After yesterday's bout of globalization-guilt I learned that, according to NOAA, 91 percent of American seafood is imported, and not from Alaska (which still has not been recognized as its own nation, may Joe Vogler rest in peace). Or, mutatis mutandis, ONLY NINE PERCENT OF OUR SEAFOOD COMES FROM THIS COUNTRY.
This speaks to an incredible reliance on foreign fisheries and aquaculture. The majority of our tilapia, perhaps the only fish I believe is a viable and responsible farmed option, comes from China. This is a fish which is supposed to be outrageously easy to cultivate in a kiddie-pool in your back yard. Speaking of the iron-panda: According to the Patriot Ledger much of the cod sold up and down the east cost is "caught and frozen in Norway and cut in China". Your fish and chips went from Norway to China in order to be processed before ever ending up on a plate in Maine. However I slice it that comes to at least one circumnavigation of the globe before the actualization of each potential fish stick. I'm still having a hard time grasping how it can be economically viable for this to take place. Certainly there must have been some kind of egregious mistake. Could they have somehow missed when they sent the fish from Norway and passed unknowingly through the Panama canal in the night?
Simultaneously, Europe is scrambling to create new policy to deal with the problem of overfishing in its waters. According to the NY Times 80 percent of Mediterranean fish stocks and 47 percent of Atlantic stocks have been overfished. The globalization of the fish industry has obviously not been profitable in the greater sense of the word. Unfortunately though this trend does not appear to be spontaneously reversing itself. Fish demand has been growing consistently since the 70's (also NOAA) while wild fisheries flounder, meaning that international fish farming has increased by over 8 percent per annum to take up the slack. It doesn't take a weatherman to see which way the wind blows.
This information has inspired me to unveil the launch of Seashaken's new marketing campaign directed at Key West - it's still domestic people.