What could be more divine – I love Dorado!
You know, it’s Dolphin Fish or Mahi-Mahi?
Look, it says line-caught in the West Atlantic –
off Costa Rica – where, a friend once said,
they have no army: in emergencies,
police become the army, and boy scouts
the police. Pretty neat! What’s not to like?

Let’s not like line-fishing off Costa Rica.
In the fishery at Playa del Coco,
211 Mahi-Mahi
were line-caught, mostly for the US market.
This so-called ‘sustainable’ catch involved:

54 longlines
43,000 hooks

and a bycatch of

468 Olive Ridley Turtles
20 Green Turtles
408 Pelagic Stingrays
47 Devil Rays
413 Silky Sharks
24 Thresher Sharks
13 Smooth Hammerhead Sharks
6 Crocodile Sharks
4 Oceanic Whitetip Sharks
68 Pacific Sailfish
34 Striped Marlin
32 Yellowfin Tuna
22 Blue Marlin
11 Wahoo
8 Swordfish
4 Ocean Sunfish.

The fishery had switched to turtle-friendly
circle hooks – but nearly 500 turtles
got tangled in long-lines and drowned.
For 211 Mahi-Mahi.
How could you know this, glancing at your menu?
Time for the boy scouts to run our fisheries –
no other way could be as bad as this.

Note: ‘Menu’ uses data from Callum Roberts, Ocean of Life (2012) with the author’s kind permission.


Mark Haworth-Booth

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