Are you someone who changes the channel when nature films show marine life trapped and dying in drift gillnets ? Can’t read an article about over 100,000 Albatrosses killed with long-line fishing hooks? Do you look away from the magazine photos of sharks mutilated and left to die with their fins cut off? STOP !…Look !…Be outraged !…Be concerned !…Become informed and proactive!
Did you know that deep sea bottom trawling for shrimp catches over 80% non-shrimp species such as fragile corals and sea floor communities, starfish, and sea sponges as well as turtles, dolphins, and sharks? The sea floor is scraped as bare as a desert. Depending on the country of origin, 1 pound of shrimp yields between 2.5 to 4 (or as high as 25 ) pounds of bycatch. The bycatch of gill nets can include any number of non-targeted fish plus birds. More often than not, an estimated 25% or more of the bycatch is just thrown away, dead or dying, wasted.
Take the time to learn about which countries and fisheries are using sustainable management with use of pingers, large mesh nets, turtle excluder devices, grates which allow fish to escape, shrimp traps rather than trawling, and streamer lines to scare birds. Learn how your seafood is caught. Weigh the pros and cons of wild versus farm raised.
Before buying any seafood at the grocery store or restaurant, download the app or contact and request a Consumer Guide to “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and “Avoid” at http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/cr_seafoodwatch/sfw_recommendations.aspx.
Excellent resources for further reading: http://saveourseas.com/threats/overfishing; http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/bycatch; www.oceana.org;www.sustainablefish.org
MAKE IT PERSONAL AND BE PART OF THE SOLUTION ! !