ChewsWise Blog

ChewsWise Blog

Can Corporations Save the Fish?

I know, a few sustainability advocates can already feel their hair raising from that headline. But consider this article by Nicholas Day at Yale's Environment 360.

Worried about the reliability of future supplies, major corporations —including Wal-Mart, Unilever, and McDonald’s — are increasingly using their economic clout to bring about change in an industry that has a long history of decimating the very resource on which its business has been built.

He makes the point that I've been hoping to make for some time. That is, "it is far easier to improve fisheries management by involving a few dozen companies and conservation groups than by targeting millions of shoppers in consumer campaigns."

Consumer campaigns help, but they are costly to wage and hard to get people aboard. Now, that doesn't mean they should be avoided but rather seen as part of a larger campaign of putting pressure on companies and coming up with solutions, like sustainable seafood.

Mark Powell, vice president for fish conservation at the nonprofit Ocean Conservancy, says that by using economic clout to push fisheries toward sustainability, corporations are helping achieve "the Holy Grail, which is actual, on-the-water improvement."

"It's true there's a limit—the ocean is not infinite,” says Powell. “But we could have as much sustainable seafood as we have total seafood right now.”

Hummm... Mark's a friend of mine, but I wonder. It might require making mackerel and sardines into a delicacy. Chefs, get busy.