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Why This Matters: Like family farms, in the U.S., family-owned and small fishing businesses almost all struggle to stay in business due to stiff competition from cheap imports, and that was before COVID -19 struck. Now seafood supply chains have been disrupted globally and also in the U.S. Imported seafood is not always sustainably harvested — fisheries management rules are looser or non-existent in many other countries. “During this time of uncertainty, we can be certain that choosing healthy and fresh seafood caught in the United States for our next meal is a smart decision,” said Eric Schwaab, of the Environmental Defense Fund said in a statement.
An organization called Sea Pact, which is a group of 11 seafood distributors in the U.S. and Canada, is working to maintain progress on sustainability while meeting shifting consumer demand at an unprecedented moment. Sea Pact’s members have been making more direct-to-consumer sales, home deliveries and even engaging in mail-order business to get seafood on peoples’ dinner tables while still guaranteeing that the fish was sustainably caught. Sea Pact has also created a “b to b” marketplace selling to each other within Sea Pact, recognizing that some members will be short on some seafood products and some will have extra product. One New England fisher is washing and packaging 150,000 pounds of sea scallops a day through individual tunnel freezers, storing them for when the pandemic is over. But, according to The Post, he worries that when regular life resumes, a glut of scallops will mean tanking prices.
The COVID-19 pandemic is “ratchet[ing] up the pressure” to automate harvesting processes, Civil Eats reported. Alongside the rising cost of labor and the increasingly dangerous conditions caused by wildfires, more and more farmers are considering this move to automate their harvests with robots replacing up to half the farmworkers currently needed.
The World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) recent 2020 Living Planet Report exposed that the most important direct driver of species loss is land-use change, in particular, the conversation of pristine native habitats into agricultural systems. Which is why what people eat makes such a difference in stopping the degradation of nature. This is the focus of a […]
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