Ocean overfishing is the act of killing wildlife from the sea for purposes of consumption faster than they can replace themselves. It started with international efforts to increase availability and affordability of protein-rich foods in the mid-20th century, which resulted in governments making new policies, loans and subsidies to increase fishing capacity.
Such policies naturally captured the attention of opportunistic big industrial fishing operations, who developed trailblazing methods and technologies to find, extract and process their target species. What ensued was many of our favorite dishes – I mean, fishes – are now close to extinction.
The issue is so alarming that it worried Jiro Ono, the sushi guru in the hit 2011 documentary, Jiro Dreams of Sushi and the owner of Sukiyabashi Jiro, which holds the reputation of being the world’s best sushi restaurant.
“I told my young men three years ago sushi materials will totally change in five years,” he said. “And now, such a trend is becoming a reality little by little.”
Jiro Ono was not the only person who was perturbed by overfishing. The water police authorities have, with the help of Google, SkyTruth and Oceana (which select data from automatic identifcation system, a system boats are required to broadcast for safety reasons), been able to track every boat’s location. This allows them to detect any boat operating in a prohibited zone.
Of course, this article is not written just to tell you what overfishing is and what has been done to combat this problem. The writer here loves sashimi and is hoping that you will do something to save the fishes so she does not have to enter a Japanese restaurant where is she served with only rice and wasabi – no sashimi.
Let’s save our sashimi!
Here are five things we would like you to do :
This article is by no means exhaustive, so please read about overfishing.
- Know what you eat
Yes, tuna tastes great and maybe you can’t live a day without raw salmon, but do you know how much impact you cause to the problem of overfishing by eating your favorite fish? Be sure to refer to this guide before you eat. If reading makes you yawn (which is unlikely since you are reading this, but we don’t want to give you any excuse for not knowing what you put in your mouth), you might want to consider this interactive guide instead.
- Tell a friend
Tell your friends, or if you are a social media junkie, Tweet it. Blog it. Write a Facebook status.
- Write a letter
No, we are not talking about love letters here (but your crush might find your intellect attractive). Write to your government officials about your concerns (we hope it concerns you by now. That juicy sashimi is at risk!) and ask what has been done to solve the problem.
(At this point we would like to share this video with you. Just in case if you are still not taking this issue seriously.)
- Sign petitions
Sometimes writing a letter does not work (depending on which country you are in). If that’s the case, you might want to consider signing a petition that pressures the government into taking action.
You might wonder why are we inserting the image of a red panda in an article about overfishing. We are of the opinion that this cute little mammal might make you take the five actions mentioned above immediately. We are also of the opinion that this cute little mammal would make a great article ending albeit the irrelevancy.