After running for port all night, we were met at the dock in the early morning by the buyer from Whole Foods.
Blue Ocean Institute has been working with Whole Foods in helping them offer sustainably-caught fish at their seafood counter. Whole Foods is featuring Canadian harpooned swordfish as a sustainable, zero-bycatch source of swordfish from a swordfish population that is recovering its numbers. They offer the fishermen good, reliable prices and everyone seems satisfied all around.
Considering the history of fisheries and their tendency to overdo it and deplete the fish they depend on, we feel a tension between seeing fish as food and seeing them as wildlife. In fact, though, they are both. We need to value them alive at least as much as we value them as food. Without enough live ones, of course, we won’t have them as food. So I am not “recommending” that people eat swordfish. I am recommending that people who choose to eat swordfish look for swordfish caught in this no-bycatch Canadian harpoon fishery, from this recovering population.
Because this segment of Saving the Ocean will be about recovering fisheries in New England, in addition to this swordfish trip we’ll be making several more field trips before we put the show together. It will likely air on PBS early in 2012.
We thank Okeanos Foundation for generous support of this work.