"Only when the last tree has died, and the last river been poisoned, and the last fish caught, will we realise we cannot eat money."

-Cree Indian Proverb

Sustainability=the ability to endure

Endurance has many facets.  There are many ecosystems and symbiotic relationships that are necessary for our planet to survive.

The world's population is rapidly increasing.   Now doctors are encouraging their patients to eat less red meat and more fish.  Our oceans cannot keep up with human demand, causing the natural supply of fish to decrease.

As consumers we make choices that affect our planet every day.  When you scan an item at the grocery store, the information is stored in a computer.  If that item is regularly purchased, a demand is created.   A demand means that if that product is obtained in an unsustainable manner, one day you will not be able to buy that product.  It will cease to exist and an integral part of an ecosystem will have been destroyed and can cause a terrible, negative, downward spiral effect.

An excellent example of this is the Chilean Sea Bass.  This fish was originally called the Patagonian Toothfish.  Since a Toothfish didn't sound like an appetizing dish, the name was changed.  The public responded positively to the new name and this is now a very popular fish.

Unfortunately, the Patagonian Toothfish was not meant to be a world famous culinary star.  You see, this fish can breed only after it has reached the ripe old age of 8.  Unfortunately this means that Chilean Sea Bass is being fished before it has reached maturity and has had a chance to reproduce.

This Sea Bass finds its home in deep water (300m-3500m).  Long line fishing methods used to reach deep water fish cause thousands of birds to drown when they get caught in the lines.

Sperm whales, killer whales, colossal squid, southern elephant seals all rely heavily on this fish as an important food source.  The population of all of these animals is now alarmingly decreasing.  In fact, scientists are now trying to understand the sudden rapid decline in killer whale populations.

Most of us lead very busy lives.  Grocery shopping is often a chore that is given little thought, and we try to finish as quickly as possible so we can move on to the next task.   All of us are trying to save money.

But, please remember that when you are at the check out that you are voting.  You are making a statement and telling the grocery store what to stock.  You are telling farmers what to plant and fisherman what to catch.  You are making decisions that affect all of us and our entire planet.   Be wise, educate yourself, and choose food grown using sustainable methods and from sustainable sources!

With fish populations in oceans dangerously decreasing, and the world population rapidly increasing, the need for sustainable fish sources is at an all-time high, with supply not meeting the demand.

North American farm raised tilapia are well-managed, abundant, farmed in environmentally friendly ways and are on the best choice sustainable species list.