Don’t Count on Shellfish as Part of Your Emergency Food Supply

The Japan nuclear melt down is to threaten most of the Pacific Ocean’s sea life.  There is controversy about how much contamination is “safe”.  Predictions about how fast the sea life will be decreased or depleted range from a few months to a few years.  Some species of sea life or plants might not be directly effected by the contamination, but humans may find it not fit for consumption.

Either way, it’s not good.  What species do survive might not be what we want to eat.  Not to mention the upset in the ecological balance of the oceans for the next 100 or so years.  Even if the predictions of U. S. waters and fishes being contaminated don’t come true, it gives one pause to think about what would happen in a world changing event.

Even without the contamination possibilities in the back of our minds, we already have plenty to think about in terms of the current state of the coastal waters and the food supply some people might have in their emergency plans.

Oyster bed on the Cape Fear River, Wilmington, North Carolina

The United States’ east coast Atlantic ocean is already polluted and many fish and shellfish are not edible or are going extinct from the waters.  The loss of oyster beds along both the east and west coasts leaves the only good oyster beds left in the Gulf of Mexico.  Now, most oysters and shellfish consumed in the U.S. and around the world are from Asia.

There are efforts in all areas of coastal waters to increase oyster beds and make better conditions for other coastal shellfish.  If the prepared are planning on those resources it needs to happen quickly.


photo by: Joseph Brent