Kiss your rainbow rolls goodbye
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Whether you’re a fan of elegant plates of sashimi or carnival sushi piled high with fried onions (or both, as in my case), you might want to take a seat for this news. According to the World Wildlife Fund, it’s very possible that the world could run out of fish by 2048. That gives us only 31 years to stuff our faces full of sushi, though we’ll likely have less time than that since prices will soar before fish disappear from our dinner tables altogether.
According to the WWF’s report, which draws from research conducted for a 2006 study published in the journal Science, unsustainable fishing practices could drive many species to extinction. Currently, more than half of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, and about a third are overexploited, depleted, or recovering from depletion, a study by the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization reports. Unless officials from around the world implement drastic changes in the next few years, bad management, pirate fishers conducting business illegally, and subsidies that keep failing fisheries operational will further exacerbate the problem. Put simply, no imminent action means you can kiss sushi goodbye as a date-night staple.
Pretty, but not the same thing.
Still, not having sushi to help keep the romance alive would definitely be the least of our problems. Expect unregulated overfishing to result in swift job losses, the collapse of delicate marine ecosystems, and losses of primary food sources for developing coastal nations. There’s also the ever-present problem of climate change, something we can’t solve by depleting the ocean’s resources.
So, what can we do to save the oceans and keep sushi in our lives? The WWF suggests doing a little research. Make sure the fish you buy at the market was harvested or raised sustainably, and consult Seafood Watch’s consumer guides to know which types of fish to avoid. Supporting and advocating for aquaculture can also lessen the burden on our oceans. Farmed fish will very likely be the future of sustainable seafood, as Mother Jones recently pointed out. You can also donate to the Nature Conservancy, which supports protecting the oceans and marine life. Whether you choose to donate your time or money, consider it a worthwhile investment toward enjoying whatever elaborate rolls future sushi chefs may concoct.