Sustainable pescertarianism, an Oxymoron?

This past Sunday, at the Wellington Harbourside Market, I paid a visit to the floating fish shop.

As I watched the customers calling out their orders for snapper, flounder, salmon and tuna, cleaned and filleted to order by the boat’s crew, I couldn’t help but wonder – how can I eat fish responsibly?

We all (should) know by now that most commercial fishing practices are pretty terrible, environmentally speaking.  The oceans are in serious trouble, and will eventually be devoid of fish if we keep stuffing our faces with seafood at every possible opportunity.  Farmed fish… especially salmon, are also problematic, as they can affect wild populations health and safety.

So, how to be a sustainable fish-eater?  I don’t know.

Greenpeace maintains a list of the most vulnerable fish species in New Zealand, those that should be avoided at all costs.  I witnessed many of them being snapped up by eager shoppers on Sunday.

But what about fish not on this list?

In New Zealand, Tarakihi are one of your best bets.  I’m not sure why, but a reliable information source told me that.  I guess it would be good to know why, but I can’t be bothered to try and do that research right now.  I have a stack of books and articles to wade though.

So, on Sunday, I asked the fish man for 2 Tarakihis, cleaned, but not filleted, which I plan to make Laap Pa with tomorrow evening.  That’s Laotian Fish Laap for those of you who don’t speak Lao!


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