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Do you dine on endangered species when legally available?

Whale in Japan? Sea cow in Central America? For me it is green turtle whenever I visit the Caymans. I can also get turtle in the Bahamas, but to me the hawksbill is not as flavorful.

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  1. What about cod? Swordfish? Tuna? Red snapper? And all the other endangered fish that are readily available?

    2 Replies
      1. re: Sal Vanilla

        Bluefin Tuna is classified by the US as a "species of special concern", but not endangered. Populations have fallen by 80% over the past 40 years and an international organization has been set up to attempt to manage the situation in order to prevent extinction.

    1. I understand that there is more than a little disagreement on what constitutes endangerment.

      3 Replies
        1. re: sal_acid

          Perhaps, but erring on the side of caution is entirely appropriate, considering that once a species is gone, it can't be brought back. And it's undeniable that many fish species are over harvested.

          1. re: carolinadawg

            While your statement is 100% true the way modern science is heading I will bet you dollars to donuts perhaps not in my lifetime but certain in my 14 year old sons life time he will eat a Brontosaurus Burger.

        2. Let me refine this. Banned by CITES or banned by your laws for import or use. Thus in Florida, snook is not commercially available. Have to catch it yourself or be very good friends with somebody who did.

          3 Replies
          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

            I googled snook since I had no clue what it is. Looks like it is all catch and release through August 2013 because of population. In cases like that, I'd abide by the law.

            If I were in a country that legally consumes something that is not legal at home...tend towards not but case by case decision.

            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

              i seem to recall that snook IS legal if taken from the pacific ocean?

              1. re: westsidegal

                It is recently legal to keep and eat snook in Florida only if they are between 28 and 33 inches, a fairly small window.

            2. No. Sea turtle is one exotic meat which really intrigues me and I would like to try it. However, I choose not to.

              1. I've never had the opportunity but I don't think I would, unless there weren't any other options available.

                1. I ate and enjoyed green turtle steaks many times on the Mexican Pacific in the 70's, but now I would not eat them anywhere with today's knowledge. Or any other endangered species.

                  1. I prefer not to. I would avoid ordering it if I am at a restaurant, I wouldn't purchase it at the supermarket (if I knew) but would eat it politely if I were served it at someone's home.

                    1. Nope. Because global population is global population.

                      I had turtle before it was declared endangered -- but no wy I'd do it now.

                      I won't eat undersized conch, and I prefer to get conch from the farm down in Provo, but that's not always possible.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: sunshine842

                        Sunshine, Mid-Peninsula Seafood in St. Pete is the only place I know in a 3 county radius (I'm in Manatee) that serves conch, and it's from the Provo farm. Star Fish in Cortez sometimes has the frozen 5 lb. boxes, about $65.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          I'll have to make a note of that for the next time I'm home. $15 a pound is pretty good.

                        2. re: sunshine842

                          I enjoyed conch at every chance when on Provo, especially cracked conch.

                          When in the BVIs I was tempted to try the sea turtle offerings but didn't do to Mr. CB's and Little CB's wailings.

                          1. re: sunshine842

                            ". . . Global population is global population."

                            Such a simple yet profound statement.

                          2. I remember seeing an episode of QI about giant tortoises
                            where it was said that it took ages to bring a live one back from the Galapagos as they were so incredibly tasty.
                            They always got eaten on the sea voyage back.
                            There's not many left as I understand.
                            Wonder why?


                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Paprikaboy

                              The QI link you posted is chock full of wildly inaccurate details, and a few facts.

                              Giant tortoises were common at the equator until the early 18th century, and were wiped out by european sailors who used them as portable food/juiceboxes because they could live without food or water for a year or more in a ship's hold. They were anything but a delicacy.

                              There were millions, not thousands of them prior to european sea trade, and there are still thousands in the Galapagos and Seychelles. They are perfectly capable of withdrawing their heads completely inside their shells, and anyone with a computer can easily find photos/videos of them doing just that.

                            2. Had turtle in the Bahamas in 1981 I think. I have eaten my share of weird critters but imo none of them were so distinctive that I felt I had to eat them again, my favorite animal to eat is the cow, there's a reason we raise millions of them every year, their flesh tastes good.

