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Home > Feature Articles > Food Processing for Sustainable, Local, Organic and Effective Food Distribution

Fishy ideas about fishing

Fishing is at the heart of sustainable food resources, and at the heart of many families' survival and family culture. An artistic look at the culture surrounding art might surprise you with complexities that you were ignorant of...

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....... invites entries from artists who focus on themes that relate to the culture of fishing. A broad range of interpretations are welcome such as fishing as an economic lifestyle, work & gender issues, conservation & politics, environmental habitats & sustainability, food quality & safety, fishing for subsistence, fisheries collapse, & community education. It tweaked my mind to read this call for artworks ... not because of the art specificity, but because of the diverse sustainability issues involved in this seemingly lazy summer activity.

An economic lifestyle.

A quick reminder that much of the world's population relies of protein from our oceans for sustenance.

Work and gender issues.

Hmmm. I guess you don't hear of many women on fishing boats.

Conservation and politics.

Water bodies and waterways are divvied up by politicians for exploitation by local governments, purchasers of water rights... and are easily exploited because of their vast areas that can't be easily monitored for responsible business practices.

Environmental habitats and sustainability

Pollution and warming water temperatures bring life threatening conditions to marine and fresh water habitats for animals, plants, bacteria, and the immense array of micro life forms found in water habitat. Drastically dropping populations of keystone species are threatening the very survival of diversity and species survival due to overfishing and pollution. And then there is the oxygen that is "manufactured" by the surface of the ocean via living plankton. The land masses receive the vast majority of its oxygen and fresh water from these giant living organisms that breathe life into our land lubber communities.

Food quality & safety

Toxins do exist naturally in nature -- such as arsenic and acidic spews from underwater volcanos. But nature has adjusted to those ancient influences. What it can't deal with is the sudden influx of plastics and oil and unregulated chemicals from the petroleum and mining sectors, and transportation gone wild across our oceans. Time is not the environment's friend in today's chemical economy.

Fishing for subsistence.

Much of the world's impoverished population depends on harvesting nature's bounty to feed their families. But marine life populations are declining at an alarming rate and this decline forces family bread winners to take longer trips, more risks and provide less food for their families and subsistence communities. Enjoying the luxuries of shrimp, octopus, squid, even scallops and oysters damage the ecosystems that also provide sustaining habitat for basic fish needed for survival by villagers a world away.

Fisheries collapse.

Salmon populations collapsed in much of the US' Northwest. We experienced the impact on diversity of life. But other natural fisheries are collapsing due to overfishing and pollution and warming ocean waters. Nature is a complex web of life that we have barely begun to discover, take into best practices and preserve for self-sustaining productivity. We can support natural fisheries by educating ourselves about which species are endangered and reducing our consumption of marine foods taken from those habitats.... not just the single species endangered -- but species that affect the regional impact.

Community education.

Eternal vigilance. The price of survival and peace is eternal vigilance about the simplest actions we take on a daily basis. This is the role of community education. Make smarter choices. And pass it along in a caring way that inspires awareness and positive action by the people who trust and respect our voice.

... so the art of fishing reaches far beyond throwing a line in the water on a lazy summer day. The culture of fishing is an essential part of human survival, human culture, and appreciation of the web of life.

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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