Jordan’s Green-Guide #fish

Regal masters of the sea - tuna 

Regal masters of the sea - tuna 

Erbody loves Finding Nemo, right?  And who doesn’t find Nemos and Dorys swimming in turquoise waters draped over vibrant corals beautiful?  Even if it's just as desktop backgrounds, it’s nice to know that those coral atolls exists.  And whales - c’mon - who doesn’t love whales?

Today, we hear phrases like “coral bleaching” and “ocean acidification” and we may throw our hands up in the air and consider another phrase, “what can I do about it?”.  I am here to give you a couple of practical actions to help our oceans.

But first -  why keep em healthy?  I think of the ocean as the great benevolent mitigating hand of our planet.  Too much CO2 in the air?  Ocean says, “No problem bro, I’ll take it and use the carbon for more life and release the O2 for y’all to breathe.”  Too hot or too cold?  Ocean says, “No problem brodette, I’ll distribute the heat or lack thereof across the globe.” Too little terrestrial food for humans? Oceans says, “No problem, I’ll just provide a gigantic self-sustaining bounty of nutritious food for free.”  Oh, and oceans also stabilize our atmosphere and provide over 70% of earth’s oxygen.  In short, we’d be a lifeless rock floating through space, void of our current perfectly-suited blanket of atmosphere, without the ocean’s life-giving contribution.

So let’s help a homie (the ocean) out:

  1. If you must eat fish choose smaller, herbivorous species.
  2. When purchasing seafood, take 10 seconds to google if the species is endangered.

  3. When purchasing seafood, look for the Marine Stewardship Council certification (MSC).

  4. When considering purchasing farmed seafood, take a second to google for the ecologically considerate purchase.  Not all farms are created equal... not even close.

  5. Avoid farmed shrimp as much of these species are farmed in coastal mangrove areas.  The mangroves are torn out in favor of giant shrimp farms, decimating the ecosystem.  Mangroves are HUGELY important for both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems for a plethora of reasons including their being a primary nursery for young and juvenile fish (aww Nemo again).

  6. Avoid eating Tuna, swordfish, and other large carnivorous species as they are disproportionately important for healthy ecosystems.  You wouldn’t eat a leopard, lion or wolf, so don’t eat the great aquatic apex predators of the sea.  If you must eat these regal giants, catch them yourselves with a hook and line.  Fishing at scale produces prodigious amounts of bycatch (i.e. birds, tortoises, fish, dolphins and every other species killed or maimed in the process).

  7. Don’t keep tropical fish in aquaria, as they belong in a complete aquatic ecosystem, rife with other species and the ability to be productive in keeping the system resilient and robust.

  8. Lastly - lay off the plastic.  Dory doesn’t want to eat plastic any more than you do, and if you want to keep eating Dory’s friends you’ll be eating the plastic in their bellies as well.


Jordan McKay