                              Also I am tight with a dollar so I am unwilling to pay extra to eat something "exotic."

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: redfish62

                                Sadly, it appears to be the case of most exotic foods: many tend to be exotic because they just aren't worth the effort, For me, I had lion twice, having assumed it hadn't been prepared well the first time. Have to consider if curiosity makes some of these worth the trade off, therefore.

                                1. re: law_doc89

                                  Rattlesnake and alligator are much the same -- it's a lot more fun to say you've eaten it than it is to actually eat it. Yep -- a lot like chicken -- stringier and tougher, but a mild-flavored, white flesh. *shrug*

                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                    I actually had an "exotic" grill at my wedding which included rattle snake, alligator, bison and many other "exotic" most of it like you are saying didn't have any great flavor it was more just the bragging rights that you actually had those meats.

                              2. No.

                                I did get a little excited when my favorite sushi restaurant had whale listed on the specials board, then I remembered it was April fool's day. From the chef's description I don't think I would like it anyway.

                                It is entertaining to try new and different things, but not worth driving a species closer to extinction.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: babette feasts

                                  I think it was Hooters that had a whole whale on their menu for a long time -- of course it was a joke.

                                  1. IRF, all the examples you chose have something in common; because of their size, and the increasingly polluted environment they live in, they're all laced with pcbs, or mercury, or what-have-you.

                                    Fellow chowhounders, this applies to snapping turtle, alligator and diamondback terrapin too.

                                    Bon appetit!

                                    1. Sure.

                                      I have no compunction about ordering and eating endangered species. I don't even consider the idea of whether something is endangered or the impact on the environment if I order a specific dish. If something sounds interesting, ill order it. I'm sure I've eaten dozens of endangered animals in my life, and I have zero regret.

                                      8 Replies
                                      1. re: MonMauler

                                        Agreed. Governments put out arbitrary lists of endangered speices. Redfish, in Louisiana. for one. I disagree--they fight each other for the hook. Don't buy all that the government will feed you. Also, the most memorable meat I have ever enjoyed was sea turtle in La Paz, Mexico in 1974. If given the chance, I will revisit that experience!

                                        1. re: MonMauler

                                          This is probably what will what get my brief existence as a Chowhound euthanized, but here goes.

                                          I'm not endorsing knowingly eating of any endangered species. But, I've been reading here, and on other "foodie" sites for a long time, and what I've seen develop as a trend is a fear of food.

                                          More and more on this, and other, food websites, are threads that are fearful. Fear of <insert nutritional/environmental/socioeconomic/fashion forward no-no here>, fear, period. Whatever has become of just enjoying bounty, blessings?

                                          I, and I'm sure a lot of you as well, studied the role of food in history, in social development, food's role in preserving the human race, in enlarging the sphere of human influence and interaction and its impact on the world we live in. We have learned more about each other and our world through food than through war. Now the war is us vs. non-human species we feed upon, and/or the biochemical offshoots of creating nutritional replicants of said species.

                                          Perhaps it is on us, the superficially premiere, and, at least to our observation, sentient, species, to preserve and prolong as well as consume. But, mass extinctions happen, despite us, that threaten us, that aren't on us. I happen to think whales are fabulous beings, large mammals in general are few compared to past eras. I'd like to think we could, with our own efforts, preserve and prolong if not all then many, fabulous, species, and not just for our consumption but their own fabulous merits. But, I don't want to feel guilty for every fork filled with any meat or vegetation product that's not threatened with extinction, OR under fire for being a product of overproduction.

                                          Antibiotics are a miracle. In my parents' day people died from the systemic infections resulting from blisters. My mother was a dietician in a tuberculosis sanitarium, she raised us with plentiful milk and was grateful we thrived on it, and that we received innoculations before starting the school year. Animal husbandry and agriculture have come a long way and are facing new challenges that result from their very success. I eat bacon, so do a lot of people. There are scores of people who would gladly shut down production of domesticated pig/beef/poultry/fish/crops of <insert here>. There's always something someone is ready to fear, justifiably in instances, perhaps, but in the big, messy, unwieldy picture, success is often weighed by the outrage that results.

