Here’s a disturbing thought for the future of food and the world’s oceans: ” . . . most of the fish we’ll be eating will be farmed, and by midcentury, it might be easier to catch our favorite wild fish ourselves rather than buy it in the market.”
That’s according to Mark Bittman, a no-nonsense, straightforward chef, writer and PBS host. He had a piece in Sunday’s Week in Review section in the NYT, pondering, as the headline said, the future of fish.
While the future could be bleak when it comes to wild seafood, a recovery of depleted fishing stocks is possible. Possible, he writes, but not easy.
“It will be a considerable undertaking nonetheless. Global consumption of fish, both wild and farm raised, has doubled since 1973, and 90 percent of this increase has come in developing countries. (You’ll sometimes hear that Americans are now eating more seafood, but that reflects population growth; per capita consumption has remained stable here for 20 years.)
The result of this demand for wild fish, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization, is that “the maximum wild-capture fisheries potential from the world’s oceans has probably been reached.”
One study, in 2006, concluded that if current fishing practices continue, the world’s major commercial stocks will collapse by 2048.”
The fish in the photo are mackerel, which are mentioned briefly in Bittman’s essay.