Why America imports its fish from China…and Ecuador and Iceland and Vietnam
If you live on Cape Cod and you buy some fish for supper you’ll notice something very strange. Although most supermarkets are only a few miles from the ocean, Nantucket sound, or Cape Cod Bay, most of the fish we buy comes from a few hundred to a few thousand miles away. The same can be said for cities up and down the Atlantic coast. Your cod may be from Canada, Iceland, or Norway; your shrimp from Vietnam, Thailand, or Ecuador; and your Tilapia, should you actually want Tilapia, from China. There are still some local fish markets around, although they’re disappearing throughout the nation, and they do their best to distribute the local catch, but the sad fact is that 91% of the seafood we Americans eat is foreign caught or farmed. Conversely, much of the seafood that is caught in American waters is exported to other countries. Ira’s guest is Paul Greenberg, author of American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood. Paul Greenberg is a life-long fisherman and a best-selling author who is on a mission to reverse this trend. He writes regularly for the New York Times and his first book Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Seafood, was the winner of The James Beard Award, known as the Oscar of the food world.