                                          Ok. Rant over.

                                          Would I eat whale meat? No. Do I want to see the end of animals, of plants found only in natural, i.e. uncultivated by humans, settings, delicious as they are, I'd hate to see their environments lost to human cultivation and ease of production and trade. I'm a hypocrite. I wear leather shoes. I eat bacon. I eat pancake syrup that wasn't tapped straight out of a sugar maple. I wish I had answers to the world's food and health woes, I don't. But I also won't stop enjoying a few non-sanctioned meals now and then even if comprised of full-fat, salty, and not grown in the garden plot next door, tasty, products.

                                          1. re: afridgetoofar

                                            I can't fix the environment on my own, nor pollution on my own, etc., etc., etc. I can't even stop others from eating something.

                                            But a child can work the logic that putting one on my plate reduces the population of that creature by one more-- and so not eating it is the only first-hand way I have of saying "enough".

                                            Leather shoes? Bacon? even alligator?-- those are NOT endangered -- those animals are farmed (including the aliigator....), so not even remotely on the same topic.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              Look at what you just wrote compared to what I wrote, and really think about the comparisons.

                                              And, I guess I'm done with CH, if someone can't understand what I'm trying to convey.

                                              I did write that I don't condone over-fishing/farming as justifiable, or that wearing leather shoes wasn't hypocrisy. Or that they aren't endangered, now, but goodness we are working on it aren't we, unless we create sustainable substitutes.

                                              I'm too old and sad for this.

                                              And, this is a reason I fear these sorts of Internet sites will fail. People want to believe what they choose to believe, and are too quick to condemn what they don't analyze beyond what they choose/need to believe.

                                              Life is more complicated than that.

                                              I enjoy what I enjoy, and I hope others will as well. But, we all have to choose what will sustain us and those who come after us, and also up to fate and chance. Like I said, life is messy.

                                              1. re: afridgetoofar

                                                The question is: do you eat endangered animals?

                                                Not antibiotics or leather shoes or modern agriculture or guilt -- and for heavens sake, not fear of food.

                                            2. re: afridgetoofar

                                              Meh. There are plenty of people on Chow that agree with you. And plenty of adventurous eaters. There will always be people more virtuous than you or I. ; )

                                              That said I could live without the need for antibioticed up food. I can't get a pill from my doc, but it seems animals can get all they need. I don't want them to need.

                                              Godda feed the world. People like to ignore reality. Some can.

                                            3. re: MonMauler

                                              One fact that is often overlooked is that in some areas of the world there is actually an abundance of exotic animals & very controlled harvesting of them provides a primary source of funding to protect the same species in other areas of the world where they are endangered. Safari hunting is a classic example of controlled harvest that raises Millions $$$ for conservation & protection in very poor countries where poaching would otherwise wipe out the species. .

                                              Bottom line is that its a very complicated subject and to make blanket statements about people who consume such products without knowing the specific origin of the product is wrong. It would be far more productive if people who have strong feelings about protecting endangered species open their checkbooks and support international efforts to protect endangered species.

                                              1. re: Tom34

                                                The original post has nothing to do with the preservation of exotic, non-food animals. There is no correlation between that, and say, overfishing of bluefin tuna, for example.

                                            4. While whale IS eaten in Japan, it is not really popular at all. It reminds a lot of postwar Japanese of the school lunches during the 1950s and early 1960s when whale was served as a main dish.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                It is still eaten fairly regularly in the south. I know when visiting my in-laws on Shikoku her father enjoys it and eats it anytime we go to Kochi, and I know in Okayama its still in school lunches a couple times a month as my friend has to forgo eating lunch on those days.

                                                1. re: TeRReT

                                                  You have a school age friend in Okayama?
                                                  Whale is still eaten in Tokyo, but it is not at all popular. I don't know about the current situation on school lunches, though.

                                                  1. re: Tripeler

                                                    Nah, he is a teacher there but eats the same meals as the kids, it wouldn't surprise me if the lunches were different there though.

