Our Responsibility to Sea Life
By: Avie Rosacci, Executive Director
In the above picture, you see giant Atlantic bluefin tuna, which has declined as much as 80% over the last 45 years. Bluefin tuna has already become extinct in the Mediterranean Sea. As a scuba diver, I am in awe of the world beneath the waves and feel compelled to speak up for these creatures that are hidden to most people. In the Atlantic, yellow tail flounder and halibut have been added to the list of fish with all time low populations. The larger the breed of fish, the longer they live and the slower they are to reproduce, this results in low number more so than say sardines, which are at the bottom of the food chai. Sardines reproduce in incredibly high numbers. No matter where you live, you have the power to help with the over-fishing of our oceans.
Many species need our help to maintain their populations and protect them from overfishing. Our reefs are dying due to overheated water, overfishing and coral mining. Some species of grouper live in these reefs. We humans must help by first learning how and second, acting with consistency!
One of my favorite tools to help me choose wisely when it comes to seafood, is an app called “Seafood Watch.” This app is supported by the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, which is a non-profit, public aquarium that focuses on marine habitats of the Monterey Bay. It promotes consumer awareness, among other research and conservations efforts. Before you buy, check out the app to make sure what you are buying is not damaging our world.
In addition, you can ask your seafood professional at your local grocery or speciality store. See if there are employees educated about what they are selling. Eat only in restaurants that responsibly source their seafood, some of them may be listed on the Seafood Watch app. So join me in spreading the word. You can eat seafood that is healthy for you without harming nature’s balance.
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