Sunday, October 17, 2010

‘Four Fish’: A Crash Course in Sustainability

I recently finished reading Paul Greenberg’s ‘Four Fish’, a book that looks at four of the main fish species in the human diet and analyzes them from a historical, economic, and sustainable perspective. In addition to being a great read, the book made some important points as to the future directions that we should be taking regarding these species.

The fish covered are salmon, bass, cod, and tuna. Greenberg delves into the fishing history of these species and shows how each one is closely tied to human diets and economies. He then discusses their future prospects with respect to continued fishing as well as aquaculture.

Essentially, his message is clear: we are fishing these animals too heavily, and we need to rely more on farming. However, he accurately points out that, like current fishing pressures, many current farming practices are also unsustainable. He calls for a revamping of the aquaculture industry by such methods as farming fish that have lower feed conversion ratios, as well as adopting more sustainable management practices such as polyculture.

Overall, this is a must-read book for anyone interested in the future of seafood!

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