With headlines published in the media like "Two-Thirds of the World's Seafood is Over-fished" and "Science Study Predicts the Collapse of All Seafood Fisheries by 2050," what is really the state of the ecosystems in the Earth's oceans?
Will we deplete the ocean's resources in the near future? or do we have time to make adaptions to ensure the vitality of fisheries?
At the Foodable.io event in Seattle, Foodable Host Yareli Quintana sat down with Dr. Ray Hilborn, professor of Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington who has been researching the topic of conservation and quantitative population dynamics of seafood for the last eight years.
Hilborn starts out by pointing out that there a two environmental challenges when it comes to seafood supply.
First, it's the substantial fuel used to catch the fish, which generates carbon foot and then, the impact on biodiversity. As specific fish populations continue to be caught, this is changing the ecosystem of the ocean.
The seafood conservation expert also clears up a common misconception that our ocean is being depleted.
"Within the last 20 years the abundance of stock has really turned around in many places, there are certainly exceptions where that's not true though," says Hilborn.
But that doesn't mean that chefs shouldn't be concerned about what fish product that they are serving.
Each type of seafood makes a different impact on the environment. For example, Maine lobster generates a lot of energy to catch, while sardines, oysters, and mussels, on the other hand, make a really low impact.
Oyster and mussels feed themselves and most of the environmental cost comes from feed production.
Then there's the problem of food waste, which is a challenge for restaurants, but more so, for consumers eating at home.
"One of the big issues of fish and food, in general, is waste. Globally, about 30 percent of food is wasted. In rich countries like the U.S., that's mostly at home...So it's important to be more careful about making sure you buy what you need and use it," says Hilborn.
Watch the Seafood Talk Session above to learn more about the sustainability, research and management practices that are being worked on and adjusted every day in order to do right by nature and to feed the masses.