Conservation of Biodiversity

Can an ocean conservationist eat seafood?
Answered by Julie Packard
  • Julie Packard

    Julie Packard

  1. Julie Packard Executive Director, Monterey Bay Aquarium


    I eat fish. I do. It's interesting. Many of my colleagues that work in ocean conservation don't. Everyone has a different take on that question of eating fish. I believe, I guess, I'm a believer in progress, not perfection.

    Working at the aquarium here, we really see our role to be accessible. People come into our institution from all walks of life. They're not coming here because they're hardcore conservation advocates. They're coming here for a fun family outing for the day. We have people of all political persuasions, faith persuasions, you name it, and so we work on a message that's accessible and approachable, and we don't want to be sounding too rabid about things.

    I've kind of adopted that at a personal level, as well. I mean, it is true that we're eating wildlife. Fish is the last commercially-harvested wildlife that humanity still has the enterprise on, which is interesting. Many of the others, we drove to extinction or virtual through the market hunts for birds in the early part of the history of our country, or we can look at the buffalo, obviously. But when it comes to fish, I do believe that, harvested in the right way and the right level, there's a way that we can have seafood be part of our diet.

    I view the important -- my role and the role of our institution is to really get people to think about the seafood they're eating and use their consumer power to drive change in how fish is globally caught and farmed.

    More answers from Julie Packard »

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