Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Do Not Eat Fish. Why Is That Suprising?

his topic comes up about once a week with clients, friends, and people I meet out and about. I do not eat fish. Just because I make my living catching them and teaching others to catch them does not inherently mean I should eat them, right?

I'll rant on a few topics:

  1. What I eat from the oceans
  2. Fish are full of chemicals
  3. Biomagnification
  4. Population decimation

About the only thing I eat from the Oceans are protists. My ice cream (when I buy it from a store rather than make it) has carrageenan, my toothpaste has diatoms in it to act as an abrasive, and I like to eat veggie roles at the sushi restaurant. The pieces are wrapped in nori. One learns to eat sushi when living in Annandale with its diverse Asian population and plethora of ethnic eateries.

Fish for one are not the cleanest animal to eat. Most of them are bathed in an invisible broth of chemicals from heavy metals, human feces, and excreted human pharmaceuticals. So not only are a lot of the fish in the Potomac male with female gonads (from being bathed in birth control medications) but they are also terribly happy because that broth also contains a lot of anti-depressants. The term androgynous anadramous fish is a mouthful anyway.

Lets add in all of the chemical fertilizers from lawns and golf courses that wash into our water, the oils and gas from cars (notice all that black and gray snow on the roads after our blizzards? That all melts and gets into our water) de-icing chemicals from the airports, dioxins from paper plants, and everything else out there. It all ends up in our water. And that water flows to the sea. So the fish in the sea get it too.


If you account for biomagnification and think about that when you eat a predatory fish, you are consuming the top of the food chain and all of the chemicals consumed by organisms lower in the food chain. A quick Google search produced this image from the Conservation Report . I have no affiliation to this web page but cite them as the first image I liked to illustrate biomagnification.


We know Jermey Piven ate too much sushi laden with Mercury (Hg) and got sick.
"Don't eat the fish and don't major in Sanskrit"-Droz

Next up is population decimation. Fish are just about gone from the Oceans. Fish are not like orange juice cartons at the corn store (grocery store). When one gets taken away another one visibly replaces it. You take a fish out of the water and you remove all of its potential progeny in future generations. You remove that section of the food web. Take away filter feeders (oysters, menhaden, etc) and the water is no longer filtered.

Bill Bryson talks about this in great and eloquent detail and sums up a lot for me:




I prefer to consume renewable resources that have been locally raised with minimal impact on the planet.  I can't do this all the time but I try. I need to get back to polishing my next podcast on fish families. I throw fish back so they can produce offspring where and when possible.

L8rs

1 comments:

Is the book reference from Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything"? I love that book!

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