Why No FIsh?
There are many reasons why fish should not be killed and eaten for food.
1. Fish and seafood in general is unhealthy for you.
Mercury and chemical contamination
Fish from many areas in the world are contaminated with toxic chemicals and other pollutants, most notably mercury. The EPA in 2003 advised that 800,000 miles of American rivers and over 13 million lake acres are contaminated with so much mercury that the fish are not safe to eat. PCBs, which are industrial chemicals, can be found in 45% of all salmon and whitefish. Mollusks (clams, oysters, and mussels), shrimp, oysters, etc. have a larger contamination rate particularly with environmental chemicals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, PCBs dioxin, and pesticides as well as viruses and enteric bacteria.
Organism and natural toxins contamination
All handled and processed seafood is at risk for carrying infectious organisms including clostridium, salmonella, shigella, staphylococcus aureus, and botulism. Another potentially severe hazard is contamination of fish by naturally occurring toxins such as ciguatera and scombroid poison which are carried by reef fish and fish that eat reef fish. According to the Institute of Medicine’s Seafood Safety, over half the nation’s seafood supply is imported and contamination is pervasive so efforts to identify and control the problem “should be strengthened”.
Additionally, fish and seafood contain saturated fat, cholesterol and no fiber, all of which contributes to many disease states. Even the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish are unstable molecules that oxidize easily causing the production of free radicals which causes significant damage to our cells over time. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has published numerous articles that have concluded that the best source of omega-3 fatty acids is from vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and beans that produce a much more stable form of this nutrient.
2. Eating fish is unhealthy for our oceans.
Contributing to extinction
The fishing industry is irreversibly depleting the earth of numerous species of sea life and causing a significant loss of biodiversity in our oceans. The United Nations reported that all 17 of the world’s major fishing areas have reached or exceeded their natural limits of life taken. Two of the most populated marine life grounds on earth, the Grand Banks off Canada and New England’s Georges Bank are closed now and considered commercially extinct. According to the World Conservation Union, there are 1,081 fish species worldwide that are endangered (1/3 of all fish species are threatened by extinction). Seventy percent of the world’s fish resources are currently over-exploited or fully exploited and the demand for seafood by consumers is projected to increase by another 30 million tons with the next few years according to the Environmental Effects of Marine Fisheries give by the European Aquaculture Industry in 2002.
Unnecessary killing of other creatures
Newer vacuuming and sweeping methods of fishing have essentially been clearcutting our oceans. These methods are incredibly wasteful in that for every mollusk, tuna or other fish that ends up on your dinner plate, there are literally too many others that are killed such as turtles, juvenile fish, and dolphins. For every one pound of shrimp sold there are about 20 pounds of other sea creatures caught, killed and tossed overboard.
Similar to the devastation that the cattle industry is causing to our rainforests, the fishing industry and its depletion of marine wildlife will cause irreparable and incalculable damage to the oceans’ intricate web of life.