •       Fishmeal used to feed farmed fish from wild fish—which has the potential to carry mercury and PCBs; and
        •       Open net cages to be used—which flush pollution, disease and parasites from open net fish farms directly into the ocean, adversely impacting wild fish supply, sustainability and the health of the oceans.

        Just this week, a Consumers Union Poll revealed:
        •       An overwhelming majority of Americans—93 percent—agree that fish labeled as "organic" should be produced by 100 percent organic feed, like all other organic animals.
        •       Nine in 10 consumers also agreed that "organic" fish farms should be required to recover waste and not pollute the environment and 57 percent are in fact concerned about ocean pollution caused by "organic" fish farms.
        •       More than 4 in 10 polled are concerned about the health problems associated with eating wild fish.

        A copy of the poll can be found here:

        "It’s a disservice to the organic program and to consumers that the NOSB is ready to undermine the organic marketplace which relies on a higher bar for environmental health practices being met," said Urvashi Rangan, PhD, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst at Consumers Union. "Fish labeled as ‘organic’ that are not fed 100 percent organic feed, come from polluting open net cage systems, or that are contaminated with mercury or PCBs any measurable level, fall significantly short of consumer expectations."

        The NOSB recommendation is full of holes that will not protect "organic" fish from contamination or ensure that open fish farms in the ocean will not pollute and adversely impact the surrounding environment. In the NOSB attempt to deal with the complex impacts of wild fish in feed and net pens, the proposed standards are couched such as requiring wild fish to come from "sustainable" fisheries—but there is no standard for "sustainable" fisheries. They also claim that the pesticide residue testing program for organic produce would cover contaminant testing in wild fish. However, farms are only subject to pesticide testing once every five years, which is not adequate to control contamination rates in fish feed. The NOSB reliance on conventional fishmeal production systems to self-regulate and separate "sustainable" vs. wild inputs is unproven and will be extremely difficult if not unfeasible in practice.

        Collectively, Consumers Union, the Center for Food Safety and Food & Water Watch gathered nearly 30,000 signatures in favor of maintaining strong standards for the organic label for fish. "Consumer trust in the integrity of the organic label is at stake," said Patty Lovera of Food & Water Watch. "But unfortunately, the NOSB wants to allow the farmed salmon industry to cash in on the organic label without meeting the basic tenets of organic production."

        "In an effort to shoehorn every type of industrial fish farming into the organic label, the proposed recommendations create a dangerous loophole to get around the 100% organic feed standard by arbitrarily and capriciously defining wild forage fish feed as a ‘supplement,’ " said George Kimbrell, Staff Attorney for the Center for Food Safety. "Allowing such farmed fish to be labeled organic violates the spirit and letter of the law, is detrimental to the oceans and misleading to the public."

        Last year, a broad coalition of concerned advocates from 44 organizations—which collectively represent more than one million stakeholders and concerned citizens—voiced urgent concern that the NOSB not weaken USDA Organic Standards. The co-signing organizations concluded that while the farming of herbivorous finfish may be conducted within organic regulations, farming carnivorous finfish (including salmon) in open net cage systems is an inherently flawed farming practice, incompatible with organic principles.

        An inventory of international data reveals that open net salmon farms, whether labeled as "organic" or not, may inevitably allow escapes and the spread of sea lice and infectious diseases. "Allowing net pens to be certified as ‘organic’ weakens the incentive for producers to use innovative technologies like closed containment," said Shauna MacKinnon of Living Oceans Society, a member of the Coastal Alliance for Aquaculture Reform. "The industry needs technology that controls impacts, not standards that endorse the status quo."

        NOSB should reject this recommendation and draw the line so only fish that eat 100% organic feed and are produced in closed, controlled production systems where waste is not flushed into the environment, should be eligible to be certified as organic. If that line cannot or is not drawn, the NOSB should recommend that all fish and seafood cannot meet the current organic standards bar and therefore is not appropriate for organic production.

        # # #

        Press Contacts:
        Urvashi Rangan, Consumers Union, 646-594-0212
        Patty Lovera, Food & Water Watch, 202-744-0525
        Shauna MacKinnon, Living Oceans Society, 604-307-8091
        George Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety, 571-527-8618

        •  I've never action stepped (2+ / 0-)

          Is that like a Texas two step?

          Seriously, how?

          emerging research proven

          by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:43:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  She is, I think, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bob zimway

            asking you to mention this opportunity to "take action"  on the issue above in your diary, although it is probably a bit late at this juncture.

            One way of doing that would be to link to her comment (the link info is in the time/date info after username on each comment) in your diary. it could look like this:

            Action item, so when a reader clicks it, they are taken to her comment.

            Fantastic, frightening diary, bob zimway!

            Klamath Clean Water Act comments extended to 2/23/09

            by Urtica dioica gracilis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:26:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I clicked her time/date, got nada (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Urtica dioica gracilis

              not clear on what she's asking, like how and what to link

              and thanks!

              emerging research proven

              by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:34:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  It was not entirely clear, was it? (0+ / 0-)

                I was just hazarding a guess. I wouldn't give it another thought. The window of opportunity, while this was a high-traffic thread on the rec list, has snapped shut like a push-up window in an aging Victorian occupied by angry and vindictive poltergeists. (heh)

                Doh! I should have explained that better: clicking on the time/date section in any comment just opens that specific comment in a window by itself, along with any replies attached to that comment. It would only be useful to highlight that comment.

                My understanding is that she wants people to lobby the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) at the Agricultural Marketing Service of the USDA, via James Link's email at, to maintain high standards on items described as "organic."

                Since she posts regularly here on related matters and has her own blog, lavidalocavore, which, you may recall, she invited you to cross-post a copy of this diary at (pretty high praise, I'd say), I presume the lack of clarity or direction was indicative of her momentary state of overwhelming enthusiasm brought on by having read your diary. That happens to me too :)

                Klamath Clean Water Act comments extended to 2/23/09

                by Urtica dioica gracilis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 08:20:04 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  wow (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Urtica dioica gracilis

                  uh, then why do I feel so stupid with this.

                  I don't know how to cross-post and what is it? Like a link to my diary?

                  emerging research proven

                  by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 08:32:33 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Oh! Hey! You're fantastic & brilliant! (0+ / 0-)

                    Cross-posting just means to post this diary on her blog, also. Simple instructions: go to her blog, grab an account, post a second copy of this diary there.

                    Rather more complex directions:

                    1. Click on the link for the lavidalocavore (it should open in a new window);
                    1. after the lavidalocavore page loads, look at the top of the far right hand menu and click on the link titled "Make a New Account";
                    1. the page re-loads to display a new user registration screen. Fill out the info as normal to make an account;
                    1. you will receive an email containing your username and a password from lavidalocavore within a few minutes at the email address specified during sign up;
                    1. return to lavidalocavore and sign in;
                    1. in the upper right hand menu, click "New Diary";
                    1. a new window loads, similar to the interface here at dkos. Paste in the content of this diary there;
                    1. click the "preview" link;
                    1. I presume you would then click a "publish" link (I didn't want to disrupt her site trying it out for fun);
                    1. sit back and enjoy the comments!

                    I'm now a registered user over there, too! Hooray!

                    Klamath Clean Water Act comments extended to 2/23/09

                    by Urtica dioica gracilis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:02:28 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

      •  As a vegetarian (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Wild Starchild

        (40 yrs) who has worked in both commercial fishing and fish farming (publishing end, not harvest), huge problems for both. Tilapia, shrimp and catfish notwithstanding.

        It's the population of the planet, and the lifestyle that population chooses to live.

        I don't see anything wrong with the term "sustainability."

        Love is the source, substance and future of all being. --St. Francis

        by ksingh on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:48:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  don't forget the super volcano... (0+ / 0-)

      Yellowstone National Park is pretty much one giant volcanic caldera. And it's overdue to blow. Could happen thousands of years from now, or next year, or next week. Almost no warning, and really, nowhere to escape to. Those not close enough to it to be killed right away will likely die soon afterward, or starve to death later.

      Good times!!

      -8.25, -6.26 If you still have "PTA president" on your resume, you shouldn't be "a heartbeat away" from any presidency, except maybe the Rotary Club.

      by snookybeh on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:22:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, the possibility of... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Yellowstone NP blowing up would be what is known as "an extinction level event" that would wipe out a large swath of humanity in the west immediately and get the rest of the country and much of the Northern hemisphere due to famine as a result of "volcanic winter."  Fortunately, scientists feel that the event is much more remote a possibility than a mere steam explosion.  From the Wiki:

        Studies and analysis may indicate that the greater hazard comes from hydrothermal activity which occurs independently of volcanic activity

  •  There is some light (48+ / 0-)

    Obama miraculously considers salmon recovery high on his list of priorities. I certainly wasn't expecting it, having been disappointed for so long.