                                                    1. re: TeRReT

                                                      Interesting. When I went to elementary school in Hiroshima, we were never served whale. This was like... 15 years ago?
                                                      But they did sell it at the super market, along with shark meat. Shark meat has ammonia in it, and apparently is great for preserving. It smelled so bad, even with the requisite ginger soy sauce...

                                              2. This is something that tears me apart.
                                                I am teetering on if I should continue to eat tuna because they're pretty close to becoming extinct, but it is also my favorite food in the world.

                                                Shark fin, I was able to give up pretty easily... Mainly because I've always thought that it tastes like glass noodles.

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: nomnomnoms

                                                  Tuna are no where near becoming extinct. The bluefin tuna is threatened but most people don't eat it anyway because of the cost. Also it looks like in the future the bluefin will probably be grown in pens.

                                                  Most tuna steaks are yellowfin (ahi) of which there is a plentiful supply.

                                                  Tuna are interesting fish, they grow really fast so you might catch a 40 pound yellowfin and think it is a mature fish but really it is a youngster.

                                                  The only problem I have with tuna is the incidental killing of dolphins (the mammal) when the tuna are netted.

                                                  1. re: redfish62

                                                    From what I can tell bluefin populations are in decline but still many left in the sea. But the writing is on the wall, prices are very high and every year the average size is dwindling. Fishermen no longer catch giant bluefin, they catch puppies and kittens. The very small bluefin get towed into enclosures and grow to adulthood, but it is not quite like other farmed fish. As the numbers dwindle in the wild the bluefin farming method may no longer be able to acquire enough juvenile fish.

                                                    1. re: ChrisOfStumptown

                                                      I figured that would be the case. Open water fish in general "get big" quickly, but they are usually caught before reaching breeding age. Hence the dwindling population... And they dont breed well in farming enclosures as they are not in top condition (they need to swim, they have very delicate skin, etc etc)

                                                      On a similar note, yellowtail tuna is not as threatened, but Buri is a rare treat nowadays because they are caught young while they are still considered Hamachi. Yazu = baby yellowtail, hamachi = juvie yellowtail, Buri = big, matured yellowtail.

                                                        1. re: Sam Salmon

                                                          I wonder if he meant Yellow Fin as your right about the Jacks.

                                                    2. re: redfish62

                                                      The sad thing is that blue fin is such a status symbol in Japan (and China now) that some will never cut back. The other day my mother bought some for dinner, and when I refused she looked as if I had just openly insulted her!

                                                  2. No, I don't. Not ever. The "legality" or "illegality" doesn't minimize the endangerment of the species. Those are just words to me. Foie Gras isn't legal where I live, but I'd Hoover it up every chance I get, if I could find and afford it.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: mamachef

                                                      Ah, foie gras. Forgot about that. It's not illegal where I live, so I get that as an appetizer everytime I go to this one restaurant near me that serves it - probably at least once every two weeks. It's delicious stuff. I have to refrain from "hoovering" it, though, because I'm usually sharing.

                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                        Foie gras is not remotely endangered - it is made by gavage of domestic ducks and geese. Lots of it here in Qu├ębec.

                                                        No, never. I wouldn't knowingly do so. I'm sure I've eaten species I didn't know were endangered.

                                                        Some endangered species have been brought back to some extent, such as the North American bison, which is reared on ranches in the US and Canada now.

                                                        1. re: lagatta

                                                          That was my point, lagatta: I know Foie's not endangered, but would happily eat it anyway despite it's illegality here. If it was in danger, though? Nope nope nope.

                                                      2. I have tried sharks fin soup once (at a Korean restaurant in Cairo at a price point that led to many jokes about it being "Nile Rive shark" - so I leave that as debatable) and turtle once in the Bahamas.

                                                        When I had the soup, I knew about the issues related to sharks fins but not when I had the turtle. That being said, were I in a situation to again have either item, I'd refuse due to environmental reasons. However, if I was in a situation where it was possible to try whale or ortolan (not the same issue as endangered, but similar in how I think) - I think I might be tempted to try it.

                                                        I understand how the "try it once" philosophy isn't really any brilliant moral banner to wave around - but I think that's how I'd respond.

