“91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad, but one-third of the seafood Americans catch gets sold to other countries.”
Paul Greenberg, author of the new book American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood talks with Fresh Air ‘s Terry Gross on seafood, not from the overfishing side, but the related issues:
exports/imports, labor, and the decline of local fish marts in the US. From the interview:
A certain amount of Alaska salmon gets caught by Americans in Alaska, sent to China, defrosted, filleted, boned, refrozen and sent back to us. How’s that for food miles? We don’t want to pay the labor involved in boning fish and more and more of that fish that used to go make that round trip is actually staying in China because the Chinese are realizing how good it is, much to our detriment.
Seafood has been taken out of the hands of the experts and put into the hands of the traders, so people really cannot identify the specificity of fish anymore. Because supermarkets rely on mass distribution systems, often frozen product, it means that the relationship between coastal producers of seafood is broken and so it’s much easier for them to deal with the Syscos of the world, or these large purveyors that use these massive shrimp operations in Thailand or China, than it is for them to deal with the kind of knotty nature of local fishermen.