Posts Tagged ‘food’

Oceans of Garbage

Great infographic from the folks over at Created by:

Sahelian riches

In the latest installment of my reports form West Africa, I visit my first fishing communities and meet some big ugly molluscs…                     For the past few days I’ve been paying my first visits to fishing communities here in the Gambia. I’ve met and chatted with […]

Glowing transgenic sushi

It feels a like a flash back to the heyday of black lights and lava lamps, but cutting edge transgenic technology has paved the way to fluorescent sushi. This stuff isn’t available in supermarkets (yet), but all you need is a few pet zebra fish, genetically tweaked to contain the Green Fluorescent Protein GFP (or as […]

Fish, Sustainability, and Used Cars: Guest post by Dr. Martin Smith

[Editor’s preface: Yesterday, we opened our discussion of seafood eco-labeling with a guest post by Dr. Tim Essington of the University of Washington. Today we present the second perspective on the Marine Seafood Council’s report on environmental certification of seafood products. Dr. Marty Smith is the Dan and Bunny Gabel Associate Professor of Environmental Economics […]

Is seafood certification the answer to sustainability? SeaMonster asks Dr. Tim Essington

[Editor’s preface: How should the conscientious piscivore forage in the complex ecosystem of the modern market? Those of us who love seafood but want to do the right thing are confronted with a blizzard of information and advice  — often conflicting — on the status of marine fish populations and the various management measures intended […]

California approves fin ban: what next for shark celebrities?

Sharks fin soup is on the way out in America’s Golden State. Today the California State Senate voted 25-9 to pass a bill that will ban the sale, trade, and possession of shark fins. In a few days it’ll be signed by the governor and effectively put an end to one of the largest, legal […]

Bluefin land on the Red List: SeaMonster interviews the expert team

Every five or ten years since 1963 a growing number of wild animal and plant species have been assessed for their risk of extinction to provide hard data useful to conservation and management. The unlucky ones found to be slipping go on the “Red List” overseen by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature […]

Bluefin tuna spawn ‘naturally’ in captivity

For the first time, captive bluefin tuna have produced millions of eggs without a chemical nudge from a dose of artificial hormones. Is this really a step forwards for the species? Or are they doomed to become domesticated shadows of their former, wild cousins who will still be caught, still be made into sushi, and […]

Decapitated ecosystems come back to haunt us

What happens when you cut off something’s head? In the case of an ecosystem, it doesn’t die, but transforms into something very different — and sometimes scary. A zombie, if you like. Decapitation is essentially what humans are doing to food webs throughout the world’s islands, continents, and oceans. Meaning that we’re cutting off the […]

Zen garden with squid: A photo essay

I love fish markets — I always feel like a kid in a candy store, looking for the strange and interesting creatures and parts thereof  hidden on a back shelf or down a back aisle. So I seek them out where’er I go. I’ve not been to the famed Tokyo fish market I’m afraid, where […]

Shrimp farming: a green (blue) future?

I love shrimp. Not just as sources of surprising insights into the evolution of social life. They’re tasty too. Too much so in fact. Despite my attempts to fit into a dainty little ecological footprint, I’ve always found it difficult to pass up shrimp on the menu despite the fact that they’re generally considered by […]

Forum on fish, food, and people

Editor’s note: The following discussion, which more than one participant called “extraordinary”, began after  Ray Hilborn of the University of Washington published an op-ed “Let us eat fish” in the New York Times on 14 April 2011, and  John Bruno of the University of North Carolina (and my Co-Editor at SeaMonster) replied here at SeaMonster. […]

Holy Mackerel!

[. . . I’m tempted to add “Batman!”, but that would really show my age.] Where on earth do such expressions come from? I can’t answer that, but at least we can now sleuth out the evolution of the word mackerel itself, thanks to some crack detective work by Jim Gleick in his new book […]

Let us eat (other people’s) fish

Should Americans really eat more fish? In a recent op-ed in the NYT titled “Let Us Eat Fish” Dr. Ray Hilborn, a fisheries scientist at the University of Washington, argued we should. Ray thinks that because some of the hundreds of fish populations harvested in U.S. waters appear to be recovering and approaching levels that […]

Ocean friendly seafood? There’s an app (or two) for that.

So you’re out on a date at your favorite little romantic seafood bistro, looking at the menu with whatever sanitized name the marketers have just invented for Patagonian toothfish or slimefish or whatever. With all the conflicting information out there, how does the average civilian choose what to order without pillaging the ocean? Fortunately, technology […]

A letter from your mother on Earth Day

Hello to all of my human inhabitants, This is your mother, the Earth. Yes that’s right, the planet you live on. I thought I’d get in touch with a message in honor of my special day (thank you, BTW, I never miss an excuse for a good party), and the SeaMonster was kind enough to […]

The fish that launched a thousand ships, then disappeared

A recent analysis clinches the growing evidence that the North Atlantic is a unique region of the world ocean, and helps explain both its special vulnerability to fishing, and perhaps also its fundamental importance in the historical expansion of European influence around the globe. This is a big fish tale. Scientifically speaking, the body size […]

Japanese seafood’s fine-unless you eat it

A series of news outlets are reporting that sampled fish near the crippled Fukushima reactor are showing high levels of radioactivity, which isn’t too surprising since workers at the plant dump over 1000 tons of contaminated water into the ocean Monday night. Excellent. The findings are stoking fears in seafood markets and restaurants around the […]

Have we reached “peak fish”?

During the 20th century fishing became a heavy industry, expanding rapidly to the global scale, and fishing pressure now appears to be near—if not beyond—the ocean’s capacity to provide. The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently reported that “the maximum wild capture fisheries potential from the world’s oceans has probably been […]

Who pays for overfishing? Poor people in Africa

The pervasive detrimental impacts of overfishing on marine life and ecosystems have been widely publicized in recent years, ratcheting up calls for stricter regulation and protection. A counter-argument commonly heard in debates on this issue is that fishing (like coal mining, oil drilling, pillaging of old-growth forests, etc.) provides essential jobs, revenue, and food, particularly […]