So, I don't eat a lot of seafood at home - it's expensive as HELL to buy fish. But, BFF comes on Monday, and one of our favorite things when we were in Mexico was fish tacos. Specifically, grouper tacos. YUM. So, Madre and I were grocery shopping this evening, and I ran buy the seafood counter to find out how much grouper is per pound. Apparently, it's $11.99, but they quoted me $8.99 to begin with (bargain!). I told the guy I needed to think on it, as that is quite a bit of money for some poor kid like me.
And Madre said to go for it - we only needed a pound anyways. Well, as the guy behind the counter is collecting my frozen grouper, I asked where it was from and how it was caught (because, you know, I'm a biologist and all...). Apparently my grouper is from China and is wild caught. I'm not a fan of the China thing, but it's just this once, so I'll let it go. And my eyes wander over the case. And I spot...I couldn't believe it. Black. Tip. Shark. Filets.
Excuse me? You're selling what?! Now, I'm no genius here, but I am an aspiring shark biologist (and clearly one presentation on 14 million year old shark teeth makes me a real shark biologist, but that's beside the point), but isn't shark a NONSUSTAINABLE fishery?! And, well, as the US Military (we were at the commissary), wouldn't you want to only support sustainable fisheries?! I don't know, so you don't have to worry about an ecosystem crashing or something?!
Yes, it was a few filets. But I see a few filets and wonder how many sharks were killed. And so I did what any reasonable person would do - I asked who did the ordering around that place. And got "Oh, I don't know." You don't know sir? Good, well, you can bet your buttons I'll be calling back Monday morning with an EARFUL for your manager. SHARK?! REALLY?!
So, in the efforts of ultimate conservation, if you manage to spot shark in your local seafood counter's display case, please remind your store manager/butcher/whoever the hell is actually in charge around there that our toothy friends are not sustainable, and you would appreciate it if they would no longer carry shark. And if they demand proof - give me a name and phone number. They'll get an earful from me. And then I'll start sending letters.
If we can reduce the overall demand for shark meat, we can reduce the number of sharks killed per year. And that, ladies, is quite important if you like seafood. If you want a more detailed explanation, google "mesopredator release".