    As I've said with the beef/chicken industrial complex, we simply waste when it comes to fish. We do not use fish heads or fish bones. We're not even aware that we can prepare them in any palatable, digestable way. We throw away tons of fish waste every year, although much of it becomes a bizarre fish meal for aquariums.

    If we learned to not buy two salmon steaks in a freezer package but bought whole fish and used every part in our cooking and gardens, our world could be better off in many ways. Problems as disparate and seemingly unrelated from rising autoimmune/thyroid disease and soil infertility can be at the least mitigated by changing the way we consume seafood.

    Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

    by Nulwee on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:22:01 AM PST

    •  Does he really? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mattman, Nulwee, RJP9999

      I haven't heard anything from him on this front. In fact, there is too much silence on issues like this on a national level. I remember back in the day, when breaching dams was a hot-button topic and people on both sides were passionate about it. We need to keep having debates about it, but after 8 years of Bush we're neck deep in so many problems that the stuff that's not "sexy" gets pushed to the back burner.

    •  I had salmon head soup last night (8+ / 0-)

      Check out recipes for paksiw or sinigang--they are both fish soups that work well for heads.

      The problem with eating fish heads is that it is cutting into my supply of crab bait.

      •  Hah! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qi motuoche

        I remember crabbing days on the Oregon coast well. You're spoiled up on the Olympic penninsula!

        Wall Street pirates loot this country, destroy people's lifelong work and their pensions. If you need to execute someone, shoot those motherfuckers.

        by Nulwee on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:22:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There's a great fish market in Pt. Townsend (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        that sells fresh, whole fish as well as fillets. These recipes are very welcome. Thanks!

        "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

        by TheWesternSun on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:45:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hang around Asian groceries (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm ashamed to admit I've never been to Port Townsend.  I've hiked clear across Olympic National Park (Cushman to Hurricane Ridge) but have never made the drive to Port Townsend.  I need to rectify this.

          In my experience, all people love to show off their regional cooking.  Want good fish head recipes?  Go ask the experts.

          My wife was born in the Philippines, so I have a leg up on fish head intel.

          •  I have a friend from Beijing. I'm now (0+ / 0-)

            going to ask for advice!

            PT is different from a lot of the PNW because of its architecture, but it has that end-of-land feel and a range of resident characters from ex-hippies to Libertarians, Buddhists to just plain curmudgeons.

            I just moved to this part of WA a few months ago from North Kitsap. I haven't been to Lake Cushman, so we're even!

            "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

            by TheWesternSun on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 06:15:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  The Chinese got some good fish soups (0+ / 0-)

              Thai fish in coconut curry sauce is also to die for.  You can use a pretty skanky piece of fish and get away with it.

              I like making shad sinigang because the bones stew into irrelevance.  Go to an Asian grocery and look for a mix called "Sinigang sa Sampalok" (Orchids or Mamasita brand).  It's a tangy tamarind soup stock that rocks with everything from fish to pork ribs.  Follow the instructions, but ad-lib as the mood strikes.  A  big tomato and a couple of fresh jalapenos jazz it up a bit.

              •  I really like cooking with coconut milk. It (0+ / 0-)

                lets you put in a lot of heat without its being terminal. I was in Chaing Mai during the Chinese New Year a couple of years ago. Not sure what I was eating except that it was fish-based and not wriggling, but it was delicious.

                And I love the pungent-sour-sweet tanginess of tamarind. This is not a typical American taste, unfortunately.

                I live on a small island near P.T., but go to Seattle every couple of months, and the International District is on my "essentials" route. I bring my cooler. Will look around. Thanks for the tips!

                "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

                by TheWesternSun on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 10:59:00 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Me, too (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  lets you put in a lot of heat without its being terminal.

                  And it's soooo heart healthy.  Oh well, but it sure tastes good!

                  I spent some time in Khorat, which I prefer to Bangkok or Pattaya.  I've never been anywhere in Asia that I didn't like, and never ran into any off-putting cuisine other than salted dried fish, and fish eyes (sorry, fish eyes have a really disgusting texture.  My wife loves them, though).

                  If you like tamarind, try those salted tamarind "candies".  They're crack for tamarind junkies.

                  Nice talking to you!

                  •  Tamarind. (0+ / 0-)

                    In Turkey, there's pekmez -- grape or tamarind juice boiled down into a thick syrup. I love it mixed into yogurt (I make my own from skim milk with skim milk powder added to give it the rich thickness of full fat Turkish and French yogurt), with finely minced garlic, chopped fresh mint, salt and pepper. It's amazing spooned on top of roasted or grilled eggplant. The yogurt with pekmez also seems to help if I'm traveling and have a digestive upset (perhaps because of the good kind of wee beasties in the native yogurt plus the soothing effect of the pekmez).

                    Yeah, coconut milk is a rare treat (I can feel my arteries narrowing as I sLURP it down) but it sure is good. Next day, extra red yeast rice/guggul supplements and time on the treadmill.

                    Asia is wonderful in many ways, even the difficult parts. Nice talking to you, too! Until next time....


                    P.S. Ever go to Aladdin's Palace in Silverdale? It's Lebanese, family-owned and wonderful. They're not afraid of garlic. Great mint tea.

                    Also, Bahn Thai. Good soups and red curry dishes.


                    "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

                    by TheWesternSun on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:32:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Okay, one more post (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      Thanks for the Aladdin's Palace tip.  Where in Silverdale is it?  I hang out a lot at Bahn Thai; I love the squid stir-fry.

                      Here's my secret hang-out:  Hiro Sushi in Port Orchard.  It's a lot like the neighborhood sushi restaurants I used to frequent when I was living on Okinawa.  It's good, honest Japanese food without the Seattle fluff or price tag.  Their rice is absolutely tops.  You'll find them off Bay Street right across from the farmer's market.

                      'Til next time...

                      •  Thanks for the Port Orchard tip! (0+ / 0-)

                        Aladdin's Palace (9399 Mickleberry) is a block away from Bahn Thai (9811 Mickleberry). I can't remember, but I think it's north at the corner of Ridgetop. Look for the sign on the corner (west). There's a big parking lot behind the place.

                        Enjoy! And thanks.

                        Catch you later....  

                        "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

                        by TheWesternSun on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:25:09 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

      •  not to mention the waste (0+ / 0-)

        I mean, what do you do with the bodies?
        I was fishing off the coast of Mexico a couple of months ago and after hours of no action I finally got a hit and started to reel it in when it was attacked by a school of porpoise. They left me the head.
        I figured they were hungrier than I.  We caught nothing that day or the next.  Just as well except for the implications.

        by tRueffert on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:50:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had that happen off Diego Garcia (0+ / 0-)

          Except a shark got the head, too.  Bastard.  I shouldn't bitch, we charcoal grilled one of his buddies.

          After a day's fishing, we'd stop by the base marina to unload the boat.  A couple of Filipino contract workers would clean the fish in exchange for the heads.  75 G.I's lived on mostly fish for a month (oh, and beer.  It was great).

    •  Thank you. I'm not pessimistic by nature, but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pinko Elephant

      lately, I've been pretty discouraged. This helps.

      "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

      by TheWesternSun on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:44:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  When will we stop eating fish? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4Freedom, TheWesternSun

      Will it be some time before they are all gone?

      "We have trouble in the oil states because the President is viewed as favoring cheap energy." ~ George W. Bush in 1992.

      by chapel hill guy on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:24:41 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unpopular Population (8+ / 0-)

      Overpopulation is the key factor driving these fish to extinction. Humans have replaced the top two predation levels (out of about 13) in the ocean. If we keep doing that, pretty soon we'll be eating plankton. Remember that the next time you have popcorn shrimp!

      It's time to put overpopulation on the national political agenda. Projections are that we will reach 10-12 billion before it peaks. What is going to happen to the ocean with twice the current number of humans competing for its resources?

      Let me give you a picture: Lake Erie in the 1960s.

      Not a very pretty picture, is it? What's the point of having six kids if they're all going to be huddled in a cold room drinking swill?

      I hear that Obama is planning to repeal the global gag rule when he gets in office. Thank goodness! But while the Democrats control government they ought to make it law that we will never cut off family planning funds or assistance to any country, regardless of other factors.

      But on an individual level, we need to take more responsibility through what I call our Family Reproduction Policy (FRP).

      Most people don't get how big a problem we have. We have to link Overpopulation and Energy Consumption. Americans use about five times as much energy on average as the rest of the world. To bring them up to twenty-first century standards, there will have to be a radical increase in energy production--or a huge cut in the amount of energy needed to sustain our lifestyle.

      And this is before we talk about skyrocketing population inflation, which makes the problem that much worse.

