Hi Helen,I thought that Corey is not the only one curious about these issues, so I am posting my reply here.
As someone who enjoys fish and would prefer to eat them with impunity, I appreciated your posts on issues such as mercury ingestion and the effects of fish on pregnancy.
Yesterday I saw Happy Feet, an "appeal to [our] better nature" to stop over-fishing masked as a cute kids' film about singing and dancing penguins starving in Antarctica. Recently, I've also seen a rise in the number of news articles and editorials about the issue of over-fishing. To be honest, I've largely avoided reading them to avoid feeling compelled to add eating fish to my list of other environmental concerns.
I would appreciate learning your views on these issues to help me assess whether and how I can continue eating lots of great fish without hurting the penguins.
I haven't seen Happy Feet, so can't comment on that. But here are my views on environmental concerns.
If you eat a variety of fish instead of getting hooked on one or two species, it will be better for the environment and your health. I am pro fish farming. I just think we need to learn to do it better. It's a new concept and there have been some improvements in the fish farming technology already. At some point, humans started farming cows and chickens. Well, it's now time to farm fish, that is if we want to supply our population with 3 fish servings a week as FDA recommends.
What we can do as consumers is stop turning up our noses at farmed fish, as if it's inferior somehow and start asking intelligent questions -- like how was the fish raised, what was it fed, was coloring used, were antibiotics used, etc. We also have to be willing to pay for quality seafood. There is no such thing as free lunch with fish -- you get what you pay for. If we were willing to pay $12-15/Lb for high quality farm raised salmon, farmers wouldn't have to pack them into cages as tightly, and many environmental issues would be resolved.
There is also a ton of fish that is cheap, plentiful, and extremely good for you that we keep ignoring -- bluefish, sardines, mackerel, and mahi-mahi.