Best Wannabe Sustainable Seafood
Published: September 21, 2011
There’s been some recent buzz about marketing snakeheads—a predatory invasive species that poses a potentially catastrophic threat to native fish—as a sustainable food source. We’re hoping this is a tongue-in-cheek thought experiment, because in any practical sense, the idea is shortsighted, if not just plain dumb. The argument is, Hey, we have all of this protein that nobody wants, and whaddya know snakehead kinda tastes like chicken. Let’s rebrand it and cha-ching! Snakeheads are considered so dangerous to native ecosystems that the state of Maryland has a kill-on-sight order for them. Luckily, there aren’t that many here yet, so this mandate is primarily to keep them from further infiltrating our waters, and hopefully to eradicate them entirely, i.e., to KILL THEM ALL. Not a great seedbed for a commercial market. One might argue that demand will create a market—and yes, these fish do thrive here, so demand could theoretically be met. But it would be at the cost of all the other fishes, um, not thriving. Which pretty much makes snakeheads exactly the opposite of sustainable.