The Gulf of Mexico’s warm and relatively placid waters extend over a massive area of continental shelf. Natural conditions, combined with nutrients flowing into the gulf from hundreds of rivers create a unique environment that is home to thousands of species both above and below the surface of the water.
Abundance, however, does not promise an infinite amount of delicious and edible fish. Millions live on the Gulf, either on its coast or on its islands. Increasing populations are demanding increasing amounts from the bounty the Gulf of Mexico provides.
For centuries, peoples in the region fished in traditional ways. They took small boats into the water with weighted nets and got what they could.
Tradition then gave way to technology. Larger boats, with increasingly advanced techniques and systems, began to dominate fishing. Industrial level efficiency started to bring in more fish while smaller fishing operations got crowded out.
The populations of some species declined considerably. Though they have experienced a recent rebound, some studies show that some grouper and red snapper populations are a fraction of what they were in the 1950s.
Overfishing without discipline or restraint will lead to severe depopulation of the area with untold consequences for the environment.
It will also end the livelihood of thousands who depend upon seafood for work or business, as well as deprive millions of the opportunity to eat delicious and locally sourced seafood.
The issue concerns more than just the Gulf region. According to the Environmental Defense Fund, approximately 40 percent of US domestic seafood production comes from the Gulf of Mexico.
Grouper and red snapper numbers served as red flags for fishing in the Gulf, but their recent surge in numbers proves that sustainable fishing techniques do work.
Regulatory changes started to enforce catch shares for the industry. These drastically cut wastage while simultaneously helping available stock to skyrocket. Catch limits for these fish have doubled in the past ten years also, demonstrating that sustainable fishing can be both an environmental and a commercial success.
Officials have started to explore the idea of expanding the catch share program to protect other vital fisheries. Their aim is to prevent depletion before a tipping point is reached.
For us, protecting our fisheries is personal. Tommy’s Seafood is a small part of a strong culture and tradition of fishing, not only in Louisiana, but throughout the Gulf.
Ensuring plentiful stocks of fish for the future is not just our cause. Our entire business depends on it.
Join us in our commitment to purchasing recognized sustainable seafood whenever it is an option. Commit to supporting companies that share your values when it comes to protecting the fisheries of the Gulf.
And, most importantly, continue to purchase and enjoy fresh, locally caught, healthy, and delicious seafood.
Sustainability is good for us; it’s good for you, and it’s the best strategy to make sure that we can continue to enjoy these products going forward.
Learn more about Tommy’s Seafood’s commitment to preserving our vibrant and productive Gulf fisheries. Check out our website to learn more about the issue of sustainable fishing and what we can all do to encourage responsible practices.
For nearly four decades the New Orleans area has looked to Tommy’s Seafood for the best quality fish delivered at the peak of freshness. Make sure to check out our selection and learn why we provide the best fish in the area.