About Seafood, Pollution, And Ocean Ecosystems
All life originated in the oceans of the world. A vast soup full of proteins and nutrients, the oceans have nurtured countless unique (and delicious) creatures into existence. This world of diversity beneath the waves has fed mankind since its earliest days. Human civilizations have always flourished along the shores of seas, riverbanks, and lakesides; seafood is one of the most important sources of nourishment to a growing group of people. The cultivation of seafood has led to unique lifestyles, cultures, and cuisines. However, though vast and unfathomably deep, the oceans have not been immune to the adverse effects of civilization.
Irresponsible fishing practices have led to the endangerment and disappearance of keystone species in ocean ecosystems. Pollution has played a part in the emergence of ocean “dead zones”. Heavy industry has allowed staggering amounts of toxins to flood the oceans, finding its way into the bodies of sea creatures and the people that eat them. Recognizing this, humanity has taken steps to promote sustainable fishing practices and solutions to the causes of pollution. This paper will analyze the importance of seafood to civilization in regards to nutrition and culture, and explore the methods by which humanity can preserve the oceans in the face of traumatizing pollution and fishery.
Seafood, as a broad term, should first be defined and clarified. Seafood essentially describes any number of creatures from the sea that are edible to and eaten by humans. This can include finned fish, crustaceans and shellfish, and seaweeds. Animals cultivated from fresh water can also be considered as seafood. What is considered as seafood is also relative to the culture consuming it. Some cultures, for example, may hunt and cultivate seafood that may seem taboo or inedible in others. Regardless of cultural preference, seafood is often found as key components to some of the most colorful, flavorful, and nutritious dishes.
Seafood boasts some of the most impressive nutrient content of animals found in human diet. Seafood (especially fish) is considered a very important part of a balanced and healthy diet, as sea creatures alone possess the unique and beneficial Omega-3 fatty acid. This important nutrient is found almost exclusively in sea creatures because it is developed in the bodies of fish and other animals that feed upon a certain type of plankton (microscopic sea animals and cells).
Omega-3 fatty acids, more commonly known as fish oil, has been credited with promoting the elasticity of veins and arteries, as well as affecting the tendency of blood and its platelets to clot and stick, thereby lowering the chances of a fish-eater to suffer from heart diseases and other cardiac complications. Omega-3 and fish oils have also been discovered to have qualities that promote neurological development in babies still in development in the mother’s womb. In addition, fish flesh also contains the lowest amount of fat when compared to the meat of other animals.
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