Seafood: Wasted on the Waterfront?

Waste. That is what I think when I see this amazing display of fish. The waste of the un-bought, unconsumed, uneaten seafood that died to spoil.

Can Washington DC really consume this much seafood via the Fish Market in Southwest? Will they really sell all that salmon, all those crabs, all the shrimp on display?

Will it not be shoveled into a trash bin, dumped, and lost from the ecosystem forever?

Such waste. It almost makes me want to vegetarian again. I was one once, for eight years, after I went scuba diving and saw the reefs from which these fish came. Or saw what was left of them. Scraped clean by trawlers for a market just like this.

And now here, in my own city, I see this display. Might this, and other displays like it across town, really be too much fish for one city?

6 Comments so far

  1. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 2:13 pm

    How do you know it’s wasted, Wayan? That seems to be a snap judgment not based on any listed information here. DC is definitely a seafood town, with numerous restaurants gathering their raw materials from the fish market immediately, I’m not sure you’re just not talking outta your ass.


  2. Jenn L (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

    What do you think happens to all that food in the supermarket? Or restaurants for that matter? Forget trawling, you’re trolling!

    No seriously, Wayan, the Wharf in SE is one of the last open air fish markets on the East Coast. Posts like this are just fishfood for developers who want to raze it to the bottom of the Potomac and continue the Disneyfication of the District. I’m surprised at you, this is one of the last uncorrupted places that makes DC still an actual living breathing stinking city.


  3. Tiff (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

    No market that intends to stay in business is going to consistently buy more of a highly perishable product than it thinks it can sell before spoilage. That’s a good way to go bankrupt quickly.

    I’d be very surprised if more than a few of those fish didn’t sell before spoiling. Hell, just looking at that photo makes me hungry for seafood…


  4. chimprage (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 2:57 pm

    slow blog day…


  5. wayan (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 4:00 pm

    While I agree, this is a great aspect to the city – I get my crabs here all the time – I wondering specifically about the amount of food present and the proportion that makes it to a plate.

    If you look at supermarkets, their highest margin priced products is seafood – because when they sell it all they make bank, but when they don’t they have to toss it and loose/lose big. Over time, even with the high margins, the loss rate drops the return to the store average of 3%.

    So I wonder how much of the Wharf’s food is waste. Not the return on investment, or the overall need for it, or how integral it is to the city’s character.


  6. Doug (unregistered) on December 12th, 2006 @ 6:28 pm

    If you want waste, visit practically any restaurant in America, watch as huge portions are served up, and how much uneaten food is scraped into the bus tubs.



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