Do you like sushi?

Fish has always been a part of the Bengali diet. One could say Bengalis and fish are snonymous. We grew up hearing from our parents and grandparents that it was excellent for health and an essential part of  our daily nutrition.  I was never really a big fan of fish as a kid and frankly, it took a while before the acquired taste finally developed. Now of course, you could say I am a bit of a fish lover.

But with changing times, land and sea scapes, the fish story needs to be re-written. Parents today need to be careful about the story  they tell their  kids. And most of all be aware and conscious of the marine food chain and the various implications these fast paced times bring to it.

The National Geographic Channel delivers an impeccable interactive site, a combination of great design and quick useful facts. The 3 vital sections, Marine Food Chain, Seafood Decision Guide and the World’s Seafood footprint are eye opening.

The marine food chain section drafts out the sea-life pyramid with sharks and such reigning  at the top of the pyramid and finally going down to seaweed and plankton residing at the bottom level.

The Seafood Decision Guide is where truth starts revealing itself. Due to industrial poisoning, sea species higher up in the food chain are subject to  high mercury content, making for dangerous consumption. We ate striped  bass last night for dinner and it was a perfect opportunity to check the decision guide. An intuitive interface, quick to glance site design easily brought up the facts. The Striped Bass scored a 2.35 sustainability ranking out of 4, a 0.09 toxic level out of a maximum of  0.119 ppm and an omega content of 900. Plainly putting it, not very sustainable, not toxic and has a high content in omega 3.

The last section World’s Seafood Content is no less fascinating. Imagine Peru, rating only 2nd after China in catching highest #of fish. No surprises in the consumption graph where USA, Canada and China reign supreme.

All that to say, we spent about half hour, toggling between the sections and in the process came away feeling a little more aware and prepared about our next seafood order.

One more thing, try to avoid the oh-so-delicious Yellow Fin Tuna at your local sushi haunt. Take a look at the site ratings on this fish and you will know why.

Photo Courtesy:

One Response to “Do you like sushi?”
  1. Peru comes 2nd after China in fish consumtion? That is news indeed!!!! But can’t give up my Omega 3 fatty acid,Honestly! It keeps my brain alive (or whatever is left of it 😀 ). But I guess it’s time to take stock, of whatever Mother Nature has provided us with.
    Overpopulation=Over-consumption=Overfishing=species extinction=food chain screw up, the equation is not really so simple anymore, too many factors are associated and the National Geographic can only do the research and inform us.
    At the end of the day, it is ‘US’ who have to be aware and cautious, because it is ‘OUR’ future, as well as the future of our ‘Progeny’. Once the balance is lost, the whole chain is going to topple like a structure made of playing cards, and It cannot be revived, No amount of Scientific reconstruction effort will be able to rebuild and replenish or reestablish the links of that Ecological chain. That is why the information is so important to us, to be better equipped with knowledge. Because knowledge equals to power, the power to change the world. I hope we wake up, BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

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