In many communities people are growing more and more aware that their food choices affect not just our own health, but also our society and planet. Whether it is local farmers’ markets springing up across the country or grocery stores dedicating aisles to organic foods, it’s clear that consumers are taking a more critical view of how their food is produced. But when it comes to seafood, murky messages abound about what we are eating.
The need to end unsustainable fishing has led some to falsely conclude that large-scale fish farming is a solution. Pressured by industry, the U.S. government has also pushed this as a solution, budgeting $4.3 million for the 2011 fiscal year to support development of the ocean factory fish farming industry in federal waters. But this approach will not provide sustainable seafood for consumers, as it puts more pressure on wild fish and more industrially produced food on our plates.