While recent food-safety scares have caused many people to wonder what their food could do to them, we don’t always consider the environmental consequences of what we choose to eat. With this year’s poor sockeye salmon run, I’m again reminded that things aren’t as they used to be. When I was little, going to the Steveston dock for sockeye was an annual summer outing that resulted in succulent barbeques and my mom’s steamed salmon steaks, a perfectly simple way to savour what to me was a perfect fish.
In the last two years, I have not tasted a single sockeye and it is just as well. The precarious status of Pacific sockeye was emphasized this week when the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) placed the fish on its Red List of Threatened Species. Read the State of the Salmon Report.
In recent years, growing concern about the sustainability of our oceans, including the possibility that we could run out of fish, has led me to re-think my own consumption of seafood. When grocery shopping, I try to adhere to the sustainable seafood guidelines set out by SeaChoice and Seafood Watch. We can also make ocean-friendly choices when dining out as more Canadian restaurants make savvy seafood choices and adopt the Ocean Wise program.