Eating a wider variety of fish, including species like hake, skate, and cusk, would help keep overall fish stocks strong, according to chef and author Barton Seaver. Diversifying in this way would help ensure that people can keep eating plenty of fish—an important source of nutrients—as well as ensure economic stability for fishermen and coastal communities.
In a December 18, 2017 interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air, Barton, director of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, discussed sustainable fishing and other fish-related topics, such as fish farming and tips for buying quality fish.
Seaver said that just three species—tuna, salmon, and shrimp—account for 65% of total fish consumption. But overexploitation can decimate species, he said. For example, a boom in popularity of sea bass that began in the 1990s led to overfishing and depleted stocks.
“I think that we as consumers, and we as chefs, need to become more educated about the wealth of diversity of seafood that’s available to us so that we place our demand across a broad footprint of the ecosystem,” he said.
Listen to the Fresh Air interview with Barton Seaver: Sustainable Seafood