When Ocean Populations Run Dry – Seafood Sustainability Practices Curb Extinctions

While humans continue to consume natural resources and food sources at unprecedented rates, many species cannot keep up with the demand. Whether this occurs because the species natural ecosystem is so severely damaged that population regeneration struggles to occur, or because the natural gestation, maturation or growth period of the resource is too long to allow for repopulation, the problem can grow to be quite serious, ultimately resulting in extinction. Such problems exist specifically in the seafood industry, which today is facing problems with finite fish stocks in populations around the world.

Places like Alaska, New Zealand and Iceland have put into action laws protecting finite fish stocks and sustainability practices, but in other parts of the world such measures have yet to be taken or are weakly enforced. In New England a dangerous decline in fish stock over the last several years continues on a downward trend, and has resulted in what may be permanent damage to the ocean ecosystem. Overfishing is the prime culprit, and while the short term rewards of an excellent harvest in a particular year may be great, the long term damage can be devastating to not only the ecosystem but individuals and communities than depend on the fishing industry.

Consumers can help by electing seafood labeled as coming from a sustainable source, such as wild caught fresh seafood from the icy waters of Alaska. Due to the law enacted in 1959 as written into the state constitution, no seafood products from the state 日本吉品鮑 sold are from finite fish stocks. Restrictions put in place to protect Alaskan populations range from quotas, to gear and vessel restrictions, location restrictions, and throw-back regulations based on the size, age, weight and even sex of the specimens harvested. The Alaskan salmon and halibut success stories in protecting species that were once finite fish stocks are examples cited the world over in how to properly manage a successful and sustainable fishing industry.

In order for finite fish stocks to make full recoveries, it will be up to not only local and national governments to pass and enforce laws regulating the fishing industry, but consumers as well. Consumers must learn to pick the right kinds of seafood and support sustainable industries by voting with their dollars. An easy way to do this is by electing seafood from safe, sustainable states like Alaska that have successful statewide policies in place ensuring a fresh, top quality, and environmentally friendly product.