Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eating fish ain't so good for the environment

Whether you're eating fish caught in the open ocean, or farm-raised, it still takes a heavy toll on the environment (New Scientist). Here's the problem. If you're eating wild fish, a boat had to chug out and catch it. Global fishing fleets are responsible for as much fuel consumption as the Netherlands, and 130 million tons of CO2.

If you eat fish off a fish farm, they were probably fed fishmeal, which "actually has a much greater carbon trail." Consider the processing, transportation and everything it takes to create fishmeal.

What about shrimp? First of all, it takes two pounds of fish or squid meal to make one pound of farmed shrimp. And shrimp farms are wiping out coastal mangroves around the globe (so far, they've destroyed 30 percent of them). This is bad. Not only are the mangroves carbon sinks (like any vegetation), but CO2 and methane is released when they're cleared.

(image of fish farm by
voux via flickr)

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.