      Here's what we are facing: cut our current consumption of energy to 20% of what we use now, and then cut it again in half to allow for population growth. And then, perhaps, cutting it again to cut out fossil fuels, unless we get on board radically with moving to renewable energy. Go around your house and unscrew nine out of ten of light bulbs in it for a day to get a graphic idea of what that's going to be like.

      We are going to suffer from this no matter what because we have been blindly heading into this box for decades. The question is only whether it will be very painful or excruciatingly and deathly painful.

      Cutting down on kids may be the difference between those two.

      •  Spread the wealth (3+ / 0-)

        Alongside sex education and contraception, another way to cut population growth with the least possible amount of unintended or cruel side effects is to allow poor nations to enrich themselves.  Wealthier countries have lower birth rates.

        I say "allow" because currently we don't.  We (including western Europe, Japan, etc.) subsidize our agricultural industry and other industries while forcing poorer countries to let our companies profit from their natural resources.  Merely leaving them the hell alone could be better for them than any offer of foreign aid.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:22:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The path to slowing populatin growth: (6+ / 0-)

          Educate girls, liberate women, make contraception more available and make everyone less poor.

          The sea will be there/and all the small things will drown/Inevitable

          by James Kresnik on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:40:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Shortest Path (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            That's the shortest path. But to do that, we have to integrate them to some extent into modern Western culture, especially the part about abiding by the rule of law. This means fighting corruption, which has to start in Washington. Does anyone believe that the Bush Administration hasn't been one of the most corrupt in years?

            That's why I'm on a push to have Obama address issues around the rule of law first in his administration. That includes going back to abiding by the Constitution, the original FISA law, and all federal laws; as well as tightening up all the election procedures, eliminating electoral fraud, and cleaning up the Justice Department; plus basically eliminating government outsourcing of services (think Blackwater, for example).

            I think this has to kick off right away for two reasons. One is that no significant issues can be addressed if the mechanisms of governance are so weak. The other is that the next congressional elections will be here before anyone realizes it, and the electoral system must be cleaned up by then to ensure continued dominance of Democrats in the House.

            We definitely need good education and family planning, as well as equality for women, in order to reduce the obscene population growth we're seeing. In order to get there, we have to provide the infrastructure for it, which is in the form of good governance.

        •  Actively Help (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I'm with you on that, Simplify. Leaving them alone would be better, but better still would be some active help.

          I think Bill Gates was saying that improving healthcare in these poorer countries cuts population growth because people see that they don't need so many kids. Stabilizing these places with a decent economy is a big deal.

          The Republicans complain about immigration all the time but then they turn around and do policies that increase population growth and prevent economic growth. We ought to be helping those countries build infrastructure and do family planning. And cut corruption. And transfer some key technology, so that they can bypass fossil fuel to a large extent.

          I'm cynical enough to think the Republican policies are all part of a scam to create poor workers that can be used as second-class citizens so that they can make higher profits. Maybe not, but that's what it looks like.

    •  If we had South Indian lifestyles (0+ / 0-)

      it wouldn't be nearly as much of a problem.

  •  Tragedy of the Commons (7+ / 0-)


    "I aim to misbehave." - Malcolm Reynolds

    by nio on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:29:23 AM PST

  •  You never answered this question: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What are the alternatives?

    Soylent green?

    Having credibility when making an argument is the straightest path to persuasion.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:32:38 AM PST

  •  Thanks for posting (15+ / 0-)

    We who try to reduce our environmental impact need to know that ocean fish farming does not equate to any kind of responsible sustainability.

    Another aspect I've read about--not claiming to be any kind of expert--is the concentration of waste and unconsumed food in fish farming areas creates "dead zones" in the ocean where there is no naturally-occurring aquatic life (possibly a result of depletion of oxygen and concentration of ammonia, as occurs in home aquaria).

    Farm-raised catfish are raised in ponds (freshwater) so are another issue altogether.

  •  You Are Correct To Be Worried (14+ / 0-)
    I don't know if it is sooner or later but it is inevitable - we have over-populated the world and someday there isn't going to be enough fish to go around.  We are long passed the point where we are eating the seed - the seed is pretty much gone.

    As goes the fish - goes the economies of nations because for many nations fish is what they eat.

    Farming is not the answer - conservation is the answer but how do you tell starving people not to eat?

    We rely on fish for essential oils that are used in everything including fertilizer.  If there is no fertilizer there is no agriculture because we can no longer rely on the field to lay fallow and replenish itself.

    As I said not today, not tomorrow, maybe not even this decade or this century - but if we, the human species, keep going down this path we, the human species, will make ourselves extinct.

  •  We should probably stop eating fish altogether (20+ / 0-)

    High technology and the truly rapacious exploitation it makes possible give us the illusion of the limitless bounty of the sea, but by the standards of the past and in spite of the limited technology at their disposal, we're just picking clean the bones.

    Many fish populations are at the verge of collapse from overfishing - catches are not only shrinking, but the fish caught are smaller and younger every time. Seafood that used to be fixtures of our culture - like Atlantic Cod and Chesapeake Bay oysters - did collapse and have yet to recover, even after close to a century.

    Fish farming is not only Calorically negative, but it is incredibly polluting. Lakes and rivers that host fish farms become so toxic from the vast quantities of waste that so many fish in one place produce, that they have to be pumped full of antibiotics just like feedlot cows, and are still very sick when they get slaughtered, processed, and packaged.

    I say fish, both wild and farmed, are off the menu - perhaps permanently - for anyone who considers themselves environmentally conscious.

    •  Well said (7+ / 0-)

      I eat pelagic fish like sardines only. Stopped eating tuna and farmed salmon.

      emerging research proven

      by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:49:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Problem with that (14+ / 0-)

      is that fish are quite healthy.

      Of course, then there's cultural issues: telling a New Englander like myself not to eat fish is like telling me to cut off my left arm :). But, here in New England, this is also an economic issue. Still lots of fishermen around here.

      Of course, the collapse of the economy may just take care of this stuff. Lobster prices are at a catastrophic (for the lobstermen) low, because the demand has collapsed so badly.

      What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

      by ChurchofBruce on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:01:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, but. . . (7+ / 0-)

      As noted above pelagic fish are OK.  Very healthy, short enough life cycles that they are more resilient to overfishing, while being low in mercury and other contamination.

      I eat wild salmon only.  Alaska stocks of wild salmon, especially Bristol Bay stocks are stable and well managed.  Living in Minnesota, however, this is an occasional treat, because I don't believe in flying seafood to my table every day.  

    •  Antibiotics Are Far From The Only (8+ / 0-)

      drugs used in fish farming and they are used routinely as that is the only way these animals survive for any time as they are living in filthy conditions far from their natural migratory habit.

      Steroids to increase bulk and growth used routinely.

      Hormones, (estrogens) to feminize the jacks.

      Antihelminthics for internal and external parasites are used that contain arsenic, antimony, lead, barium and more.

      The salmon are even dyed with a chemical called canthaxithin to make their gray flesh appear pink.  It can cause blindness.

      Then there are the deadly chemicals they treat the pens with to retard algae growth.

      Farmed fish are the least healthy thing you can ingest.  Don't eat it. Ever.

      You can't always tell the truth because you don't always know the truth - but you can always be honest.

      by mattman on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:10:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fish is as high on the food chain (0+ / 0-)

      as I go -- and that very rarely now because of the cost. It's unaffordable in a lot of ways.

      "Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it." ML King

      by TheWesternSun on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:48:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  AND the Orcas are already paying the price. (6+ / 0-)

      We've had 7 Orcas die this year in the Puget Sound and it is at least partly, if not mainly, due to dwindling Chinook stocks. This is really, really bad (and sad) news.

      •  Save the whales? (0+ / 0-)

        It would be ironic if the save the whales movement was the real cause of declining fish populations.   There are estimated to be over a million whales.

        The matter of competition between marine mammals and fisheries is now of serious concern for nations dependant of fisheries, as well as for international and regional fisheries management organizations, including the FAO.

        The save the whales folks blame predatory fish (and humans) and give some stats on whale diet:

        Overall, predatory and cannibalistic fishes consume vastly greater amounts of commercially valuable fish than do marine mammals. In the Bering Sea, marine mammals have been reported to feed on 1.1 million tons of pollock annually. Predation by other fish was estimated to be 2.7 million tons, and cannibalism accounted for 7.4 million tons annually.

        One study compared fish loss to predators (including fisheries) among six marine ecosystems. The analysis showed that in all six ecosystems, loss from predatory fish accounted for more than 50 per cent of total fish loss.

        But the thing that seems fishy to me is that data on actual fish population estimates seems conspicuously absent.   We know the number of fish we are catching is lower but does that mean that there are fewer fish or that fish are getting smarter?   After all, if evolution can produce crabs with images of Japanese warriors on their back for evolutionary advantage, fish that have an instinctual aversion to fish hooks and nets or general skitishness isn't out of the realm of possibility.

