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Why I Don’t Eat Most Canned Tuna Anymore

Recently, legendary explorer and tireless ocean protector Dr. Sylvia Earle said something that caused me to rethink the kinds of seafood I put on my family’s dinner table.

Dr. Earle and her colleagues at Mission Blue fly with LightHawk to gain a big picture perspective of the ocean surface, to inform their work to protect the vibrant world beneath the waves. Dr. Earle’s passion for our blue planet, and its ocean wildlife, was palpable as she joined LightHawk’s annual Fly-In gathering.

Her remarks and recollections from 40 years of ocean exploration truly moved her audience of LightHawk volunteer pilots, partners and supporters gathered that evening on the coast of Maine. I was lucky enough to be in the front row and as I listened to her, I knew we needed to share her “Hawk Talk” with you.

Dr. Earle covered a lot during the hour she spoke, so, pour your favorite beverage, sit back and prepare to be inspired. Click here for Dr. Earle’s Hawk Talk address

**Don’t miss these memorable moments:

At minute 3:00 she describes seeing the earth from above for the first time.

At minute 7:15 she begins to share images, and describes meeting a 62-year-old “sister” bird.

At minute 17:45, she talks about the jaw-dropping discoveries being made 300 feet below the surface.

Beginning at minute 47:28, she talks about being on The Colbert Report, seafood marketing spin and “Appalachian Yard Trout”.

After you watch this, help the oceans by sharing it with your friends and family, and let us know what you are doing to make a difference for ocean wildlife.

Make sure you’re making a sustainable choice. Download the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch pocket guide for your phone or computer.



  1. Christine
    October 28, 2013, 2:53 pm

    Dear Lighthawk–Your final comment -your seeming take home message –after listening to Sylvia Earle’s lecture–asking people to start using the Seafood Watch Pocket Guide while they shop… is dismaying. After listening to Sylvia Earle– the message she brings from the Oceans will take more critical action to respond to the urgency of the time. As a first step– instead of even thinking ‘Seafood” we need to think ‘Marine life’ or ‘Ocean wildlife’-terms Sylvia has used on many occasions. And as she tries to elegantly convey -at this point there is no such thing as sustainable ”seafood” . There should be a moratorium on all trawling, on industrial fishing and even on recreational fishing. Let the ocean rest and replenish itself. But short of that for those of us that do ‘know’– we need at the very least to simply stop eating marine life. As Sylvia has said–They are much more precious swimming in the ocean than on our dinner plate in olive oil and lemon sauce. The time of nice and easy solutions — little lists that make us all feel better- while maintaining our comfortable consumer oriented lifestyles is over– the oceans are dying. I am sure you know all this—but please don’t send out tepid and nice messages to those that are just becoming aware. It only adds to complacency and does more harm than good.
    Let us all strive to save the oceans—and let a bit of sacrifice on our parts-—while we still have the choice– by giving up the luxury of eating marine life- be the first step. More of Sylvia on eating fish- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxgQdx7Zf88

  2. Bev Gabe
    October 28, 2013, 1:36 pm

    Good news for tuna-lovers: white albacore caught by troll or pole-and-line in the Pacific are listed as “Best Choice” by the Seafood Watch:

    Thanks to tuna fisherman Joe Malley (www.tunatuna.com) for representing the sustainable practices and thoughtful ways of some fisheries.