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Overfishing Crisis

Date: 08-16-09
Host: George Knapp
Guests: Rupert Murray, Rick Moonen

In a discussion on the devastating impact of overfishing, George Knapp welcomed documentary filmmaker Rupert Murray in the second hour, and renown chef and sustainability expert Rick Moonen in the latter half of the show. In Murray's new film, The End of the Line (watch trailer), the global impact of the problem is laid out: If fishing continues as it's done now, most seafood will be extinct by the middle of the century. Murray noted that the depletion of the ocean's fish is almost entirely due to overfishing rather than pollution.

Examples of overfishing include the North Atlantic Cod in Newfoundland, where scientists miscalculated on the bouncing back of the cod population, and blue fin tuna, in high demand in Japan. Japanese companies like Mitsubishi may have large frozen stockpiles of blue fin, he conjectured. 30-70 million sharks are being killed each year, and some species have decreased by 99% said Murray, who added that European eel have also been heavily depleted. Additionally, farmed Atlantic salmon pose problems, causing environmental impacts, and health damage to wild salmon, he noted.

Chef Rick Moonen commented that his customers have become more concerned about where their food is coming from. He suggested people order sustainable replacements of overfished seafood that taste similar, such as black cod instead of Chilean sea bass, and Arctic char in lieu of salmon. He recommended the Seafood Watch pocket guide (also available as an iPhone app), presented by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which offers suggestions on the most sustainable types of fish in your region.

Related Articles

Knapp's News Links 8/16

A number of articles have caught George Knapp's attention in the last week or so, including stories about the Large Hadron Collider, a 'visual time machine,' and a giant meat-eating plant:

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Bumper music from Sunday August 16, 2009

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