I went shopping at Payless tonight and I started thinking about how all the food on Guam is shipped from the far corners of the earth and so little agriculture takes place on the island. Then via the wonderful food blog Chez Pim, I came across an intriguing idea. The Eat Local Challenge. Jen from Life Begins at 30 is hyping up the month of May as Eat Local Month. The idea? Eat only food grown within a 100 mile radius of my home for a whole month. That will not only be easier on the environment, it cuts out the vast majority of refined foods, fast food and junk food that so many Americans gorge themselves upon. Unfortunately I think my diet would be fairly meager if I attempted this challenge. According to Local Harvest, the only locally produced food on Guam is the tilapia fishery down in Inarajan; and I don’t really like tilapia. Still it deserves some looking into.
Speaking about fish, another thing I read came across tonight was sustainable fisheries. I suggest reading the report released by the Pew Oceans Commission a few years ago for a good understanding of the state of the world’s oceans. Fisheries are in a precarious situation across the planet and if the ocean is to remain a viable source of food and livelihood for the world’s population then changes need to be made to manage fish stocks more effectively. Four things maintain a sustainable fishery:
- Adequate fish populations – ascertaining if there are enough fish in the ocean to harvest
- Eliminating by-catch – reducing the capture of unwanted and discarded fish, turtles and dolphins
- Reduce pollution of the marine environment – mercury, dioxin, and effluent from shore and fish farming operations pollute the oceans
- Preserve habitat – bottom trawling and drift nets despoil vast areas of marine habitat, indiscriminately removing all fish and their refuges
Guess it all comes down to creating a comprehensive plan for ocean conservancy. Just like wildlife and game animals are managed on land, fish stocks and their habitat needs to be effectively conserved for the future.