Something's Fishy: An Argument for Sustainable Wedding Menus

“Good morning.  We have an urgent matter to discuss… there’s been some trouble in the North Atlantic.”

What sounds like the opening line of an episode of the West Wing (Jed Bartlet FTW) was actually the first sentence in a phone conversation I had this spring.  I was putting the finishing touches on a client’s wedding when the caterer called with some bad news.  The John Dory the client ordered was unavailable due to “trouble in the North Atlantic.”  I’m sure the caterer wasn’t told more specific information about what type of “trouble” there was (tsunami, pirates, the fish went south for winter?) but here we were, a few days until the wedding, and menu had changed.

I wanted to call shenanigans on the caterer until a friend sent me this link on over-fishing and how commercial fishing has laid waste to the North Atlantic populations of commonly eaten fish. John Dory might seem like an exotic delicacy, but take a moment to think about how many servings of salmon you’ve eaten at weddings. Didn’t your best friend serve bluefin tuna sashimi at her cocktail hour? And didn’t the caterer you just met suggest the striped bass? All of these species – and more – are among those suffering.

Should you remove all fish from your wedding menu? Not necessarily, but it’s worth a call to your caterer to find out where they source the fish, if there are local/farm raised options, and what is the back-up plan in case they develop “trouble in the North Atlantic” of their own.

(Fish) Food for thought.

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