Fish in the Desert

Fish? But I thought Tracy Aviary was all about birds! 

Birds and fish are closely connected. In the wild, birds rely on fish as their food source. Even here at Tracy Aviary some of our birds eat fish as part of their diet, including our American White Pelicans. By being conscientious about which fish we eat, we can help ensure a sustainable fish supply in the oceans for years to come. 

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We may not live near the ocean, as much as I’d like to imagine Great Salt has hidden tidepools on the west shore. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy some nice sushi or grilled salmon. Fish is imported here from all around the world, so there can be a wide range in how sustainably that fish is caught or raised.

Try to get fish that is caught or farmed in a way that doesn’t harm the environment or other wildlife. That includes: 

  • Species has a healthy population (Not overfished)
  • Fishing gear has a minimal impact on the environment (no dredging!)
  • As local as possible (other countries may have weaker fishing regulations)

There are so many different types of fish, and so many different ways to farm them or catch them, that it can be overwhelming. Ponds, pens, raceways, recirculating tanks, trolling, purse seining, trawling (bad! It scrapes the seafloor), gillnetting, harpoons, longlining, pots. I even learned a few new things myself while writing this! How are you supposed to know which exact fish to buy? That’s where the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch guide comes in handy. 

If you’re looking for shrimp, go for US farmed instead of imported. If you’re more of a salmon person, they recommend buying salmon from New Zealand, as opposed to salmon from Chile, Norway, or Scotland. 

For lots of interesting articles about seafood sustainability and more specific fish recommendations, and some really cool “how-it-works” videos about different types of fishing and farming, I’d recommend visiting seafoodwatch.org.

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