Order the daily bycatch? Maybe you’re eating manta ray or shark

Rays accidentally caught, likely to be sold as trash

Many average restaurants in coastal Ecuador offer a fixed menu of fish dishes: pescado ceviche, pescado tortilla, pescado spaghetti, etc. What they mostly likely can’t tell you is what type of “pescado” you’re actually eating.

That’s because they might very well be using bycatch, the incidental catch of fish other than a targeted species. If a fishermen is angling for snapper or grouper, he is probably also pulling up loads of other species — from sharks to rays to sea turtles.

Bycatch is particularly bad with shrimp, where one pound of the prawns costs the lives of as much as 20 pounds of other fish.

At least the fishermen are trying to sell the bycatch and the local economy absorbs some of it. Restaurants and residents purchase bycatch sometimes as trash fish, to grind up into a generic meal.

Killing rays and sharks — animals far more valuable alive, either as tourist attractions and/or as vital parts of healthy, breathing ocean — makes little sense.

And in many other instances, other sea creatures pulled up aren’t even broad to market. They’re simply tossed — often already dead — back overboard, treated as competitors (for the record, manta rays don’t eat fish) by the fishermen themselves.

And some still wonder why fisheries are so depleted. See below to understand more.

Goodbye little Galapagos shark

Poor little manta

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Order the daily bycatch? Maybe you’re eating manta ray or shark”

  1. ADAM JADHAV » Blog Archive » The most beautiful creature I’ve ever seen… Says:
    January 13th, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    [...] serious pressure from overfishing and destructive catch tactics and are often killed as incidental bycatch. I’ve seen juveniles, which are less able to avoid nets, tossed dead in the back of trucks [...]

Leave a Reply