Something Fishy with GLRC's Seafood Report


We’re fish lovers. We love sushi and live fish (watching them swim, not eating them).

But when it comes to deciding which fish to boil, bake, or fry, the answer is not always cut and dried. There are many factors to consider, including contaminants, nutritional value, and, of course, which fish are being overfished.

So we were surprised when one of our favorite radio programs, the Great Lakes Radio Consortium’s Environment Report, did a story this week on which fish to eat, but didn’t include any information on overfishing. Yes, we understand that the Great Lakes’ walleye are not disappearing as rapidly as, say, the Atlantic Ocean’s bluefin tuna. But considering that fish at any restaurant or grocery store often come from a global fishing fleet and not just the Great Lakes, we couldn’t help but notice.

In the story, Kyle Norris interviews Anita Sandretto, a professor in the Environmental Health Sciences department at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health, who gives this recommendation:

So think in terms of moderation and variety. Sandretto says it's cool if you want to eat fish once or twice a week, and to try and vary the kinds of fish that you eat. She says moderation and variety are actually great rules of thumb to apply to your entire diet.

Many non-profits, including Oceans Alive, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the Blue Ocean Institute, suggest that people eat certain fish in moderation (as you can see by their nifty pocket guides), but not just because of mercury or PCBs. They also include how much of the fish remains in the sea.

It’s enough to make us think twice about telling someone there are plenty more fish in the sea.

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Comments

We're glad you like The Environment Report from the GLRC. Of course, you're right, there are species that are over-fished. We've done stories in the past about this. In this case, the focus was to get people to think about the health and risks and benefits of fish. We hope that once people start looking at the issue the other concerns are also brought to light.

Lester Graham
Senior Editor
Environment Report / GLRC

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