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Oceana: 5 Shocking Fish Facts

Here are five key statistics from the book, the ones that shocked me most:

1. Since 1988, commercial fishing’s catch has declined by 500,000 tons PER YEAR.

2. For every pound of shrimp caught, 10 pounds of other marine life are killed and thrown away.

3. In 2000, the world’s fisheries had burned 13 billion gallons of fuel to catch 80 million tons of fish. And it’s only gotten worse in the years since (see #2).

4. The world’s factory-farmed pigs and chickens consume twice the amount of seafood in one year that the Japanese people consume as a nation, and SIX times the amount we Americans eat (and those animals weren’t even meant to eat fish).

5. A lot of fish is “faked.” You can’t be sure that the snapper is really snapper, or the more expensive wild-caught really is wild-caught.

It’s not just overfishing that is the problem, but oil pollution from drilling, acidification of the water caused by too much CO2, toxic chemical runoff from farming, plastic waste (also made from oil), and the end of coral reefs in our lifetime. It became clear to me as I read his book that we have to think differently about how we eat and shop, and about seafood and fish in general. It’s precious! We should enjoy it as such. Know its origins, either by catching it ourselves or buying it from a local fisherman, and only eat it thoughtfully and sparingly. Yes, fish is healthy, but organic vegetables are even healthier!

And this spring break or summer, as you enjoy the beach, try to think about what lies beneath. Pick up a trash bag stuck in a tree and fill it with beach trash. And read Oceana. It will make you truly appreciate the ancient power and beauty of our oceans—and why it’s up to us to restore their bounty.

In the meantime, for a list of safe (for you and for the planet) seafood to eat, go to

Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Environment, Food, Green Kitchen Tips, Maria's Farm Country Kitchen, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues, , , , , , , ,

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1:36AM PDT on Oct 1, 2011

we must always keep this in mind

1:00PM PDT on Jul 18, 2011

Sad article. Thank you for wrting it.

Only when the last tree has been cut down; Only when the last river has been poisoned; Only when the last fish has been caught; Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
(Native American proverb)

"We have learned to fly the air like birds and swim the sea like fish, but we have not yet learned the simple art of living together as brothers." (Martin Luther King)

5:56PM PDT on Jun 18, 2011

thanks. very sad and frustrating

12:09AM PDT on Jun 18, 2011


5:22PM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

what is happening is so sad.

4:21AM PDT on Jun 5, 2011

Very disturbing and sad...

8:23AM PDT on May 29, 2011

We are really overfishing our oceans and it's ad that people don't realize it. We waste too much of everything and produce too much garbage.
Thanks a lot for the article. It makes me want to read that book now.

3:31AM PDT on May 29, 2011

In the mainstream media we are being told to limit our intake of many types of fish because we are told that they contain high levels of Mercury. Are we to believe everything we hear?
Learn the Myths About Mercury Poisoning in Fish

10:00AM PDT on May 28, 2011

we use our world like a dumping ground,all animals suffer because of our stupidity

5:24AM PDT on May 28, 2011

I feel frustrated and sad. Why do we do this to the world, to the poor animals? One day, there will be no more fish.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

Very cute. It would be great for entertainment when you are not home.

Article seems to be pretty balanced.


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