                                                        1. To quote Spock: "To hunt a species to extinction is not logical."

                                                          1. Does anyone know of places where manatee is/was consumed? Knowing their plight, I would never partake but must admit that "sea" + "cow" sounds delectable!

                                                            13 Replies
                                                              1. re: seamunky

                                                                I have a friend who is a marine biologist and her work involves manatees. Apparently, they are delicious. Being slow, dumb, and delicious is the fast lane to becoming an endangered species.

                                                                I personally, would never support the hunting of them, but if I happened to be on a boat that ran over one...I'd hate to see it go to waste.

                                                                1. re: Wahooty

                                                                  Heaven help you if a fish and game agent saw you -- and folks who live in areas frequented by manatees are protective enough of the manatees to report it if there doesn't happen to be an agent around.

                                                                  There are manatee hospitals all around the Gulf Coast dedicated to rehabilitating the ones who've been wounded -- I've seen a few at Lowry Park and Busch Gardens who are in bad enough shape that you wonder how they ever survived the accident to begin with.

                                                                  Although populations seem to be stabilizing, there still aren't very many of them...the population still needs all the breeding adults possible.

                                                                  1. re: sunshine842

                                                                    sunshine, I assure you I meant strictly in an accidental sense, and in an accident that actually killed the animal. I really would never support killing a manatee (by any means) just for food. I'll admit to being very curious, but it's a curiosity I never actually want to have satisfied. :)

                                                                    1. re: Wahooty

                                                                      heaven help you if anyone saw you hacking up a carcass -- that's strictly illegal, too. You're supposed to report them so that they can see what killed the animal in the first place (sometimes they get hit after they're too sick/injured or already dead from some other incident)

                                                                      They keep pretty close tabs on the population, especially in Florida, and that includes death rates.

                                                                  2. re: Wahooty

                                                                    A marine biologist who eats manatees should be jailed.

                                                                    1. re: Veggo

                                                                      yep. and blacklisted from ever working in the field again. Professional censure, etc., etc.

                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                        I agree with you, but the friend in question doesn't know first-hand - she has spent a lot of time reading the writings of early explorers, naturalists, etc. where the flavor of the meat was frequently documented.

                                                                        1. re: Wahooty

                                                                          I bet they taste like walrus. Some people like that taste.

                                                                      2. re: Wahooty

                                                                        I think if they tasted good people would be farming them, how hard can they be to keep in a big pen? Keep them happy with lots of lettuce and you've got yourself a manatee farm.

                                                                        1. re: Wahooty

                                                                          "Being slow, dumb, and delicious is the fast lane to becoming an endangered species."

                                                                          Cows are slow, dumb, and tasty and they are nowhere near endangered.

                                                                          1. re: PotatoHouse

                                                                            maybe because they're domesticated (read: scientifically bred under controlled conditions to maximize the birth rate and minimize the death rate)?

                                                                            Wild animals don't generally store semen in industrial freezers and use it for artificial insemination.

                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                              Well, I don't know about that. Scientists have high hopes about the wooly mammoths in Siberia.

                                                                        1. I have to admit that I miss shark steaks. Not shark-fin soup - which was unbelievabley stupid anti-environmental to begin with - but basic shark steaks. Mako, Black-Fin, etc., etc.

                                                                          I find it really funny that these days I can buy Swordfish steaks any time, yet shark is gone; but a decade ago, I could buy shark steaks for half the price or less of Swordfish

                                                                          1. No. I don't intentionally eat endangered species. I certainly would not seek it out.

                                                                            I eat conch in the Bahamas because it is just below the boat and they are plentiful. They cannot be harvested in America (we get them from the Bahamas). They are not endangered, but probably are prone to be over harvested if there were no restriction.

                                                                            People eat manatees? Boo.

                                                                            1. No.

                                                                              In a slightly drunk and expatiative or contemplative mood, no because it's a wondrous thing to think that a species represents self-replicating molecules that have persisted and survived through billions of years of trials, to form something of scarcely-comprehensible complexity, and I don't want to think that I've contributed to terminating that lineage for some base, ephemeral, probably ostentatious satisfaction of having dined on the forbidden.

