My Comrade and his Call to Arms

When I was young girl I watched Jacques Cousteau. Lots of Jacques Cousteau. Back then “Nat Geo” was still The National Geographic Society. There were stacks of the gold-bordered magazines on our coffee table. This was my window to the world before I knew much else.

I made secret promises to myself – that one day I’d learn to SCUBA dive so I could see the oceans from below. One day, I’d going to Xi’an China to see the army of terra cotta warriors unearthed by a farmer digging a well. One day, I’ll see Machu Picchu, Tulum, the Yucatan, Mayan villages.

When I was about seven I would have summed it up my feelings about conservation something like this:

Fish are nice, we should be nice to them. The oceans are beautiful, we should take care of them. Nature is beautiful we should take care of it.

I would stick by those statements today. Today, I would use words like “stewardship” and “personal responsibility” – but, at base the sentiments are the same.

Teach a Man to Fish - it’s about alternatives

As we get older, if we’re lucky, we gain an appreciation for nuance. We also come to deeper and broader views of things. I now know that being nice to something and eating them may represent a contradiction to some people. I make choices to do certain harms because I personally have no desire to live the ascetic’s life, the monk’s life. Even so, I take very seriously my responsibility to do less harm, rather than more. Leave a small footprint.

That is what THIS call to arms is about. It cannot be dened that we know without a doubt the oceans, which cover most of our planet, are in trouble. We may differ on blame, but we know the fact is true. We can no longer afford the “luxury” of blissfully ignorant stance. We cannot deny our connection to oceans and our interdependence with its life.

In my experience, there are few people who would choose to do harm and ignore reality. If they do so, it’s generally because they don’t see viable alternatives. Enter Rick Moonen. Here is a sustainability manifesto, if you will drafted for the Monterey Bay Aquarium “common vision statement”.

Chef Rick Moonen

The Common Vision – Chef Rick Moonen

Decades of heavy fishing pressure has led to the degradation of our oceans and marine life populations. A growing global appetite and the intensified hunt to source this demand has brought many species of fish to the brink of extinction. The loss of marine biodiversity and the ocean’s inability to rebound from current harvest levels will leave no commercially viable fish stocks by the middle of the century. We are in crisis.

A collective consciousness and a unified effort to fish responsibly now offers hope that it is not too late to protect this dwindling food source. Solidarity of purpose among like-minded groups and individuals, such as the “Common Vision for Environmentally Sustainable Seafood” is paramount to ensure long-term supply of seafood.

At Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood we take the health of our oceans seriously. There are many discussions on the moral and social responsibilities of sourcing sustainable seafood…the topic is for us beyond debate. This is simply a call to arms – be part of the solution or suffer the consequences.

Moving Forward – Heaven is a Blog Event

When I was a child my vision of “heaven” was a place where I got all the answers. (Okay, I was a bit of an oddball.) Maybe the Internet is the closest I’ll get to heaven (and you wouldn’t have to look too hard to find someone to agree with that!) — for me the answers, or at least some answers, are at our fingertips now.

The information about how to be better stewards, is at our fingertips now. With greater access to beauty and wonder, comes greater responsibility. And we can help each other with that.

  • How do I know what fish to buy? How do I know it’s fresh? Free of Mercury? Not endangered? Is ALL aquaculture bad? How do I prepare a fish I’ve never heard of, much less tried to cook?

Teach a Man to Fish is a way for us to learn from each other. Chef Moonen’s Fish Without a Doubt is a great resource for home cooks who face the fish counter with a little fear.

Follow along and join Rick and me in our virtual salon. We’ll have a nice 4 Copas tequila, help some sea turtles, and learn about making delicious and sustainable seafood choices.

~ by jacqueline1230 on October 3, 2008.

2 Responses to “My Comrade and his Call to Arms”

  1. Nice to see someone taking a stand on important issues and making a solid business practice with it as well. I have seen Whole Foods doing similar with lobsters and Talipa due to sustainability issues.

  2. Hey there – WF is getting better. I like to take the approach of “don’t let perfect stand in the way of good.” People do criticize WF and they have gotten poor marks on their sustainability tracking – I do think they are trying to get better though.

    Thanks for stopping by, Chef. Will you be making us some yummy Tilapia for Teach a Man to Fish?

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