On land, do we eat tigers and lions?
No, of course not. In the oceans, however, many of us often do.
Sharks, tuna and similar ocean hunters play an important role by maintaining the health of the ecosystem. Saving them from human consumption is an obsession by National Geographic Ocean Explorer Enric Sala.
I have been on the receiving end of admonition from Enric on at least two occasions, so decided to do this video while at the World Economic Forum to assuage my guilt and explain the situation to others.
Enric’s point is that by eating from the top of the fish food chain we are destroying the ocean’s ecosystem in an unsustainable way. Other unsustainable seafood includes shrimps, of course. Unregulated shrimp farming has destroyed large swathes of Thailand’s coastal wetlands.
Instead of the lions and tigers of the ocean, we should eat lower on the food chain.
This means: Sardines, Herring, anchovies and oysters.
In addition to helping the ocean, they are more healthy to eat due to their lower levels accumulated mercury.
Enric also warns against Salmon due to the chemicals in the fish.
But what kind of Sushi should we eat? “Vegetarian Sushi, of course,” Enric will deadpan.
Fish to avoid: Bluefish Tuna, Caviar/Wild Sturgeon, Sharks, Swordfish.
In his work at the National Geographic Society, Sala has set a goal of preserving the ocean through a national parks-style system. Currently, only 1 percent of the ocean is protected, but in order to maintain sustainability, at least 20 percent should be protected by 2020.
An ocean preserve would create a buffer for overfishing and help the ocean survive for future generations.
Check out Enric’s page at National Geographic and you too will soon want to help save the ocean.
Thanks to Enric, my New Year’s resolution for the Chinese year of the Tiger? Stop eating the Tigers of the ocean!