                                                                              It's true that the same is true of any individual animal or plant, but it's a lesser thing to eat some ill-fated gallus domesticus when it is relatively fungible and replaceable.

                                                                              I try not to step on ants, though ...

                                                                              1. No. Like others have said, it's not the legality that bothers me, it's the fact they are endangered.
                                                                                I've also be switching to seafood choices that are considered sustainable. I sure miss certain things but I would like my child to have a chance to eat them in the future.

                                                                                13 Replies
                                                                                1. re: Frizzle

                                                                                  Yellow fin tuna & albacore are pretty plentiful. Just be careful with farm raised seafood. Read up on it, know the species, origin & brand.

                                                                                  The only farm raised shrimp I will eat is Ocean Garden. Widely used by restaurants & not pumped with water.

                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                    "farm-raised" is not the same thing as "sustainable".

                                                                                    "Sustainable" means that the wild population reproduces quickly enough to sustain a sufficient breeding population, even with the pressures of fishing.

                                                                                    "Farm-raised" is tanks, ponds, or pens.

                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                      Speaking on Tom34's behalf, I think he was trying to say to be aware of thinking farm raised means sustainable.
                                                                                      I live in Australia and use an app on my phone that tells me what seafood choices available here are sustainable and differentiates between wild and farmed. It also takes into consideration different farming practices and which have the least impact on the environment. It's certainly helped me change the way I view seafood as a resource.

                                                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                        I never claimed "farm raised" fell under the category of "sustainable" any more than your discussion about Alligator being stringy & chewy was relevant to "Sustainable" as the majority of it is farm raised.

                                                                                        As Fizzle pointed out, many companies are using the word "Sustainable" in their marketing pitch for farm raised products which is deceiving. This and the fact that their are many concerns about farm raised products was my point.

                                                                                        1. re: Tom34

                                                                                          your post was not clear...and sometimes posts are so *others* can be clear, but it has to be a reply to a specific post so that it makes sense in the order of the discussion.

                                                                                          1. re: Tom34

                                                                                            People throw terms around without having any idea what they mean. The Onion had a funny piece a few years back on how a business can go "green." It was all about green colored packaging for ordinary stuff, as people will swallow anything uncritically. "Sustainable: is simply the latest, largely meaningless term for assuaging the conscience.

                                                                                            If something is truly on the verge of extinction, it is probably not a good idea to eat it, only for moral reasons.

                                                                                            1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                              No misunderstanding your post. THANK YOU!

                                                                                              1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                "People throw terms around without having any idea what they mean"

                                                                                                And other people throw criticism around without having any idea what they are criticizing.

                                                                                                I do agree with your last statement, however. It's amazing to me that so many others seem to disagree.

                                                                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                  My whole point from the start is that this subject is extremely complicated and there are so many variables and down right unknowns that opinions vary greatly and policy controversy is inevitable. As somebody pointed out we can't even agree in the US which is evident by different states having different laws. EX. Striped Bass is illegal to harvest commercially in NJ. but just down the coast in Maryland it is legal.

                                                                                                  Somebody else made a great point that extremely high price is one of the most powerful means to stop consumption. #1 grade Blue Fin is out of reach for regular consumption for most people and the rate of consumption in the US has dramatically declined over the years. Interestingly enough high fuel prices had a far greater impact on reducing gasoline consumption than environmental concerns ever did suggesting $$ trumps morals in many instances which really shouldn't be a great shock.

                                                                                                  1. re: Tom34

                                                                                                    Consumption of bluefin in the US may be declining, but unfortunately, so is the bluefin population.

                                                                                                    And the striper issue has nothing to do with "not agreeing". Different areas have different populations. For example, here in NC the Cape Fear River is closed to striper fishing, but the Roanoke River has a spring season. One has a sustainable population, one doesn't.

                                                                                                    1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                      I would agree with some species but Stripers are migratory and fishing pressure in one area can have a negative impact on other areas. Whats going on in Maryland is very controversial.

