The Pescavore’s Dilemma

Photo: Courtesy of Edible Boston

Susan McCrory

Hey there, PRK readers. Hopefully you’ve noticed our trend over the past several months of featuring guest contributors on a monthly basis. This past November Meryl LaTronica introduced both herself and her work as Farm Manager/CSA Director of Powisset Farm in Dover; Meryl’s been giving us a monthly window onto her amazing world ever since. In January PRK inaugurated the posts of Anastacia Marx de Salcedo of Slow Food Boston, learning from her the background of the Slow Food movement and, most recently, getting great tips on seed catalogs and planting strategies for home gardens. PRK is very excited today to introduce our newest monthly contributor, Ilene Bezahler, publisher and editor of Edible Boston. From hereon in, Ilene will hand-pick an article for feature from the current issue of the magazine and give us a taste of the ‘what’ and ‘why’ behind it. Today she’s talking fish. Enter, and welcome, Ilene…   

Ilene Bezahler
Edible Boston

Over the past four to five years, the world of food has made radical changes. No longer can we just pick up something to eat. We now stop to think, ask questions and, to be honest, end up confused and struggling about what to do.

It all started with produce, then shifted to the protein we eat. Just when we thought we were free and clear, seafood moved into the spotlight. The problem, which we at Edible Boston have named the “Pescavore’s Dilemma,” is much more complicated than that of produce or proteins. There are so many variables: the livelihood of the local fisherman, the actual health of the fish (mercury levels, etc.), the health of the fish stocks and the health of the world’s aquaculture.

Last year, Cape Ann was home to one of the country’s first fish CSA models, Cape Ann Fresh Catch (CAFC). In the following article from the Spring 2010 issue of Edible Boston, Roz Cummins reflects on both the positives and negatives of being a member of the CAFC, while trying to understand the issues behind sustainable seafood. As Roz quickly learned, there is no easy solution.

4 thoughts on “The Pescavore’s Dilemma

  1. Clare Leschin-Hoar

    Great story, Roz. I especially liked this graf, which pinpoints the heart of the issue:

    “If CAFC doesn’t succeed and loses the necessary consumer support before they have met their goal of creating a system that promotes sustainable fishing, that will make it more likely that there will be fewer boats in a community-based fleet. This will leave industrial-scale fishing to take its place, much the same way that a loss of family farms allows
    agribusiness to move in and take over. That’s not good for anyone—not for fishing families, consumers or fish.”

  2. Jacqueilne Church

    I still want the CSFs to aim for some goals and share them…get away from damaging methods and cod. Smaller scale, family-owned destruction is only a shade better than larger scale company-owned destruction. Plus, once the cod’s all gone what will the big guys come in for?

    Just as I would not support a small family farm that was polluting simply because they’re not agribusiness, I would not say this is as simple as some would draw it out to be. Not you two, Roz & Clare, but I want to give a well-reasoned, full set of facts for folks to mull over. I just hear too many making it into a white hat black hat argument.

  3. Pingback: From sea to plate: Reconsidering Cape Ann Fresh Catch | Public Radio Kitchen