From functionally extinct oysters to shark fin cruelty, recent environmental news has suggested a doom-and-gloom future for global aquaculture. A new report, from The WorldFish Center and Conservation International, takes the notion of the world's bleak seafood system a step further, with a chart that illustrates how the mercy of the world's fish supply lies almost entirely in the hands of one country: China.
China accounted for 61.5 percent of global aquaculture in 2008 and is now the single largest exporter of seafood to the United States, thanks to America's taste for shrimp and catfish. But given the country's rash of recent food safety scandals, and the fact that the FDA has only inspected 1.5 percent of processing facilities in China, this statistic has perilous implications for the future of seafood.
Overfished seafood and overfishing have both been hot topics as of late, but there needs to be a greater conversation not only about how fish are disappearing, but also who the world's seafood suppliers have turned to. Are you concerned about the provenance of your seafood for health and safety reasons?