                                                                                                    2. re: Tom34

                                                                                                      Sometimes fishing restrictions are not because something is endangered, but more of a poiltical statement. For instance my state has an encyclopedia of fishing regs - one being no barbs on hooks in order to level the playing field between fish and man.

                                                                                                      We have very tight controls on take no take of crab. The state to our South a very liberal take policy is in place. The crab is not endangered, but the state will dictate... for any number of logical or illogical reasons.

                                                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                        Barbless hook regulations are in place to make the removing of the hook less damaging to the fish, thus increasing the chances of survival in the event the fish is returned to the water. You may not understand or agree with that, or another regulation, but that doesn't mean it has no point or purpose.

                                                                                          1. I don't worry much about sustainable, generally I worry more about the method of harvesting the seafood, for example catching wild shrimp produces a tremendous amount of bycatch that tends to be wasted. Wild shrimp are hardly in short supply but I just don't like the way they are caught.

                                                                                            With scarcer species generally the supply/demand relationship and its effect on pricing tends to resolve the issue for me, I'm not paying $18 a pound for anything.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: redfish62

                                                                                              Couldn't agree more! Supply / Demand / $$$ have a profound effect on overall consumption of most products.

                                                                                              1. re: redfish62

                                                                                                Free market forces can't always be counted on to solve the problem. As noted upthread, bluefin tuna prices have gone up, but the population continues to go down. Like it or not, regulation is sometimes required.

                                                                                                And shrimp farming has its own ecological issues, too.

                                                                                                1. re: carolinadawg

                                                                                                  Yeah but harvesting wild shrimp is especially bad


                                                                                                  They catch immense numbers of fish that are thrown back into the ocean dead.

                                                                                              2. I would like to thank everybody for their opinions and staying on subject. This started as a discussion between marine biologists, long time cruising liveaboards, and a commercial crabber concerning the historical commercial fisheries in Sebastian and Melbourne Florida.

                                                                                                Our local museums document the harvesting of manatees for consumption as they were cheaper than beef and did not rot as fast in the heat as beef. And Melbourne was famous for the style of cooking manatee until refridgeration and the import of brahma cattle improved the beef supply.

                                                                                                We then divurged to the topic stated above. I am glad that the posters here did not veer off into cultural taboos. Such as horse in France or monkey meat in sub-sahara Africa which has been beat to death on other threads.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                                                  They were commercially fished in FL? Do you know when?

                                                                                                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                                                                                                    Pretty well ended after getting protected status in Florida sometime around 1900.. There was a resurgence during the depression. Since this was before warm water from power plants and canals, there was also a seasonal migration.

                                                                                                    Another animal hunted with a harpoon in the Indian River was the sawfish. Realise the water was crystal clear with a max depth of 5 to 8 feet. And they grow to over 10 feet in length. Pictures taken and then tossed.

                                                                                                2. Good thing I stopped eating tuna because of its mercury concern.

                                                                                                    1. I avoid dining on endangered species.
                                                                                                      One day soon the Human, if not already-- may be an endangered species.

                                                                                                      1. No reason whatsoever to dine on an endangered species even if it is 'legal' somewhere else. It is a moral thing.

                                                                                                        Lots of things we don't condone or outlaw are legal elsewhere. Doesn't make it right if you go 'there' and participate.

                                                                                                        1. thus discussion reminds me of the movie "the Freshman" where the people came from all over the world to dine on edangered animals...

                                                                                                          but no I would not eat an an animal that was an endagered species because just becuase Japan thinks it is ok doesn't make them any less dead for the rest of the world

                                                                                                          1. No. I have pretty much given up on most fish. The only exception is when I travel to Central America and eat fish caught by my friend who has a boat. It's not like we can drive over to the Piggly Wiggly to get our dinner. As mentioned before, it is the methods companies use to harvest endangered species that bother me the most.

                                                                                                            1. Not if you offered me a million dollars. The reason the poor critters are endangered is that too many people considered them a 'delicacy' already.

                                                                                                              I ate shark when I was a kid... but it wasn't endangered then and I didn't even know it WAS 'shark'. 'Flake' was the ubiquitious fish in fish and chips in Australia. It's nothing special, and there's too much mercury in the food chain to eat it nowadays anyway.