Published 01 August 2016
SEI’s Elspeth Probyn, Professor of Gender & Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, is currently researching the sustainability of the production and consumption of fish. As she states in a recently published article in The Conservation, almost 75% of the fish Australians consume is imported from overseas. This inevitably leads us to question: is it possible to eat locally when it comes to seafood?
As Professor Probyn explains, the fish we consume goes through a series of processes before we buy at it at our local supermarket. This may include shipping and processing overseas, as is the case of the yellow-died smoked cod, originally from South Africa, or garlic prawns, usually from Asia. Even the beloved barramundi comes typically from Vietnam, where it is farmed and frozen. So what happens to the local fishing industry? Some of our most valued fish is exported to countries such as China and Japan: “nearly all of South Australia’s bluefin tuna goes to Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market” Probyn says.
Adding on to the glocal debate (local-global) is the issue of illegal fishing practices and pollution in Southeast Asia. Because fishing has grown into such a globalised industry, the number of fishing licenses in Australia, and world-wide, have decreased in order to regulate and maintain fish stocks to achieve ecological sustainability. In South Australia for example, “the number of licensed bluefin fishers has gone from several hundreds to fewer than 30” Probyn explains.
How can we then consume locally and sustainably?
To read the entire article, go to The Conversation.