Saturday, 10 December 2016

Saturday Photo: Climate Change and Getting Ready for Christmas in Montreal

These are salted herring, to be filleted and marinated to make sil, the Scandinavian pickled herring dish.  It's something I've made every Christmas since I married into the Soderstrom family. Delicious!

But this year I've been having trouble finding the fish.  My usual fish store says they're sold out, and won't receive any more before January.  I called around a bit, and found that National Herring, a wholesaler, has some at $6 a pound that they may sell me if I trek out to their warehouse.  The price is much more than I've paid in the past, but for a holiday treat, I'll pay it.

But why the penury? I wondered.  Seems there's a shortage of herring and other small fish in northern Atlantic waters.  Lobster fishers who use herring to bait their traps,  complained all summer about the lack, and special rules were put into effect.

Nobody I've read puts the finger on climate change  or over-fishing for the decline in stocks, but we all know what happened to the cod fishery.  After 30 years of closure, the stock is beginning to come back off Canada, but the Americans are saying that things are getting worse there, probably because of warmer water which is driving the fish north.

There may be snow on the ground here this morning, but it sure looks like we've messed things up.

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