Fishing down the food chain

Fish may not be the most popular dish in the land locked state of Colorado, but many people in an effort to eat healthier and more ethically become pescetarians.  There are many health benefits to a marine diet, some fish will raise your high-density lipoprotein and they are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids.  But there are also risks in maintaining a pescetarian diet.

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Some are health risks such as the high mercury levels and other pollutants.  High trophic predators like sharks and king mackerel should be avoided because the pollutants become biomagnified to possible dangerous levels.  There are local advisories that are updated regularly to reflect the fish that is safer to eat If you are fishing for your own meals.

Another risk is the popularity of mid-high tropic level fish such as salmon or tuna.  The popularity of these species has resulted in overfishing.  This has lead to a dependace on salmon fisheries. This has also led to an increase in less valuable fish which are currently being overfished to made high protein animal feed.  This has the potential over many years to create dead zones around the world.  Several dead zones already exist in the Gulf of Mexico, the Bohai Sea in China, even the Chesapeake Bay is displaying signs of degradation.  So if ones diet relies heavily on high protein marine life, be sure to research what is safest and best for the habitat of these animals so that we can all have anchovies pizzas, and salmon dishes for generations to come.img_0111

sources:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm110591.htm

Fish: Friend or Foe?

http://www.twentyten.net/

http://www.fishingdown.org/

photos:

http://www.ndseafoods.com/north-delta-seafoods-wholesale-salmon.html

http://www.fishingdown.org/

 

 

 

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20 Comments

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20 responses to “Fishing down the food chain

  1. amyquandt

    What are some resources us, as consumers, can use to figure out what are the healthier fish to eat? What are some environmental impacts of fishing?

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    • Local wildlife offices have up to date information of healthier fish in the local area. I have seen small guides and iPhone apps (seafood watch) that are designed to help you make smarter choices not only with fish but other parts of your diet.
      The impacts range based on the types of fishing. Simple hook and line personal fishing has little impact to the environment (make sure your bait isn’t released that is how we have invasive nightcrawlers in the US) Huge ships that drag nets behind usually pick up more than just fish including dolphins, coral and other sea life. This is disastrous as it catches and destroyed a large area in one movement.

      Like

  2. Makenna Golumbuk

    This article relates to the discussion we had in class with our guest lecturer Philip Taylor. He talked about the impact of fisheries and also livestock farming on our current population of small fish used for protein feed. I think it is interesting to look at and weigh the costs and benefits of eating animal livestock as opposed to fish(farmed or fresh caught). I think this comes in the form of looking where you live, where your food is coming from, and how resource intensive your dining practices are.

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  3. madisonsmith71

    Is there any way that you found in your research to eat the fish you mention is a more sustainable way?

    Like

    • matthew elliott

      There are several iPhone apps one of which is “Seafood Watch” that provide up to date information on healthier species of fish

      Like

  4. cooperluvisa

    Interesting blog post! I would be curious to see if it would be healthier/better for the environment to strictly be a pescatarian, meaning not eat meat except for fish; or would it be better to cut out fish completely out of your diet.

    Like

  5. kennedyroddy

    I enjoyed reading this post since many of my friends claim to be vegetarian, but are actually pescetarian. It is important to point out the difference between the two and also the impact of choosing to eat fish since it causes pressures like overfishing on aquatic ecosystems. Do you think there are solutions to the effects of a pescetarian diet so that overfishing can be minimized? Did you find any research yourself about the safest/best habitat for these animals? Great ideas nonetheless!

    Like

    • matthew elliott

      I think the solutions are vast and any sustainable practice would help this effort. Being vegetarian would be most beneficial and sustainable. The research was several sources and information from previous classes in the Environmental Studies program.

      Like

  6. miltonlockett

    This is a fascinating topic, which covers a lot of different aspects of our seafood eating habits. I have always wondered if consumer demand for certain fish, such as salmon, has led to over fishing, or if easy access to certain types of fish (high trophic level predators) is the leading factor. It is also interesting that a good portion of overfishing is done in order to provide feed for other animals. It seems counter productive to drive another species into endangerment in order to match consumer demands for another food source. This makes me wonder if pescitarian food habits are responsible for the overfishing of mid-high level trophic fish, or if consumerism trends in other food areas might be the real culprit?

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    • matthew elliott

      i beileve that consumer trends run much of the world. From religious beliefs to location fish will always be in demand. It hits home when even my low fish diet in a land locked state, i know that billions of fish are being consumed to make my hamburger.

      Like

  7. jeongyeonlee

    What are some health risks when we consume lots of mercury? Is it okay to consume imported fish from abroad other than from Gulf of Mexico, the Bohai Sea in China?

    Like

    • matthew elliott

      It is mostly dangerous to children and pregnant women but there has been a study of side effects not limited to, memory loss, hair loss, fatigue, depression, difficulty concentrating, tremors and headaches. Mercury can also build up over time and affect the nervous system. Those areas have been heavily polluted so the minimal fish there would probably not be safest.

      Like

  8. This is a cool topic that is related to one of my other classes, especially with salmon. I wonder what is going to change in the coming years or even months when we over fish certain areas and what the future for us and popular dinner plate fish like salmon and tuna, will have to offer.

    Like

  9. NiccoloDeluca

    What do you think the most effective way to relay fish information to consumers? For example, do you think that social media can be a beneficial way to get a message to a mainstream audience?

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    • matthew elliott

      there are iPhone apps that i have seen being used. At the end of the day many people just do not care which is sad but true. I have come across this many times.

      Like

  10. mateo caicedo

    Matthew,
    Very interesting blog post! The worlds marine ecosystems are environments that we still fail to fully understand. Its seems an immensely difficult job to research the sustainable carrying capacity of all the different aquatic animals because like you explained in you blog post, they are completely interconnected. When making life choices, like becoming pescetarian, it is important that you have all the facts so that you don’t replace an old bad habit for a new worse one.
    Mateo

    Like

    • matthew elliott

      I agree, when changing ones diet they should really look into all the aspects. i tried being a vegetation in high school on a whim. It lasted about a month.

      Like

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