Sustainable Seafood: Community Supported Agriculture Includes Fish?

Canned fish

Sustainable seafood. Seems easy enough, but my little cans of oysters and clams came all the way from China.

When I was a child we bought oolichans right off the pier down by the river. They were oily little fish, perfect for pan frying. I have not seen them sold in decades. We also ate only locally caught fish. We knew the man who caught them and even the river they came out of. Our freezer was full when the season got going.

I am not that old, how did I become so disconnected from my seafood? Plastic wrapped, on a styrofoam bed, and smelling “fishy” is not the way we should be enjoying our seafood. Neither is canned and imported all the way from China.

We see stores labelling wild or farmed on their fish. But what about trawled, pelagic longline, dredging, and open net pens? I feel I have to become an expert just to ethically put food on my table. Do you know what is locally caught in your area? Honestly I don’t. I have never even had a sea cucumber and those are from my area. Are they sustainable? Good golly, I don’t know.

I don’t have answers, just more questions, but that is okay. I don’t eat a lot of seafood, and I just want to open a dialogue about the seafood I do consume. What choices could I be making to eat sustainable seafood, caught in a manner that did not hurt the environment, harvested in season and locally?

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