        If fish populations are actually declining due to overfishing, it is likely to be self correcting.  Fishing isn't likely efficient enough to actually drive a species to extinction.   When the fish population gets low enough, it becomes uneconomical to catch fish.   Fishing fleets go bankrupt.   Populations then increase.   Fish: 1, Humans: 0.

        -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

        by whitis on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:36:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let's remember that Orcas are not whales. They (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bob zimway

          are porpoises, the largest in fact. And whales don't eat salmon. Only Orcas and sea lions do. So no, the Save the Whales movement is not ironically the cause of the declining commercial salmon fishery. Also, whales don't eat fish that are targets of the commercial fishery in general. Whales' diet is relegated to much smaller sea life.

          The mammals referred to in your blurb are marine mammals OTHER THAN whales (such as sea lions for example).

          The Orca population has been steadily declining and was recently listed as an endangered species. So no, they're not responsible for declining salmon numbers.

          And you do know that the entire West Coast salmon fishery from Oregon all the way down the California coast was closed this year due fish to catch.

          So sorry, can't blame the whales nor the Save the Whales movement. Hmmm...where else might we look?

          We know the number of fish we are catching is lower but does that mean that there are fewer fish or that fish are getting smarter?   After all, if evolution can produce crabs with images of Japanese warriors on their back for evolutionary advantage, fish that have an instinctual aversion to fish hooks and nets or general skitishness isn't out of the realm of possibility.

          The samurai crab is a result of artificial selection, not natural selection.

          Fish are not getting smarter (Lamarck?) and no that's not why we're catching less. If that were true, how would you explain reduced salmon spawn? If the population count were the same (but man those salmon sure are smart), then why are less and less returning to mate (and, um...reproduce)?

          If fish populations are actually declining due to overfishing, it is likely to be self correcting.  Fishing isn't likely efficient enough to actually drive a species to extinction.   When the fish population gets low enough, it becomes uneconomical to catch fish.   Fishing fleets go bankrupt.   Populations then increase.   Fish: 1, Humans: 0.

          To suggest that overfishing is okay because the fish will recover (due to bankruptcies in the commercial fishing industry) ignores the fact that survival of a species depends on an number of factors one of which is the threshold of numbers required to sustain the population. So yes, some commercial fishing boats may remain tied up at the dock because they fished themselves out of business (self-fulfilling prophecy) but the populations of fish they decimated may never recover because they were fished to unhealthy and unsustainable (unrecoverable) numbers.

          Sorry, one more thing, when you say:

          Fishing isn't likely efficient enough to actually drive a species to extinction.

          I would strongly disagree. On the contrary, our modern commercial fishing fleet is extraordinarily efficient at catching fish, and if you don't think so, I would ask you to visit:


          •  Fish (0+ / 0-)

            First off, I was talking about fish in general, not salmon; the word "salmon" did not appear anywhere in my comment.

            Orcas, aka Killer Whales, may not be whales in fact but they were enough to make me think of whales.   And conservation attempts that benefit predators without being being balanced by non-predator conservation may prove detrimental.

            The samurai crab is a result of artificial selection, not natural selection.

            Relevence?  Artificial selection is the point.  The (superstitious) fishing behavior of Japanese fishermen on a small scale over a large period of time is believed to have resulted in artificial selection.    Modern commercial fishing practice on a large scale over a shorter time period could also result in artificial selection.  

            The issue here is that claims are being made about fish populations with no actual quantitative estimates of fish populations that can be used to place any impacts in perspective.    For example, there were claims not too long ago about power plants killing big sounding numbers of fish eggs with absolutely no mention of the actual fish populations, the number of fish affected by fishing and other human activities, etc.   I couldn't find any data on fish populations but I could find data on worldwide fish catches and the power plants were affecting a small number of fish in comparison.   It also turns out that the mortality rates were such that it took 160 trips through a power plant to equal the natural mortality rate.  Kinda like when people claimed that [big sounding number] of birds were being killed by wind turbines but when you compare it to the total number of birds (much higher than the number of people in the world), the number of wind turbines, and other human causes of bird mortality, it was not significant.

            Some fish such as salmon require inland breeding grounds which we have disturbed and because of that are also easier to count (assuming they haven't come up with an alternative breeding arrangement) as we have some source of numbers besides the number counted in nets.  So, I am more inclined to believe the salmon numbers as long as they are supported by hard science and not just claims from untrustworthy environmental groups.   However, they might be using breeding grounds in less developed countries where they are less likely to be counted.   Salmon apparently primarily, but not exclusively, spawn where they are born.   Any individual species could also be wiped out by natural effects.

            I would strongly disagree. On the contrary, our modern commercial fishing fleet is extraordinarily efficient at catching fish, and if you don't think so, I would ask you to visit:


            Your links absolutely do not support your claims.   They suffer from exactly the kind of shoddy documentation I was complaining about.  

            You claim about efficiency is questionable with respect to this issue, at least for well dispersed fish.   These practices are efficient at catching fish when there are large amounts of fish (that do not avoid nets/hooks).    When the number of fish in the ocean declines, they are not efficient.   Suppose there were 1000 fish of species X scattered through the ocean, likely enough for the population to recover.   Ships could cruise the oceans for months and not catch a significant number of these fish because the density is just too low.   The ocean is a very big place.  And as the effort to catch fish becomes too high to be economical, fewer boats can afford to do so and the process becomes less efficient.    The boats get mothballed, scrapped, or repurposed.   Fishermen move on to other jobs.   So even when fish populations begin to recover there is a time lag before the fishing fleet again increases in size.  

            Suppose that fish live forever and don't reproduce, for simplicity so we don't have to take lifespans and breeding into account.   Suppose that in the last 20 years, we have caught half the fish but have more or less maintained fish yields by doubling the amount of energy (said doubling has reportedly occurred).   Suppose there are 1.3trillion fish in the sea (1000 per cubic kilometer of ocean).
              year    population    
              1988   2.6trillion    
              2008   1.3trillion    
              2028   650billion    
              2048   325billion    
              2068   162billion      
              2088    81billion      
              2108    40billion    
              2128    20billion    
              2148    10billion  
              2168     5billion  
              2188    2.5billion  
            The second column shows the number of fish remaining for a constant energy expendature.   Thus, in 200 years we have decreased fish population 1024 fold but there are still a very large number of fish in absolute numbers which divided amongst various species is enough for recovery.   In order to continue catching fish at the same rate we have been (which would, in theory, wipe them out in 20 years if they have declined by half in the last 20), we would need to expend energy exponentially.  By the time we got down to the 2.5billion number (which would otherwise come in 2188) we would be expending 1024 times as much energy (512 times what we are now) or 6 times our current total petroleum consumption for all uses.    

            There just isn't enough energy (or money to buy it) to wipe out fish to extinction levels across the board, though some species that are more concentrated may be sitting ducks.  Predatory fish may have a hard time as their own fishing may become less efficient due to the lower density of prey (but this will help the prey who by regaining strength will help any surviving predators).     Fish with long lifespans (and long times to sexual maturity) may be more vulnerable.

            Now, it isn't my position that fish populations are not declining or that fish are getting smarter.   I suspect they are declining but what do I really have to go on for that?  We need facts, not sensationalism.  

            I would note that even if fish are getting smarter, giving dumb fish a chance to recover could help fishermen and consumers in the long run.

            I just don't trust environmental groups to act in the interests of the environment, anymore.    Give Swordfish a Break was one nail in the coffin.   The power plant fish-egg-abortion scam was another.   So the opinions of these groups is worth nothing - I want scientific data delivered in context.

            -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

            by whitis on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 12:30:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the diary! (7+ / 0-)

    As a fly fisher who has yet to have the opportunity to fish for wild salmon....this issue is close to my heart.  I love wild fish but we are strictly catch and release...except in the case of the wild salmon or steelhead.  I might have to keep just one.   But we have to save's very disheartening to read about their plight.

    "What, Me Worry?"...King George Walker Alfred Eusless Newman Bush

    by RantNRaven on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:46:34 AM PST

  •  Farming Carnivorous Fish Is Like Farming Wolves (13+ / 0-)

    and tigers for food.

    I don't even know of any plant-eating fish, other than clams, oysters and mussels. Those are farmed very healthily from all I've seen. I used to live in the region of the Penn Cove mussel farm.

    Glad to hear sardines and anchovies ("bacon of the sea") are recommendable, I love 'em, I eat sardines for most of my lunches.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:46:35 AM PST

    •  Gooserock, how do you eat your sardines? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilverWings, 2ajpuu

      I have some in the pantry but am squeamish about their little eyeballs and intestines...  Sardine salad?

      •  Ugh (4+ / 0-)

        Sardines taste like ass.

