Around the world, people eat more fish than any other type of animal protein, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. There are 5 million fish caught per minute and 2 1/2 trillion fish caught per year. The problem is that overfishing is decimating ocean life at an unprecedented rate. Bottom trawls—huge, heavy nets dragged across the ocean floor—destroy almost 4 billion acres of ocean floor every year. It’s staggering. We’re clearly taking more from the ocean than it can give. Better fisheries management isn’t solving the problem. Plus, discarded fishing gear is killing all kinds of ocean life every day. People talk about plastic bottles killing sea turtles, but the truth is that 45% of ocean pollution consists of used fishing nets and gear. Plastic only accounts for about 1,000 sea turtle deaths a year, while discarded commercial fishing lines kill nearly 300,000 sea turtles a year.
We grew up in New England loving seafood. Derek was a lobsterman in Maine for four seasons. But we want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We’ve developed all kinds of vegan ‘seafood’ recipes, from lobster rolls made with lobster mushrooms to cauliflower po’boys made with Old Bay seasoning. All of these recipes are tasty alternatives that help keep more fish swimming happily in our oceans. Hopefully, they’ll also help keep you happy in the kitchen, while providing that solution our oceans and sea life so desperately need.