Loving Fish, This Time With the Fish in Mind

The New York Times
By MARK BITTMAN

IN 1994, I published my first book, “Fish: The Complete Guide to Buying and Cooking.” The premise was straightforward: if you buy fish fresh and cook it simply, you’ll eat well.

It quickly became much more complicated, because “Fish” appeared in the midst of a revolution, one that has transformed the world of seafood.

Since the ’80s, we’ve seen the surge of international trade (hello, orange roughy), the accelerating aquaculture of fin fish (hello, “Norwegian” salmon) and — the most radical change of all — the rise of large-fleet fishing that began in the 1950s and has since depleted the stocks of fish in all the world’s oceans.

Merely buying a piece of fish has become so challenging that when my publisher asked if I wanted to revise the book, I felt I had to decline. The cooking remains unchanged, but the buying has become a logistical and ethical nightmare. (Prices are no longer exactly friendly, either.)

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