Monday, July 25, 2011
I Will Make You Fishers
Yesterday's gospel lesson was a series of the parables of Jesus, including one which says God's reign is like a fish net, cast out over the waters and hauling in fish worth keeping and others to through back. We call the ones which don't have commercial use "by-catch" these days, and because of indiscriminate fishing around the world there aren't many "good" or "bad" fish left.
So, we set up fish farms, and a lot of people don't like it.
A recent issue of Time magazine has an article on the future of fishing and it does look at the impact of aquaculture. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2081796,00.html We still don't know definitively whether fish farms lead to greater disease in wild populations or if we lose the benefits attributed to eating fish when they are commercially raised. Chances are though that the fish you eat have been grown in pens rather than, well, "swimmin' with da fishes" in a natural habitat.
When we were in Nova Scotia we were staying close to a proposed fish farm site near Shelburne. Some lawn signs warned against the project and others said "We support sustainable aquaculture." Fish farms mean jobs and tax revenue, but others worry about the environmental impact.
Does it matter to you one way or another if your fish come from a pen? Is this just one more sign that we are messing up Creation, or a creative alternative to declining fish stocks? Should we care?