When people ask for sustainable fishes to eat, I often point them to domestically farmed, vegetarian species like striped bass and catfish. Raised in ponds, they're subject to water quality restrictions and animal captivity rules, and they don't rely on wild fish populations for food.
Unfortunately, a diet of corns and soybeans also made these fish farms vulnerable to the current grain crisis. As the NYT reports, catfish farms across the South are draining their ponds because they can't afford to feed their fish. One farmer's filling his old pond with those very same feed crops -- corn and soya -- to capitalize on the new market.
I'll be sad to see these fish disappear from the ice at my local fishmonger, but I have to be a little bemused by this battle of subsidies. After all, the U.S. subsidized corn and soybean production for decades and NOAA has proposed various 'incentives' for aquaculture. Today, those subsidies pale against the power of the yuan and the fuel subsidies that keep foreign fleets afloat, feeding our imported seafood market. Those reeds and rushes shading the shallows of the old catfish ponds? They'd probably be a better source of cellulosic ethanol than corn.