        I like herring, though :)

        What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

        by ChurchofBruce on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:01:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  if you're like my son-in-law (3+ / 0-)

        you crack open the can, grab a toothpick and eat.
        they're good on salad and are definitely less visible.
        i love anchovies.  they're loaded w/calcium, iron, phosphorus and tons of protein, niacin and other good stuff.
        on pizza, obviously, but they're good on sandwiches too, some toasty bread w/garlic and feta cheese and a handful of anchovies.

        "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

        by kathleen518 on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:14:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My oldest son recently told me a story about (10+ / 0-)

        leaving school one day at lunch to eat at a friends house.

        He was invited and being a pretty easy going kid didn't even bother to think about what they might end up eating before saying yes.

        He gets to this kids house and a whole fish is pulled out of the fridge and placed in the oven head, eyes and all.

        My son starts to realize his friend is second generation American with asian parents who don't eat a traditional American diet and begins to squirm.

        He tells his friend he doesn't think he will be eating the fish.  The friend manages to talk him into one small bite.  

        My son learns there is more than one way to prepare delicious fish but draws the line at eating the eyes which his friend promises are actually delicious.

        I'm still waiting for a recipe on how to prepare fish this way and my son has promised to ask his friend for me. :)

        •  When I was working in Okinawa years ago (4+ / 0-)

          the locals took me out for food every night after work.

          After plying me with some kerosene based rice wine, we would get adventurous, usually to their amusement after I was told what I had just eaten.

          One of the tastiest delicacies, which I thought was a variation of fish roe, turned out to be fish eyes. Surprisingly good.

          Stay away, however, from the (raw) goat sashimi.

          "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" - Tom Robbins

          by ARS on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:22:28 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm certain those experiences would make a few (3+ / 0-)

            great diaries.

            I wish we had more diaries here at Kos tellling about the experiences of Americans traveling in other countries and learning about new cultures.

            It's a big world after all.  Many of us haven't had the experience of world travel.

            •  I also had the fortune to have worked (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Carol in San Antonio, blueocean

              on the docks in Alaska, unloading fishing boats in the early 80s.

              Friends of mine from that time, who were heavily involved in the commercial fishing industry, are all looking for other careers.

              Some areas never fully recovered from the Exxon Valdez, and in other areas, smart folks can see the writing on the wall.

              The commercial fishing industry, as we know it, is unlikely to last out the decade, for better or worse...

              "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" - Tom Robbins

              by ARS on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:38:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Alaska salmon stocks (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                are well managed and catch rates have been stable. Recently attended a talk given by a research scientist who works on decline in sea lion populations. He has looked at historical catch rates of most species of commercially caught fish in the Gulf of Alaska as well as the Pacific NW. With seasonal variations factored in, Alaska's salmon harvest remains at 100% of its historical catch. Pacific NW is at 15% and less.

                The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

                by realalaskan on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:15:55 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  While that's undoubtedly true... (0+ / 0-)

                  ... there's a lot more to the fishing industry as a whole than just the salmon catches.

                  My friends may be erring on the side of the dire consequences, but they are uniformly concerned about the viability of the commercial fishing industry model as it exists today.

                  How it will change, I have no idea. I work in the middle of NYC where there's very little commercial fishing.

                  "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" - Tom Robbins

                  by ARS on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 04:54:36 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I live in a community (0+ / 0-)

                    that is ranked 6th nationally in value of seafood landed. The management of these fisheries (not just salmon) is very aggressive. One of the biggest challenges coming down is the high price of fuel. The way we go fishing is probably not sustainable. I suspect that the coming recession/depression will be very hard on commercial fishermen.

                    The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

                    by realalaskan on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 06:53:19 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  ARS, since you live in NYC (0+ / 0-)

                    you should be able to drop into Zabar's next spring and get some Alaska salmon. A friend of mine who used to live in NYC got them to carry the real thing rather than farmed. That was several years ago so I don't know the score now. Last time I was there they were selling it.

                    The great tragedy of Science, the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact. T. H. Huxley

                    by realalaskan on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 07:38:39 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  honestly, having spent two years in Alaska (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      and a fair amount of time in Norway, eating pre-packaged salmon is not to my taste.

                      I avoid eating salmon on the east coast because I've been spoiled rotten by availability to really fresh, wonderful Pacific or North Atlantic, wild caught salmon.

                      Call me a snob, but, I like what I like and do not want to diminish those taste memories....

                      "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" - Tom Robbins

                      by ARS on Mon Nov 17, 2008 at 06:42:39 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

          •  I ate raw Kobe beef (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            at a Japanese restaurant in Macao years ago.  It was served in a little 1.5" ish cube, and it melted like butter in my mouth.  I still remember it, after 25 years.  It was delicious.

            Our favorite meal out these days is Kobe burgers at Cappy's here in Alamo Heights.  Yum.

      •  Grind 'em up (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, Carol in San Antonio

        and put 'em in tomato sauce.  That's one really good way.  Look up recipes for puttanesca sauce.

      •  Fork-sized piece of canned sardine. Saltine (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Garrett, Carol in San Antonio
        cracker (yes, the name brand has some bad fat, but...).  Drops of hot sauce.

        Good cracker, good cracker.

        Former soldier. Fighting for my country. Every day.

        by SilverWings on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:53:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Make a Sardini (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Carol in San Antonio

        Fillet and grill the sardine over pine or juniper and use instead of an olive.

        Oh wait, you have canned sardines. Don't ruin good vermouth with them.

        Get really hungry, close your eyes, and chew.

    •  What do catfish eat? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      david78209, 2ajpuu

      I always thought they ate bottom-of-sea waste.  Is there a problem with farmed catfish in open lagoons?

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:42:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  they don't eat bottom waste exclusively (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sychotic1, david78209

        but they're bottom-dwellers, and we have caught them using everything from stinkbait to mini-marshmallows.
        they'll eat almost anything.
        personally, i don't eat farmed fish.
        if you're used to eating un-farmed fish, the stuff from the fish farm doesn't cut it - nutritionally, but especially where your taste buds are concerned.

        "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

        by kathleen518 on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:07:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think we only eat freshwater catfish (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

        We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

        by david78209 on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:28:40 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  very interesting reading, if a bit (9+ / 0-)

    depressing. We can only hope that President Obama will put some actual scientists to work on some of this stuff, though much of the havoc will take a long time to undo. It's a lot easier to screw up some things than to fix them. I have real hope that he will live up to these expectations.

  •  Then there's the lamprey, in steep decline as you (20+ / 0-)

    no doubt know, and the sturgeon. I wonder if it's too late, even in the northwest.

    Excellent diary though. You win a picture of Kettle Falls, as it looked before Grand Coulee Dam submerged it in 1941:

    What's so hard about Peace, Love, and Truth and Progress?

    by melvin on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:51:12 AM PST

  •  population - check. (10+ / 0-)

    you're talking about it.
    it might turn out to be the biggest, trickiest piece of the puzzle.

    "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

    by kathleen518 on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 09:54:45 AM PST

  •  barramundi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tonedevil, 2ajpuu, wayoutinthestix

    can be farmed sustainably.

    Check it out.

  •  The issue of disappearing fish stocks (17+ / 0-)

    Thank you for posting this diary.  As '4Freedom' posits, the fundamental issue could be the explosion in human growth as compared to the food stocks of humans.

    To throw a spanner [wrench] in the works, I don't think fish are the only problem.  The clearing of land for cattle destined to be supermarket beef could be seen as a more immediately dire problem, environmentally, ecologically, and otherwise.

    That doesn't negate the problem of over-running the availability of 'food fish' [for humans], though.  I lived briefly in Seattle and the Wild Salmon Season was awaited with baited [hah!] breath by almost every other Yuppie I knew.

    Ultimately, the problem as I see it rests with the religious texts which tell Man that he is the custodian of all other living creatures on earth.  Well, not solely that, more the human inability to distinguish between 'custodian' and 'Extinction Enabler' in the cause of satiating his own ever-increasing desires.

    I'm beginning to get overwhelmed by how bad it is on every front. Economy, energy, food, climate, species extinction, population... population? No one talks about that anymore.

    You ought to haunt The Guardian's 'Comment is Free' section a bit more.  There are always several souls there ready to posit the explosion of humans on earth as being the Great Unsaid Elephant In The Room.

    Religion needs freedom like a slug needs salt.

    by Shazzbot on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:00:11 AM PST

  •  I worked on a Shrimp farm for a while (9+ / 0-)

    Horrible place.  Shrimp farms, like Salmon farms, use fish oil based feeds......very bad.

    The war for oil is a war for the Beast The War on Terror is a war on peace

    by El Yoss on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:16:03 AM PST

  •  Saw an interesting bit on the TeeVee (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fabian, MsGrin

    ..On how since Somalia has no Coast Guard or Navy with which to protect "their" part of the ocean from what are effectively "pirate trawlers," they hired mercenaries to board and commandeer the boats fishing illegally on a commission basis.

