Something Smells Fishy

Happy Vote Tuesday everyone!  Last week was Halloween; this is Vote Tuesday.  What nice holidays, too bad we’re not off work sitting on the beach.  Anyway, if you haven’t done the deed yet, the polls do not close until 8pm.  Big year, big year (if you’re blue, but if you’re red…please disregard) :) !

Not sure if you saw the article in the NY Times last week about the global collapse of fishing by 2048.  So at least we have that going for us.  This seems to be a pretty serious thing.  In our lifetimes we will see a dramatic change in the ecosystem of the earth’s oceans.    It’s the same story that the animals here on terra firma deal with like habitat destruction and over-hunting (e.g. bushmeat in many developing countries).  However, fish stocks are also depleted by ecological damage (so called "dead zones") and mostly by over-fishing. 

I do not intend to focus solely on environmental issues in these newsletters and look to provide information based on non-animal diets, local and organic foods, becoming a responsible member of the food chain, etc.  However, habitat destruction and the obscene demand for fish is pretty relevant to the purpose of this newsletter.   If you get some time take a look at the NY Times article.  I wish I could say that farm-raised fish provides a good answer, but that also seems to come up short.  So, the next time you order that spicy tuna roll, just be conscious and try to reduce your consumption.


As you can assume, this week’s issues are focused on fish and the fishing industry.  The recipe is Best of Both Worlds Potatoes Anna. 


-  2/3 of the world’s fisheries are now overexploited or depleted.

-  It takes two to five pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of farmed salmon. The International Fishmeal and Oil Manufacturers Association predicts that by 2010, farmed fish could be eating 56% of the world’s annual output of fishmeal and more than 85% of its fish oil.

-  15% of global seafood is processed every year for fishmeal to feed farmed fish.

-  Approximately 98% of all Atlantic salmon currently being consumed comes from aquaculture net pen operations in , , and other producer countries.

-  Farmed seafood makes up about a third of the seafood consumed in the More than 60% of the salmon, virtually all of the catfish and trout, and two-thirds of the shrimp consumed by Americans are raised in ponds, tanks and pens.

-  In , fish farms now produce a quantity of untreated waste estimated at twice the flow of sewage from the nation’s human population. Other problems at these farms, like outbreaks of disease, can spread to wild fish and wipe out entire stocks.

-  There are currently more than 85 open-net cage fish farms operating in the coastal waters of British Columbia . The impact of the waste from these pens is equivalent to that of raw sewage from a city with 500,000 inhabitants.

-  Salmon are native only to the Northern Hemisphere but have been introduced to South America, , and the Great Lakes.

-  Marine mammals and birds are slaughtered because they are attracted to the crowded pens of fish.

-  Underwater sound devices used to discourage predatory sea lions have been shown to alter the behavior and habits of whales and other ocean mammals for miles around.

-  The average stocking density of cages on salmon farms is 15 kg/m 3; this is equivalent to keeping a strongly migratory, 2-foot-long salmon in a bathtub.

-  Sea lice, skin diseases, barnacles, and seaweed growth on netpens necessitates the application of pesticides, antifoulants and algaecides, which enter the marine environment and the food chain. Children are often more susceptible to chemicals, particularly those that affect the nervous system. Exposure to chemicals at critical times of development at levels believed to be safe for adults could result in permanent brain and nervous system damage in children. Some of these pesticides are also suspected endocrine disrupters that impact reproductive systems in humans and animals, and can lead to defective male genitals and decreased sperm counts.

-  An average farmed salmon steak contains nearly 10 times more toxic PCBs than a wild salmon steak.



Best-of-Both-Worlds Potatoes Anna

Serves 8

If you’re torn between serving regular potatoes or sweet potatoes, try this spectacular dish, which calls for both.

4 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 lb.)
3 Russet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 lb.)
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 medium-sized leek, trimmed, quartered and white part finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.        Preheat oven to 425F. Melt 1 Tbs. butter in 8-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl pan to coat bottom and sides; set aside.

2.        Toss sweet potatoes with 1 1/2 Tbs. butter, 1/2 tsp. thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper in medium bowl. Set aside.

3.        Toss Russet potatoes with remaining butter, thyme, salt and pepper in second bowl.

4.        Place one layer of Russet potatoes in overlapping circles on bottom of skillet. Sprinkle with leeks, and top with layer of sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with 1 Tbs. Parmesan. Repeat layering, ending with layer of sweet potato slices.

5.        Place skillet on burner. Cook potatoes 5 minutes over medium heat to brown bottom. Transfer skillet to oven, and bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and beginning to brown. Set 9-inch plate on top of skillet. Flip upside down to unmold potatoes. Slice into wedges, and serve.

199 Calories
4g Protein
7g Total Fat (4G Saturated Fat)
31g Carbohydrates
18mg Cholesterol
412mg Sodium
4g Fiber
9g Sugars


As always, thanks for listening!  Have a great week.

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