Could Invasive Fish Save Our Oceans?

Back to back this week I watched two videos that both dealt with fish, fishing and the critical state of our oceans.

In episode 6 of the Victory Garden Edible feast series, Daniel Klein and his crew go to Palm Beach Florida and go fishing with 2 clever and industrious young fishermen to catch Lion Fish.  Not native to these waters, they’re poisonous, have no natural predator, are very adaptable to any environment and are threatening the local fish population.  Luckily Lion Fish are delicious.

Vice’s HBO new program is a much watch, every week they do two 15 segments on current issues that are not given their due by the mainstream media. This week they did a frightening expose on the state of how our oceans are being overfished. By some predictions the oceans will be completely depleted of fish by the middle of this century.

What is most interesting to me about this episode is the impact it makes on local communities and the sheer volume of fish that large international trawlers catch each day. Particularly upsetting is the shark fin trade.

Here is a short clip, the entire episode is not on YouTube yet, if you have access to HBO it is a much watch.

What I was left with after watching these two pieces back to back was how something potentially devastating, like a foreign species infestation of your waters, can have unexpected positive consequences.

Of course the guys in Florida have scuba gear, a motor boat and a restaurant and seafood market to make money from, the poor fishermen and their families in the Madagascar aren’t so lucky.

While I don’t think the invasive fish can solve the problem of the criminal overfishing going on I do think that it gives us some insight into what a solution might look like.

Oh and be sure to watch VGEF 6 (Victory Garden Edible Feast) to the end for the yummy Lion Fish Escabeche recipe made by the hunky chef.


About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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