Shifting Tastebuds


Having established the link between overeating and overfishing, it is also worth noting the trend of Fishing Down Marine Food Webs, another phenomenon uncovered by Daniel Pauly and team in 1998. 'Fishing down marine food webs' describes the fishing industry's elimination of top predators in the marine system over the last fifty years. Since these top predators are unable to reproduce quickly, the fishing industry targets the next biggest fish, and so on and so on, down the marine food web.

A recent article sent to us by Mike Hirshfield of Oceana fits neatly into 'fishing down marine food webs' and our recent seafood debate. Fifty years ago, Brits could not have imagined eating more squid than cod (it was indeed so unimaginable, the British do not even have their own word for squid cuisine but have usurped the Italian's: calamari). In Britain today, sales of these slimy invertebrates have outpaced those of their backboned brethren. Eating lower on the marine food web (e.g., invertebrates), one ecological option encouraged by many environmental groups, ultimately might occur not voluntarily but forcibly. Shifting taste buds, just another shifting baseline.

To read more about Britain's calamari sales from Seafood News, click 'read on' below...

Calamari sales growing in Britain as cod becomes scarce

  • Copyright 2007 EXPRESS NEWSPAPERS
  • April 5, 2007
  • By Graham Hiscott
  • Sales of squid have soared to an all-time high as Britons experiment with more unusual seafood.
    Demand is so great that it has even overtaken the traditional favourite cod in some fishmongers.
    The calamari craze has been helped by celebrity chefs such as Rick Stein.

    Another factor is concern over dwindling stocks of more common fish.

    According to the Sea Fish Industry Authority, 1,267 tons of squid were caught in UK waters last year - equivalent to 160 double-decker buses.

    The Fish Society, the UK's biggest online fishmonger, saw a 15 per cent rise in sales last year.
    It is now delivering two tons of squid to British doorsteps - outstripping cod - and it predicts sales will double by the end of the year.

    Alistair Blair, managing director the Fish Society, said: 'We have always been surprised by the success of squid, but it goes on and on.' The firm offers whole squid, as well as a prepared version. 'Squid is mainly body with some modest tentacles, whereas the octopus is all tentacles and very little body, ' said Mr Blair.

    'The tentacle 'eek' factor will probably never be overcome in this country, so octopus will never catch on big time.

    'The main reason for the success of squid is that, once cleaned, it is very high-quality meat. There are no thin bits, no bones and no skin. Cleaned squid is like a sheet of pasta. Also, it's much less fragile than most other fish. Squid is not going to break in two when you try to slip your fish slice under it.

    'It tastes good and it has a crunch factor that is very appealing to most people.

    I am not talking about it being rubbery - that's what you get if you overcook it.' Michael Park of the Scottish White Fish Producers Association said: 'Unlike a lot of white fish, squid is unregulated.
    Fishermen can catch as much as they like for as long as they like.

    'It seems that as sea temperatures increase, the numbers of squid are going up. We must change as the seas change.'


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    I think people differ greatly on this issue. For example, if it were completely unidentifiable as my own, I would have no problem with a picture of my naked ass being posted on the Internet. Others would be absolutely horrified by the prospect.