Whenever I have bought or ordered fish in the past, I never considered the impact that small order of seafood could have had on marine life and the environment. I love seafood, but until recently, I wasn’t aware of the detrimental effects seafood could have on the world. Today, majority of seafood is being caught or raised in a way that could be damaging to our oceans.
At the moment, the oceans are struggling to support the appetites, and wastefulness, over 7 billion people have for seafood. We are depleting our waters in order to satisfy our gluttony, often disguised as hunger. Overfishing is destroying the oceans. It’s not just the quantity of marine produce we harvest, but also the methods we use to harvest it. Though there are methods that would impact marine habitats in a minimal way, we choose to harvest seafood in unethical and unsustainable ways simply because they catch more fish using unsustainable fishing tactics.
Our fishing methods not only deplete our oceans of specific fish, but also kill off marine life we don’t even need as by catch. Turtles, diving birds, sharks, and marine mammals are being caught unnecessarily by getting entangled in nets, lines, and traps. Often the by catch is thrown back into the ocean injured or even dead; other times, they’re turned into animal feeds and fertilizers. These animals are being destroyed unfairly and pointlessly. We are sacrificing these animals wastefully. Killing these marine animals are destructive to the oceans’ system, slowly overturning the food chain and leaving gaps in the ecosystem. Without many of the animals being killed, marine life will cease to thrive.
Some methods of fishing aren’t just destructive to marine animals but to the ocean itself. Dredging is a method of fishing which targets bottom-dwelling mollusks, but because it is constantly being dragged on the ocean floor the trap is actually tearing up the ocean bed, destroying habitats for many marine animals.
I can’t keep blaming others and throwing the responsibility of caring for our oceans to everyone else. I may just be one person, but I need to take a stand against this cruel destruction of the marine world. I am taking a stand by not eating seafood. I need to let people know that our habits are quickly killing the oceans. So right now, I’m not only boycotting seafood, but I am letting the people I know know just how destructive our fishing methods are. I need to let people know that there are safer and more environmentally friendly ways to satisfy our hunger for seafood.
I have been avoiding seafood for over a week now and I have to be honest, it’s been quite hard. No seafood means no fish ‘n chips, no smoked salmon, no sushi! Every time I pass by a Sushi Sushi or almost order my favourite shrimp dumplings, I have to remind myself that my sacrifice, though it may seem insignificant at times, can actually make a difference.
My small contribution to the bettering of our waters can help save the world.
I’m not saying I’ll never go back to eating seafood. I enjoy it too much to do that completely, but from now one, I’m going to be looking at marine life in a different way. I want the world’s oceans to be healthy. I want marine life to thrive. So though I will eat seafood after this period of sacrifice, I will choose to eat only sustainable fish, even if that means putting in a little more effort in finding out the sources of my seafood. I know though it may seem an inconvenience, it will help the environment, even if it’s in a small way.
Until recently, I was negligent about how seafood was caught. I wasn’t aware as many people today are. If I want to save the oceans, I can’t just stop with refraining from eating unsustainable seafood myself, I need to spread the word that there is a better alternative to the common mass produced seafood readily available, that there are methods with low impact on the oceans. There are ways we can help save the waters of the earth, if we only choose to.
There’s no second chance. When our oceans are gone, there’s no getting them back. Our highly damaged waters are going to take many years in order to recover the life that may have once thrived in them. There are a number of ways we destroy our oceans. Unethical fishing methods are just the beginning, but if we could put an end to unsustainable fishing together, we can slowly but steadily replenish our waters and return it to a healthy state. We can save the world’s oceans, together, little by little.