If you follow Oceana’s Save the Oceans, Feed the World campaign you’ve probably heard of Oceana’s recent unique culinary event through widespread media coverage, including Food & Wine, The Associated Press, The Huffington Post and more. At the day-long event held at the Basque Culinary Center in picturesque San Sebastian, Spain, 19 globally-acclaimed chefs pledged to support Oceana’s campaign to Save the Oceans and Feed the World, which aims to rebuild ocean abundance not only to foster biodiversity, but to also feed people into the future.
Recently, The Telegraph became another outlet that covered the event through food writer Xanthe Clay’s article, “No cod, no haddock - what fish can we eat with a clean conscience?” Clay, who attended the event, uses it as a vehicle to discuss sustainable seafood and adjusting seafood preferences towards traditionally less appealing fish — like anchovies and sardines. Clay goes onto unpack Oceana’s Save the Oceans, Feed the World campaign in her article, and begs the question that many may be wondering about Oceana’s campaign: Why does it make sense to save fish in order to eat them?
The answer, as Clay goes on to describe, is actually simple: By sustainably managing fisheries and restoring them back to their full abundance, the oceans carry the potential to feed nearly a billion people a healthy seafood meal every day. With the global population expected to grow to 9 billion people by 2050 and the planet needing to produce 70 percent more food to meet the coming hunger needs, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the need for an environmentally and sustainable protein source, like seafood, is more apparent than ever before.
The humble, unassuming forage fish, like herring, smelt, anchovies and more can meet this need. Unfortunately, these small fish often end ground up as fish meal used to feed aquaculture or livestock, rather than being used to feed millions of people a protein-packed, healthy Omega-3 meal every day. But with shifts in both fisheries management and dietary preferences, more and more of these forage fish can start appearing on dinner plates around the world.
And that’s exactly why Oceana’s recent event in Spain was so important to this campaign and building a movement to shift people’s seafood preferences: With 19 of the world top chefs voicing their support to serve small forage fish on World Ocean’s Day, the chefs are sending a global message to consumers about the importance and value of these tiny fish. Articles like Clay’s in the Telegraph and the efforts from these chefs mark significant milestones for Oceana’s campaign to Save the Oceans, Feed the World and advocate for tiny forage fish as the true perfect protein.