    Thinking out of the box, for sure.

    Not sure that the government of the war torn nation would do any better of a job utilizing the resource in a sustainable fashion even if everyone followed the rules though..

  •  It does seem bleak (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, blueocean

    It just means that we must work harder to bring about the Changes that are our only hope.

    The commitment level is staggering... but also compelling.

    The hopeful depend on a world without end, whatever the hopeless may say. --Rush

    by Leftcandid on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:19:26 AM PST

  •  I had an interesting conversation (12+ / 0-)

    About two years ago I had an interesting conversation with a Washington State fisheries biologist, a specialist in salmon.  Here's the gist of the conversation:

    1.  Stop feeding anchovies to farm-raised salmon.  Eat the stupid anchovies yourself
    1.  Learn to like shad.  Unlike the salmon, shad are doing terrific (BTW, I took up this bit of advice.  Shad are terrific.  Bony, but tasty)
    1.  Left alone and provided good habitat, coho salmon bounce back really fast

    That means giving up commercial salmon fishing for awhile.  I had recently been sport fishing for chums just outside Chico Creek in Kitsap County, but gilnetters just moved in and took their "share".  That "share" vacuum-cleaned virtually the entire chum population that had been hanging out at the creek mouth.  I might as well fish in a strip mine.

    It'll pick up again in a few weeks, but that isn't the point.  Any vacuum cleaner approach to commercial fishing is destructive.

    By the way, my personal sport take of salmon this year is "zero".  I've had on a couple of good ones, but they broke off.  Since I spent at least a hundred bucks in pursuit of the mere potential to catch (and probably release) a wild salmon, the economic bang per fish is a lot higher for sport fishing than it is for commercial fishing.

  •  So what's a guy to do? (4+ / 0-)

    If I eat wild salmon, that's bad because stocks are diminishing. If I eat farm salmon that's bad.

    I don't really want to give up my annual trip to Yakutat, AK for salmon, halibut & cod fishing.

    I kind of like my sushi, too.

    Must I feel guilty about everything?

    My cardiologist wants me to eat a heart healthy diet, including a fair amount of fish. I'v already almost entirely cut out beef & pork & milkfat.

    Can I at least still eat my fish and organic chicken?

  •  Yet another argument for having fewer children. (7+ / 0-)

    The world is already overpopulated at 6.5 billion.  The populatiom is scheduled to rise to 9 billion by mid-century.

    How on earth are all these people going to be fed?

    •  That's only one side of the problem. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Every first-world resident advocating population control (presumably for poor countries) should also own no more than one car, take only trains for travel, switch to a vegan diet, never throw away perfectly good food and eat no more than 2100 calories a day.

      I would bet that each overfed first-world infected with smug disease consumes a Thai village worth of resources in a single day.

      The sea will be there/and all the small things will drown/Inevitable

      by James Kresnik on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 02:13:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If you really want to stop the cycle... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mattman, cultural worker

    of destruction, I think one of the simplest methods is to simply stop eating fish, or any animals.  (Don't worry. I'm not going to spray paint your fish fillet red. I'm not a militant vegetarian.)  I'm just saying that to lament the loss of wild salmon because it is "so good as a food", seems to me to be a little contradictory.  

    •  No, it's not, when you also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      spend hours every week writing about restoring salmon runs and pointing people to action groups as I do. It's a food that we have to make sure is sustained.

      Do you do anything more than snipe at do-gooders?

      emerging research proven

      by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 10:53:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's no need to be so defensive. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mattman, cultural worker

         I wasn't sniping. I was making a valid point. Is there no room for that in your discussion?  The point is, that by not eating meat of any kind, I am reducing the impact, which is sizable, of the destruction caused by that industrio-agricultural machine. I understand your point, and am sorry if you feel I'm trying to minimize your concerns.  I'm not. What I am doing, is pointing out a very real solution.  I once read, you can't consider yourself an environmentalist and eat meat at the same time.  The more I read, the more I think this may be true.  


        •  I don't eat meat or chicken (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tonedevil, RosyFinch

          or farmed fish, and I would eat wild salmon once in awhile (can't remember when--maybe last year in Asia). But to get to my annoyance with your comment was that uh, maybe I misunderstood you, and reiterate that IMO you can ethically eat a creature if you insure its species sustainability.

          emerging research proven

          by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:47:07 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  vegetarians don't have the lowest footprint (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whitis, sydneyluv

      especially not vegans.  Like everything else cycles and balance are key.  Studies show that including small portions of meat and dairy is more eco-friendly.

      Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

      by bvig on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:50:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So eat Tilapia. No serious problems (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that can't be fixed (effluent, etc.)

  •  NYTimes article today concludes (9+ / 0-)

    fish farmed fish don't taste as good.  Buried toward the back is the crashing of fish populations and how huge fish farms create enormous waste.

  •  Restoring Columbia, Chesapeake, Delaware rivers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pinko Elephant, RosyFinch, RJP9999

    to name but a few.

    These were producers of MASSIVE amounts of food. Way more than phony fish farms which take more fish to produce to less fish.

    If we restore our river systems, we get huge gains in food production (lots of jobs and industry), clean air and water (estuaries a big filters), recreation areas (more jobs and industry).

    Like Obama's energy/jobs plan, environmental restoration of our river systems will pay big dividends on food and jobs.

  •  Let's please not forget aboriginal groups (4+ / 0-)

    when we talk about this issue.

    For all the reasons cited above, fish farms heavily impact aboriginal/native american title lands and waters through disease (farmed fish are fed antibiotics), contamination, pollution (with algae produced by fish farms), and escaped farmed salmon colonizing wild salmon stock and/or preying on and displacing other species.

    There have been periodic moratoriums on fish farms in parts of British Columbia, and America would be wise to follow suit. In the meantime, do your part by boycotting farmed fish.

  •  Governments need to start taxing (4+ / 0-)

    the fish industries instead of giving them government subsidies.

    The New York Times weighed in on the matter earlier this year..

    Big factory ships from places like Europe, China, Korea and Japan stay at sea for years at a time — fueling, changing crews, unloading their catch on refrigerated vessels. The catch then enters European markets through the Canary Islands and other ports where inspection is minimal. After that, retailers and consumers neither ask nor care where the fish came from, or whether, years from now, there will be any fish at all.

    The institution with the most potential leverage is the World Trade Organization. Most of the world’s fishing fleets receive heavy government subsidies for boat building, equipment and fuel, America’s fleet less so than others. Without these subsidies, which amount to about $35 billion annually, fleets would shrink in size and many destructive practices like bottom trawling would become uneconomic.

    "Who put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? Who put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop?"

    by Pinko Elephant on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 11:49:35 AM PST

  •  This story is slanted and poorly researched. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The wild salmon story is always a tear jerker, but it should not be. Lets start with not all pelagic fish are oily, but the fish mentioned here are. 90% of these fish are not used for fish meal. A significant % is used for industrial needs like paint. The waste removal of fish farming needs improvement, but lets us not forget the chemicals and antibodies that come from mammals waste(cattle and hogs etc..) which is left on the ground to seep into the earth and doesn't have the tides to take it out.
    Americans should become open to eating alternative species of fish. For the 40 years the market continues to offer other options from Cod, Salmon, Tuna, and Flounder...all of the over fished species and the consumer ignores these healthy and tasty alternatives.
    There are two reasons we should not blame the farmed salmon industry for the pressure on the wild salmon.  First consumption of farmed salmon take pressure of the wild fish, and secondly the farmed atlantic salmon is an entirely different species (Salmo Salar) and live and spawn in an entirely different pattern

    If we want to protect the wild-salmon stocks, chose another fish until the wild salmon return back their  healthy and sustainable levels.

  •  concentration of nutrients a big problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, RosyFinch

    Alot of these fisheries are right in coastal waters.

    Salmon netpens send volumes of feces and uneaten food directly into coastal waters. One analysis of the Nordic salmon farming industry showed that it discharged quantities of nitrogen equal to the amount in untreated sewage from a population of 3.9 million people.

    This nutrient surge into our coastal waters promotes accumulation of algae which drains ocean  water of oxygen and creates 'dead zones'

    Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

    by bvig on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:09:33 PM PST

    •  Good info (0+ / 0-)

      Many posters have added to my diary. Appreciated.

      emerging research proven

      by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:13:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  a nice quote from your link (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Aquaculture is often seen as a panacea, the solution to relieve fishing pressure on the oceans and feed the world," said Jane Lubchenco, a distinguished professor of zoology at Oregon State University and co-author of the report.
      "What we're finding is that, unless it is done right, some aquaculture is causing more problems than it solves and doing nothing to increase the world's overall food supply."

      emerging research proven

      by bob zimway on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:15:53 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Lubchenco (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RosyFinch, bob zimway

        Thanks for pointing out that quote.  I really enjoy her work.  She presents the science as is but doesn't say it's impossible to have fish farms but makes really good suggestions cause she's studied what happens in coastal disruptions.  She has really interesting work on coastal ecology and the effects of predator-prey relationships.  In this case with algae blooms caused by fish farm nutrients, it's the prety suffocating out the algae predator.  And that algae predator is prey for another animal farther out in the ocean.  So although it may seem to only affect a small coastal area, these effects are usually amplified.  

        Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary. ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

        by bvig on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:21:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Just to enter my science two-cents... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, RosyFinch

      This is how accumulation of algae decreases DO in the water column.  There are many reasons and mechanisms that cause algae to accumulate in the water column.  Part of the answer is increased nutrients.  Algae take up CO2 from the water column.  When they die, the organic matter sinks out to the bottom, and is decomposed by bacteria.  It is the aerobic bacteria that take up all the DO in the water column.  The same thing would happen if you had tons of fish die in a certain area, or a large die of of macroalgae.

      Just wanted to share my knowledge:)

  •  Salmon bring a lot of fixed nitrogen far inland (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jabney, Tonedevil, RosyFinch

    That may be one of their main ecologic effects, and I think it's almost unique to salmon.  In fact, their life cycle seems almost designed around this effect.  Maybe creating it makes a safe, fertile spawning ground for their eggs?

    Think about it -- the salmon hatch in shallow, slow-flowing parts of high mountain streams, where they're pretty safe from aquatic predators.  It's a lot safer than hatching on the seashore, or the sea bed.  By the time they hit the ocean, they've outgrown a lot of small predators.  They fatten up in the oceans for several years, but then swim way back upstream to spawn.  The bears that prey on them as they swim upstream benefit from the fat, but spread much of the nitrogen as fertilizer in the woods.  (That's why a bear shits in the woods!)  That fertilizer makes for nice rich runoff into the streams, which helps the next generation of salmon.  It also makes for more fertile forests and meadows, with more for deer and antelope to eat, so the bears have more prey.

    When we dam a river for hydroelectric power we get 'green' energy, but we may be limiting the effect of salmon runs in bringing fixed nitrogen to inland ecosystems.  Has anyone measured that effect?

    We're all pretty strange one way or another; some of us just hide it better. "Normal" is a dryer setting.

    by david78209 on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:16:18 PM PST

    •  and why some stray (4+ / 0-)

      I've been told that in the Alaskan coastal area where glaciers move and land slides, life is brought to newly exposed surfaces because a few percent of the salmon come to new stream beds to spawn and a few young bear travel there too.

      "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them." [Ray Bradbury]

      by RosyFinch on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:32:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Except (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Inland ecosystems are water-limited, not nutrient-limited. Granitic soils are high in most nutrients, but in the inland west it doesn't rain a lot at lower altitudes.

      Coastal ecosystems are the reverse.

      And bears shit in the road, our driveway, and the path to the pool, but I never find bear shit in the woods.

      Je suis Marxiste, tendance Groucho

      by badger on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 12:49:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Some info on that research. (3+ / 0-)

      That's an active area of research.  Look into the scientific literature on "marine-derived nutrients" (MDN) for more information.  I work with some of the scientists at the front of that research.

      I think you may be slightly overstating the effects of MDN from salmon on terrestrial ecosystems -- bear shit fertilizing the grass to increase the deer population, etc.  The effects that far up the chain are probably minimal, but the effect of salmon carcasses on the aquatic ecosystem can be strong.  The direct salmon products, eggs and decaying flesh, are often important as food for other fish (including juvenile salmon).  Indirectly, the nutrients they release into the system increase the periphyton (sludge on the rocks) that feeds the aquatic insects that feed the salmons' offspring.

      Right now, most wild salmon fisheries that are managed using very poor methods.  People try to fit data from past years to a "Ricker curve" from which the "maximum sustained yield" can be calculated.  The "fits" to the Ricker curve are often a joke, with data points scattered everywhere and looking nothing like the curve that passes through it, but people use it anyway.  Even when the fit seems reasonable, the Ricker analysis fails to account for numerous ecological effects like MDN.  There are some inherent biases in the method that lead to underestimation of the number of fish that should be allowed to survive to spawn.  People use these methods anyway, for a variety of mostly bad reasons.

      It's a very good idea to err on the side of caution rather than using flawed methods to "optimize" harvest.  That said, there are systems in Alaska that can support large wild salmon harvests sustainably.  It's just becoming clear that, at the moment, we're overreaching beyond what's truly sustainable in many cases.

      "If Obama is the nominee, we are doomed." -Rush Limbaugh
      "Always speak before Barack Obama, not after Barack Obama." -Olbermann

      by Troutnut on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:43:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Nitrogen fixing bacteria bring nitrogen inland (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Microorganisms are a far more important source of soluble nitrogen to fertilize ecosystems than salmon.

      "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 06:09:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pebble Mine in Alaska Threat To Wild Salmon (6+ / 0-)

    One thing to consider is that Alaska is trying to poison one of the largest wild salmon ecosystems in the world with the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay.  Here are a few links to help you learn more about this issue:

    Farmed salmon are terrible for all the reasons cited above, but if we don't stop destroying wild salmon habitat with dams and things like the Pebble mine, there will be no wild salmon left.  

    Please take action by contacting your elected reps: tell them no mine in Bristol Bay!!!!  

    •  Thanks for bringing it up. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, realalaskan

      Pebble Mine is probably the single biggest threat to wild salmon currently on the planet.  

    •  At the Alaska American Fisheries Society meeting (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, realalaskan

      there was a session on mining with several good talks about the Pebble Mine.  It's safe to say the professional fisheries community is almost unanimously opposed to the project.  

      When the mining company and their advocates claim that the project can be done safely, and talk about having to meet high water quality standards, they're blowing smoke.  The standards are a joke, and there's no way to guarantee against a major devastating accident--possibly much worse than Exxon Valdez--in such a geologically active area.  The Pebble project is a proposition to play Russian roulette with the most productive wild salmon fishery in the world.  It must not be allowed to move forward.

      I heard some scientists there who think the Pebble mine may never happen, and that it's being used as bait to allow numerous smaller projects to slip under the radar of preoccupied environmentalists.  So watch out for that.

      "If Obama is the nominee, we are doomed." -Rush Limbaugh
      "Always speak before Barack Obama, not after Barack Obama." -Olbermann

      by Troutnut on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:52:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Sea Slug Lounge (0+ / 0-)

    is a local fish farm in Long Island.

    You can actually eat there at tables overlooking the water.

  •  We can't all eat 3 servings of wild salmon a week (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    One thing that has crossed my mind is: what would happen if everyone followed the current nutritional advice given to people with ample disposable income who are interested in health/wellness?  I mean people who can afford things like going to yoga classes, etc.  

    Wild salmon is one of the best sources of protein and Omega-3 "good fats"... but it is already priced out of reach for working class people and poor people.  Its survival depends, in a sense, on keeping it out of the hands of the masses.  

    That said, WholeFoods carries good-sized cans of their own brand of wild pink salmon for only $2.19 a can in my area.  The salmon is very tender and flavorful... it comes packed as-is with skin and bones, but those can be separated out easily from the meat if you think the skin and bones are "icky."

    •  I used to buy silvers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Torta, FishOutofWater

      from a woman whose brother was a fisherman. Silver salmon caught the same day cost me about five bucks for a whole fish at the time. Delicious barbecued with some fresh dill in the middle. Now in Oregon markets, around $19 a pound. If you could find it.

      820 Illinois-427 Senate Sponsored-152 Senate authored. Obama record on Bills. Palin record 0-0-0. Palin Lies-1 big one and counting.

      by marketgeek on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 02:53:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Suggested reading: Bottomfeeder (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, RosyFinch

    Thorough and gives advice on which fish to eat. Monterey Bay Aquarium also publishes a downloadable guide to fish that are sustainably harvested. Seafoodwatch

    I am convinced that human history has not yet begun.. we live in the prehistoric - Vanzetti

    by the fan man on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:17:14 PM PST

  •  Could a global depression help? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, defluxion10

    Saw something on the internets yesterday that lobster was costing as much per pound as bologna in the NE USA.  That says to me demand has plummeted as people are not spending on 'luxuries' like lobster.  If people ratchet back their spending could the profit dry up for a while unless the supply brought to market is cut back?  

    Just wondering if our economic problems could give the wildlife of the world a little breathing room while hopefully saner heads take charge of the world's governments...


    Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

    by FredFred on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:18:21 PM PST

  •  We used to BBQ salmon in Santa Cruz.. (3+ / 0-)

    but the stocks became so depleted that a complete sport and commercial ban has been put in place.

