How can “kill it, cook it, eat it” be sustainable?

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Hello P’fish’ers:
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After our Passionfish co-founder Andrew Spurgin was interviewed recently on an hour-long radio talk show, “Gourmet Club” on Sign-On San Diego, he received the following question/comment from a listener:
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“This whole sustainable seafood thing makes me wonder. How does something remain sustainable if you kill it, cook it, and then eat it? This whole chain of events seems to me to be pretty non-sustainable and final for the seafood that’s involved. Thanks.”
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Andrew and Passionfish’s Executive Director Carl Rebstock have this eloquent response (for our vegan or part-time vegetarian friend):
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Sustainability really is a matter of perspective. From a fisheye point of view, ending up on and looking up from a dinner plate has an unmistakable finality to it: “sustainability” sounds like a raw deal when you’re being sliced into sushi. By contrast, we humans who must eat to survive must believe that this fish won’t be our last—that seafood will remain plentiful and that we live in times of abundance.
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The issue then becomes not so much of viewpoint but of worldview. Do we assume some personal responsibility for the sustainability of those resources that we consume or do we trust that others are doing so? One path demands a sort of social contract to become conscientious consumers of what must die to keep us alive.
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The other path works only when those we trust—the corporations, trade associations, nongovernmental organizations, or federal agencies—are held accountable by a populace that is active in the democratic process.
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As you can see, in either case, an engaged society is what keeps the system that sustains us from becoming disengaged.
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We at Passionfish believe that this bone-deep commitment to nurturing the natural world flows from knowledge, reverence, and the confidence that sustainability is attainable. We seek to inform, inspire, and involve seafood lovers in helping make market mechanisms responsive and responsible to the perspective that everyone deserves abundant and wholesome fish. Catch it, kill it, cook it, eat it, and enjoy it knowing it isn’t the last—when fisheries are managed “sustainably” — that is, when their populations are maintained at levels where they can recover and reproduce.
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Note: Passionfish subscribes to the not-always-easy-to-grasp definition of sustainability developed by the United Nations Brundtland Commission: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” This also means we totally get the “Omnivore’s Dilemma.”

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Our for-profit “fin” launches new design “for guys and gals without gills”

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That’s right, Passionfishers… today we launched our newest design of kids’ apparel at Fashionfish, an incredibly sauve octopus strummin’ on a shovelnose guitarfish. This guy, like a few of our designs, is printed using water-based inks on 100% certified organic cotton. Yes, it’s a little more expensive, but right now, there are people who like both the regular cotton and the organic cotton options so we sell both as we navigate the “sustainability” (and affordability) of these complicated matters.
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