Around 16 percent of animal proteins consumed worldwide are seafood based, and according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, demand for ocean cuisine is increasing. However, over-fishing has become a serious concern; the Pacific bluefin tuna is just one of the species that is suffering tremendously. Many marine ecosystems are being threatened as a result of this unsustainable practice. Industrial trawlers trap a lot of bycatch in their massive nets such as whales and dolphins.
Why the fishing industry is such an issue
It’s thought that most of the fish for human consumption will be farm-raised by the year 2030. Inefficiently managed fish farms end up being homes to excessive bacteria and are also often contaminated with toxic chemicals. Farmed salmon can become a big problem for the environment when they mix with wild ecosystems. A lot of wild fish are tainted with high amounts of mercury and microplastics. Decreasing resources and the instability of the ocean’s ecosystems means that the traditional seafood industry is undeniably unsustainable.
Recent research has also debunked the myth that fish don’t feel pain. Many species of fish have been found to possess social bonding skills, long-term memories, and parenting skills. They’re also capable of using tools, learning traditions, and collaborating with other species. Numerous experts now believe that fish also experience emotions, including pain.
Enlightened business models
Impossible Foods is revolutionizing the industry with their plant-based fish alternatives, Good Catch has made a plant-based tuna substitute, Ocean Hugger Foods has also done a plant-based “raw” tuna, and New Wave Foods has created a plant-based shrimp. Fry’s is a South African based company that has created a variety of tasty and healthy products that combat the destruction caused from animal agriculture, while still providing people with their favourite food options. Along with battered “prawns” and “fish” fillets, they do schnitzels, hotdogs, burger patties, “chicken” strips, pies, mince, sausages, and even ice cream.
More and more people are starting to wake up to the reality of the situation, and as a result, they’re coming up with more ethically, medically, and environmentally beneficial solutions.