Posts Tagged ‘tuna’

Fish Prices Expected to Skyrocket in Coming Years

November 3, 2010

The world is being severely overfished. That’s the conclusion so far from an ongoing study being conducted at the University of British Columbia. According to the study, the world catch, or the amount of fish taken out of the sea “in the wild”, is approximately 170 billion pounds each year.

The study’s authors claim that this amount of fishing is unsustainable. They claim that world fish prices could spike severely in the near future as fish becomes more and more of a luxury for Western consumers while those in developing nations may have to do without altogether.

The Type of Fish is the Biggest Problem

One of the issues the study brings up, and one which we are particularly concerned about, is that the raw tonnage of fish taken out of the sea is not nearly as important as the type of fish consumed.

The authors of the study, Daniel Pauly, a fisheries scientist as the university, and Enric Sala, a National Geographic fellow say that the bigger the fish, the more of a problem it is to consume it.

Tuna for example, which restaurateurs have already seen spike in prices in recent years, is a fish which they say needs to be kept to a minimum. A thousand pound tuna for example, according them, would require around 15,000 pounds of other fish to be bred and made ready for our plates.

That’s because tuna is what is known as an “Apex predator.” These kinds of fish rest on top of the food chain and eat many other, smaller fish.

A Change in Menus is Called For

The scientists say that given the concerns they have regarding the sea, they would like to see people begin eating other, smaller fish such as farmed tilapia in place of salmon and black cod in place of Chilean sea bass.

How it Affects Restaurateurs

As the efforts of the study authors become more and more apparent, restaurateurs will have to make decisions about their menus. Some for example may choose to offer both the bigger fish for those who aren’t concerned and only want to enjoy tuna or salmon while at the same making more environmentally friendly choices available for their diners who want other kinds of fish.