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Our oceans may be vast and appear to be infinite, but in reality, the world’s demand for seafood is killing our oceans, which in turn, directly has a serious negative impact on the health of everyone and everything on the planet. 73 million sharks are killed each year for shark fin soup, leading many shark species toward extinction, and Chinook salmon have been so overfished that the orcas who rely on them to survive are starving as a result, and this is all just the tip of the iceberg.

The overfishing epidemic is so severe, that, according to the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, 80 percent of global fish stocks are “fully- to over-exploited, depleted, or in a state of collapse,” and around 90 percent of large predatory fish stocks no longer exist. At these disturbing rates, it is predicted that total global fish stocks will completely collapse by 2048. But thanks to plant-based food innovators like Ocean Hugger Foods, our oceans have hope for a less desolate future.

Our overfishing epidemic paired with the rise in demand for plant-based products has led companies like California-based Ocean Hugger Foods to create alternatives, like their plant-based version of Ahi tuna called Ahimi, which will now be available across the globe thanks to a partnership with Japanese food wholesaler Nishimoto!

The tomato-based “tuna” is lauded for having the taste and texture of actual Ahi tuna, and it is currently available in Whole Foods stores across ten states in the U.S. This new partnership will expand their market further within the U.S., as well as Europe, Southeast Asia, and Japan, where there has been a rise in demand for plant-based products as people seek healthier alternatives.

This is incredible news not only for Ocean Hugger Foods, but the oceans writ-large. In Japan alone, it is estimated that sushi restaurants generated a total of 1.5 trillion Yen (around $1.3 trillion) in 2016. This is a MAJOR market and if even a fraction of it could be replaced by plant-based sushi alternatives, we could bring some much-needed relief to the world’s marine ecosystems. It has been said many times that our own health is dependent on the health of the oceans – it’s time we started eating like it.

To learn more about Ocean Hugger Foods and their mission to save the oceans, check out this recent episode of the #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias podcast:

Image Source: oceanhuggerfoods/Instagram 

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