When the Law doesn’t Protect Our Oceans, Consumer Power Can
Tomorrow is Earth Day.
Yesterday was the one -year anniversary of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Today oil remains in the Gulf and independent scientists confirm that the region is still suffering from the blowout. But oil spills are only one threat to our oceans.
Overfishing is considered the most critical peril facing our oceans. Overfishing means catching too many adult fish so there are not enough to breed and replenish the species. Around the world, 52% of fish stocks are in imminent danger of collapse. When a fishery collapses, large fishing fleets move onto plunder other species with no concern for the future.
Seafood lovers have the power to change overfishing – Earth Day is a great day to start!
Consumer power is vital to stop overfishing due to the labyrinth of difficult to enforce international treaties, federal and state laws. A recent report by Greenpeace ranks grocery stores on their fish policies and practices – for stores in North Carolina – Target, Whole Foods, Harris Teeter and Aldi – are doing a lot right. Those with room for improvement include Costco, Trader Joe’s, Wal-Mart and Kroger. Winn-Dixie ranks 19 out of 20, so it has some ‘splaining to do.
Here’s some suggestions on how you can make a difference for our oceans:
1. Talk with your grocery store or seafood merchant about your concerns with overfishing. Ask them to share their sustainability policy and to make it readily available in the store.
2. Learn about species that you shouldn’t buy and others that are in trouble.
3. Buy from merchants that have sustainable choices and that focus on selling local seafood.
4. Eat fish as a special treat – given the state of the oceans, we need to reduce consumption so species can revive.
Our oceans need you!