Why Pescatarian Is Not The Answer

Many people trying to cut back on eating meat tend to opt for eating more fish to compensate. However, the rate at which we are depriving oceans of fish for consumption and trade, is severely destructive to the oceans and its surrounding habitats.

Planet Earth is comprised of mostly water, with the oceans occupying 71 percent of its surface. Needless to say, if our oceans are unhealthy, life on land is affected as well. Several problems are threatening our oceans with one of the largest being overfishing. According to a study reviewed by National Geographic, if we continue down this path, we may not have access to seafood by the year 2048. 

Whether from the growing demand for fish as a protein source or for the aquarium trade, removing such a large number of fish from the oceans is having a devastating environmental impact.  In an estimate from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), between 90-100 tons of fish are taken from the oceans annually, not including the unrecorded fish caught. In addition, for every one pound of caught fish, nearly five pounds of unintended catches are deemed as “by-kill”.

FAO says that more than 70 percent of marine species are either gone or completely taken over by humans. While illegal and unreported fishing is on the rise, not even one percent of the planet’s oceans are considered a Marine Protected Area (MPA).

Millions of species call the ocean and its surrounding habitats home. Fish are sensitive, sentient beings who have exhibited several attributes of intellect. For example, they have great sense of direction, memory, and social order.

The exploitation of marine life is hurting animals and our planet. It is time we act now, before it is too late. Many people opting to cut out meat end up becoming pescatarian, consuming much more fish than before. Instead of going this route, we encourage choosing environmentally conscious protein sources that do not harm others, or our planet.

 

Links:

Dietary greenhouse gas emissions of meat-eaters, fish-eaters, vegetarians and vegans in the UK: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-014-1169-1/fulltext.html

Benefits of soy: http://nsrl.illinois.edu/content/benefits-soy

The Cleanest Sources of Plant-Based Protein: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/the-cleanest-sources-of-plant-based-protein/

Sources:

http://www.animalequality.net/node/718

http://www.un.org/events/tenstories/06/story.asp?storyid=800

http://www.oceanicinstitute.org/aboutoceans/aquafacts.html

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/11/061102-seafood-threat.html

http://www.fishcount.org.uk/published/std/fishcountstudy.pdf

http://www.fao.org/docrep/W6602E/w6602E09.htm