    Monterey Bay salmon cook up better than coho or any other salmon. They were a staple of the summer barbeque. They represented summer. Now, it's gone. Over fishing, stream diversions, timber harvesting have worked their evil magic. Who knows if the stocks will ever reestablish?

    Everybody involved, by the way, fishermen, developers, timber barons, all say that there is no proof that they are the problem and that, as a result, they should be left alone to do what they've always done.

    •  Development on land also contributed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, realalaskan

      In the 80's the streams with the organisms that feed little aquatic things that feed fish were often subject to suburban development that poured storm drainage in, complete with lawn chemicals and petroleum runoff, and changed the environment and the food chain. So there was a double hit of change in the food chain and overfishing.

      820 Illinois-427 Senate Sponsored-152 Senate authored. Obama record on Bills. Palin record 0-0-0. Palin Lies-1 big one and counting.

      by marketgeek on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 02:58:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All the more reason to eat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Soylent Green....

    We are our own worst enemy....

    Here in Florida I used to be able to go out for half a day and know I would catch a nice dinner - Dolphin (the fish, not the mammal), Kingfish, maybe a nice Grouper or Snapper. By going to my favorite spots I could pick what we were going to have. I wasn't greedy just enough for a nice dinner was fine by me. Besides fresh was so much better than freezer.

    Today I am happy if I catch a barracuda and then I have to work at it ...

    The netters have ruined a great fishery.

    Obama Rocks!! Da Rock for Obama!!

    by Da Rock on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 01:36:38 PM PST

  •  Bunker (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Or Menhaden, are for all practical purposes inedible.  But fish need it for survival.

    So what do we do?  We catch as much of it as we can, and sell it for pet food.

    And the fish we eat, starve.


  •  Better fish pocket guide (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, RosyFinch, bob zimway

    I carry one of these and use it in restaurants and at the store.

  •  Lucky for me (0+ / 0-)

    I just don't like fish.  But the health benefits are widely known.  So what can we substitute for the fish?  Seems like lots of people get by just fine on a vegetarian diet.  (Not me, though I think it's a good idea.)
    Perhaps the new admin could work on educating people on plant-based alternatives for the specific benefits of fish, if there are any.
    I'm pretty fond of my cats, too.  But I don't want to take people's food out of the food chain to feed them.  Apparently I do.  I feed our dogs all the food waste from our house, but the cats only eat the bagged stuff.  I wonder if there are any sustainable cat food varieties available?  With all the catfish farms in AR and MS, seems like someone ought to be using that waste.

    Watch this space. Something brilliant will come to me soon, I'm sure.

    by tresgatos on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 02:28:04 PM PST

  •  There are positive things too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Let's not get totally gloomy about this. Yes, there is a serious disaster afoot. But many fish populations rebound quickly if managed carefully. The Alaskan halibut has rebounded due to a medallion system that gives fisherman a stake in the sustainability of the fishery. Because your right to fish is an asset that you can sell, a healthy fish stock is a key factor in the value of the medallion or license. Instead of just getting out there every day trying to grab as much as you can, Alaskan halibut fishermen work together to adjust the catch to the size of the stock. The new system seems to be working well. The same approach is being used off the southern coast of Australia for tuna, where schools of fish are corralled, fattened up and then carefully harvested for the Japanese market. It is possible to build and maintain a sustainable wild fish industry but we need an international system that uses gives fisheries a stake in sustainable practices.

  •  food rationing makes sense to me all around the (0+ / 0-)

    world.  Allocate just the amount of fish per person to what is important (like somewhere around 4 oz. a week?)

    Put all of these fishermen to work cleaning up the lakes, rivers and oceans.  There is just as much money to be made cleaning and protecting the environment as there is in the destruction of it.

    Too many people have the "everything for me - nothing for you" mentality and they must be stopped or the planet is doomed.

    I am depressed.

  •  This post has left the reality based community (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FishOutofWater, ThompsonLazyBoy

    I thought on Daily Kos we took pride in ourselves as a reality-based community.  Therefore, it pains me to see such incomplete and inaccurate information shoot up the rec list largely because of ignorance.

    It is very fashionable to bash farmed fish as environmentally unsound, partly because there has been a concerted campaign to vilify all forms of fish farming in the Northwest, and especially in BC.

    I work in the seafood industry, and would like to set the record straight.

    First, wild fish stocks are in danger of collapse where there is no effective fishery management regime in place.  The 2006 science article basically took unmanaged fisheries, and extrapolated how if no fisheries ever were successfully managed, then by 2048 commercial fishing would be extinct.

    But in Alaska for example, the largest wild food fishery in the world has been sustainably managed for over thirty years. The rapid growth of effective fishery management (including the support of environmental groups for harvest rights) is changing this situation.  

    In the tuna industry, where there are huge problems due to lack of international cooperation, there are plans afoot supported by industry to force recalcitrant governments to adopt conservation measures.

    Finally, the percentage of wild stocks certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship council is rapidly expanding -- and includes some of the most important global food fisheries.

    Now about farmed fish:  if you compare the history of agriculture- and domestication of food animals, and fish farming, you can see that one has been subject to continuous improvement and breeding for thousands of years, while fish farming on a commercial scale is relatively new.

    In Norway, for example, there are now salmon that provide 1.2 kg of fish protein for every 1 kg of fish protein used in feed -- i.e. a positive conversion ratio.  

    There are also tremendous R&D efforts underway to find alternatives to fishmeal in aquaculture feed, including using things like marine algae which produce beneficial fish oils containing Omega 3.

    Seafood has been gaining in popularity in the U.S. due to its health benefits, and there is no reason that such increased consumption is not sustainable.

    From a global point of view, China does virtually 80% of all aquaculture, almost exclusively for domestic consumption. The Chinese diet heavily depends on aquaculture fish for protein -- as does the diet in many developing countries.  In most cases, it will be advances in aquaculture -- not more capture of wild fish - that will improve the protein diets in these countries.

    So to sum up - there are significant problems - but in a reality based world there are also some solutions to these problems strongly supported by industry and by investors.  That's why I think a "sky is falling" diary on farmed seafood is uninformed.

    Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. Even the very wise cannot see all ends.

    by tsackton on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 02:49:43 PM PST

  •  Wild fatty fish (3+ / 0-)

    are also the best addition to the diet for anyone battling heart disease.  We are tking some of our best natural medicine and feeding it to the pigs.

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:11:20 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately (0+ / 0-)

      Places like the North Sea have large amounts of PCBs that make it into the system of fatty fish like herring and mackerel. I suspect the North Pacific is getting dirty as well via Chinese pollution. If the plumes are making it to the NW United States on the air currents, even more is dropping into the ocean on its way over.

  •  just look at the supermarket flyers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    not only is the price of fish skyrocketing. but compare the variety and species being offered by the seafood counter at your local grocery store now compared to oh even 5 years ago.
    It's scary. Poisoning the planet and slowly putting ourselves out of commission as well.

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:12:05 PM PST

  •  Hello fellow American (0+ / 0-)

    More handwringing, and trying to tell the rest of the world to stop having babies? And the world fish supply is crashing? Bummer, other than going vegan do you have one answer?

    Concern diary, that is all. I am not a buyer. Sorry.

    Americans, while occasionally willing to be serfs, have always been obstinate about being peasantry. F. Scott Fitzgerald, the Great Gatsby

    by riverlover on Sun Nov 16, 2008 at 03:42:02 PM PST

  •  Fish farming is so scary (0+ / 0-)

    I saw a BBC documentary on it around 2002 and vowed never to eat farmed fish again - at least not salmon. We do eat farmed catfish on occasion. I don't know how to get "wild" catfish except maybe by catching it.

    I hope this gets more attention. I did see a similar article in a magazine in the spring. I hope the dangers of farmed fish are brought to the fore.

    Thanks so much for the excellent article.

  •  Tipped and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northsylvania, bob zimway


  •  There is one possible bug to this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Citing the statistic that one third of the fish capture is turned into animal feed misses an important point -- that not all of the capture is edible for humans in its initial state.  After you clean fish, there is a lot of waste, high protein waste that can be put to good use.  But it's not necessarily an edible commodity for humans in that condition.  We could clean it up and process it and turn it into edible products, but it wouldn't be fish as we know it.

  •  Anecdotal evidence, (0+ / 0-)

    and written by a hypochondriac, so FWIW: we bought some Scottish farmed salmon this weekend and ate it with other stuff that I had grown organically in my garden. It was very fresh and we brought it straight home, so it wasn't spoiled. Immediately after dinner both my husband (not a hypochondriac) and I got horrific headaches and didn't get over them until the next day. After reading the NYT article today about melamine in the food chain, I just wonder what kind of rubbish those salmon had been eating.
    Farmed fish are problematic for all the reasons outlined above. We've just about eaten wild fish to extinction. I suspect it's time to take flax seed oil to get "good cholesterol."

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