How do you change human behavior, a difficult proposition in itself, let alone when a big problem is largely invisible to the public eye?
When it comes to the problem of overfishing, Lyf Gildersleeve of Flying Fish Company, a sustainable seafood buyer and retailer, sees education as the key. As we see in this video, there are varieties of non-targeted, commercially caught (bycatch) fish, that are not generally known to the eater. By establishing a commercial demand for these "trash fish," it would help reduce the demand pressures on the most popular ocean fish that are being over-harvested.
Gildersleeve shows three of the four "trash fish" (Ivory King Salmon, Pacific Skate, Wolf Eel) that will be used for a Portland Chefs Collaborative fundraiser event to raise public awareness of overfishing. At the dinner (video coming next Tuesday), guests taste a variety of "trash fish" dishes prepared by four renowned restaurant chefs, to demonstrate how each fish can look appealing on a plate, and also be delicious to eat.
As once a commercial fisherman himself, Mr. Gildersleeve understands the economic pressures small commercial fisherman face. If more eaters become aware of these lesser known fish, adding additional species of fish to the commercial mix can also help strengthen the viability of these fisherman who rely upon the local marine environment to provide for their economic sustenance.
We have long been advised to eat more fish; perhaps it's time, to eat more kinds of fish, too.
These are the 10 most consumed fish species, in order of quantities consumed*
*National Marine Fisheries Service; 2012 figures.
The Monterey Aquarium Seafood Watch Program Buyer's Guide offers a comprehensive list of commercially available fish species to avoid eating entirely, along with a list of more sustainable alternatives.
A Sea Change (The Pew Charitable Trusts, 11-2013)
Originally posted on Cooking Up a Story.