Questions Over Future of Fast Food Fish

As popular white fish species such as cod, face fisheries collapse, pollock has increasingly been an essential alternative. For instance the kid’s favourite, Fish Fingers, now increasingly consist of pollock rather than cod, as do McDonald’s ‘Filet-o-Fish.’

Perhaps the pollock’s newly received endangered status has been brought about by increased corporate-consumer demand.

Recently the US National Marine Fisheries Service advised an 18 per cent reduction in next year’s catch from the pollock’s stronghold in the eastern Bering Sea. However given that advice about the North Atlantic Cod stocks were not heeded, many believe greater reductions are needed.

Greenpeace’s oceans campaign director, John Hocevar has been vocal about the need to reduce pollock fishing in order to prevent total collapse, suspecting that “we are on the cusp of one of the largest fishery collapses in history.”

Many scientists including Hocevar believe that the pollock’s immense decline could be the reason that stellar sea lion’s – a major predator of pollock – are faring so badly. Their numbers have tumbled by 80 per cent since the 1970s.

Once again, the imperative to diversity fish tastes at home and abroad has been highlighted, to allow imperilled fish stocks to recover.