Hoki photoCAN SUSTAINABLE AND FISHING PEACEFULLY COEXIST IN THE SAME SENTENCE? Or are they destined to be oxymoronic combatants forever at odds in obliviously overfished seas, rivers, creeks, streams, lakes, ponds, you name it? Running across a sobering piece about the plight of the hoki by New York Times reporter Bill Broad yesterday brought this debate fresh to mind and got me wondering, Who’s really looking out for life in the sea, and are they having any impact that’s truly quantifiable? (Broad’s story even managed to receive a near-instant rebuttal from the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council—how’s that for muddying the waters from the other side of the planet?!)

With perhaps 20,000 known species of fish swimming around out there, why should we worry about the “ugly” bug-eyed hoki (as described by Broad), a fish, also known as a whiptail, that didn’t even make the cut for inclusion in Richard Ellis’ enthralling Encyclopedia of the Sea (New York: Alfred E. Knopf, 2000)? It turns out that there’s a very good reason for concern, and a fish like the hoki, while certainly not as cute or family friendly as darling Nemo, helps bring overfishing further into the collective public consciousness—that plus the work of many, many diligent NGOs. That’s our bait, now let’s get ready for the tackle! Read More »