Welcome Green Monsters! We're your online guide to making conscious choices that help people, animals and the planet.
Download food monster: the biggest, baddest, yummiest vegan food app!
Buy the #EatForThePlanet book



Sylvia Earle is pretty much a rockstar in the world of marine biology and oceanography. And when Sylvia Earle says that there are not, in fact, “plenty of fish in the sea,” you listen.

Earle has devoted her life to exploring the depths of the ocean and learning about the complex organisms and species that call the ocean their home. Incidentally, she also does not eat seafood. Well, perhaps this choice is not so incidental. Rather it was the result of Earle’s realization that fish are, “creatures on their own terms.”

In an interview with The Guardian, Earle divulges her journey away from considering fish as “seafood.” By seeing the many fish and crustaceans that we might consider “food,” in their natural habitat, Earle began “seeing them as something other than pieces of meat on a plate, swimming in lemon slices and butter.”

To Earle, fish are not a food source, but rather, wildlife. The same way we would consider a squirrel or raccoon wildlife on land, fish are the wildlife of the sea, and should be treated accordingly. Earle explained to The Guardian, “We’re trying to support the taste for wildlife from the sea for a growing population, and that just simply doesn’t work.”

Meeting the demand for seafood for the world’s seven billion people puts an understandably HUGE strain on the ocean’s wildlife. And it is no surprise that the mass extraction of wildlife is causing a negative impact on the world’s ocean environments. In the span of Earle’s lifetime, she has seen the populations of fish commonly targeted for consumption (halibut, cod, tuna, swordfish, herring) drop by 90 percent. This is no small loss. These fish are far more valuable to the balance of the world’s ecosystem when they’re alive, rather than served on a sushi platter.

There are communities across the world who rely on seafood as a food source, because they don’t have the option to eat otherwise. But for nations, such as those in North America, we do have a choice and can make a positive difference for the ocean and its fish populations by choosing not to eat seafood. We’re all connected and recognizing the role fish play in our own existence is highly important.

“The oxygen that replenishes every breath you take comes from an ocean that is filled with life,” Earle explains,”It has developed over hundreds of millions of years. It has taken only a few decades [for humans] to disrupt and break those connections. The children of today will be really cross with us if we fail to act on what we know now.”

So, remember Earle and remember you do have a choice. It might seem small, but our planet is 70 percent ocean and can use all the help it can get! Click here for some awesome fish-free recipes.

Image source: TED

Want to read more posts like this? Sign up for our newsletter below!​

Browse through some recent posts below:

This Dog’s ‘Owners’ Dumped Her at a Shelter for Being Too Old – Then Her Rescuers Did the Sweetest Thing

Kite Hill Raises $40 Million to Help Bring More Vegan Cheese and Yogurt to the Masses!

WTH?! An Animal Control Officer Was Called About a Sick Feral Kitten, So He Drove the Cat Into the Woods and Left

A Bowhunter Shot a Family Dog He Thought Was a ‘Wolf’ – We Need to Change the Laws to Keep This From Happening!

Disclosure: One Green Planet accepts advertising, sponsorship, affiliate links and other forms of compensation, which may or may not influence the advertising content, topics or articles written on this site. Click here for more information.

8 comments on “Why Renowned Marine Biologist, Sylvia Earle Will Not Eat Seafood”

Click to add comment
Sonia Sae
5 Months Ago

That\'s why people should be eating invasive fish species such as Lionfish, Carp, Green Crab, Carp, Nile Perch, etc... By eating these species, you are helping the ocean ecosystem thrive. Farmed bivalves such as mussels and clams are completely sustainable as well, and they clean the water supply at the same time!

Mandy Keane
4 Years Ago

Dianis Pinzon:"but its the same case with all the people that fight for dogs and cats and are against bullfighting and fight dogs while enjoying a beef burger or something like that."
Please explain the connection??

Darragh McCurragh
4 Years Ago

She has a case. However, like humankind domesticated wild animals for food production, so it has harnessed fish farming and it is possible to use both salt- and freshwater aquatic organisms as a protein (and sometimes lipid) source to feed the planet sustainably. While going vegan has its merits, humankind need not forego eating fish as such but e.g. use methods like aquaponics to raise fish sustainably and avoid bot overfishing as well as loss of top soil on land!

Maureen Anne Walsh
4 Years Ago

Great girl, finally someone of authority speaks out for the sea creatures who are being cruelly decimated, due to this false information that fish are the ultimate food. Ever see a fish farm??

Amy Zeigler
4 Years Ago

Chris Bressler

Amy Zeigler
4 Years Ago

Good for her.

Curly Kale
4 Years Ago

Can't help wondering if she eats beef, chicken, pork, lamb, etc

Dianis Pinzon
03 Oct 2014

but its the same case with all the people that fight for dogs and cats and are against bullfighting and fight dogs while enjoying a beef burger or something like that.

Curly Kale
04 Oct 2014

So true

Julie Beal
4 Years Ago


Pam Davis
4 Years Ago



Subscribe to our Newsletter

Follow us on

Do Not Show This Again


Submit to OneGreenPlanet

Terms & Conditions ×