It gets depressing when you realise the scale and extent of the issue. And how difficult it is to tackle the problems because it’s just too huge and is intertwined with politics, economics, consumer demand, lax enforcement and everything. It’s even more upsetting when you realise it’s not just the environmental and ecological damage caused by trawling, but also that fact that slave labour is equally big a problem.
Trying to reduce consumer demand is one possible option. Sure, I can live without prawns. Or fish. But the trash fish that goes into animal feed that becomes the roast chicken I’m having next week? Or the seasoning that goes into my favourite cracker? I’m sure farm animals and crackers/snacks don’t need to have trash fish in them – but just because it’s cheap and easily obtainable, why not? It seems like the only way for me to not be a hypocrite is to go completely vegetarian. But, there are many issues surrounding palm oil as well, in particular the deforestation of primary tropical rainforests to make way for oil palm plantations. And palm oil is in almost everything. Maybe I should just live off air and water then. When is it going too far, in a bid to live more ethically and sustainably?
I sometimes really think that we will only be able to sort ourselves out when we’ve past the critical point and everything starts crashing down on us. Like what one of our professors said at the close of our conservation science module debate, “we probably are stuffed, but we don’t have to be”.