I went to college in Boston and could never get over the fact that local McDonald’s in New England sold lobster. With the lobster population quite high up on the Maine coast, the McLobster was a pretty popular selection on lunch menus throughout the region.
But lobster is only of a number of fish that is no longer as plentiful as it once was. The reality is that, because of commercial fishing, fish populations have plummeted around the world. So it’s quite exciting to read in the Wall Street Journal that a number of America’s big fast food companies, including McDonald’s and YUM! Food brand Long John Silvers, are exploring the feasibility of eco-friendly fishing practices to preserve endangered fish supplies.
Fish might not be as popular on the menus of America’s fast food restaurants as beef or chicken, but regardless, this is a positive step forward for America’s leading food franchises. McDonald’s, for instance, buys “50,000 metric tons of whitefish a year”. It says most of its fish is purchased via sustainable means.
"We know if we go raping and pillaging it today, there's nothing left for tomorrow," says Ken Conrad, the owner of the chain of 10 Libby Hill seafood restaurants in North Carolina and Virginia and chairman of the National Fisheries Institute, a seafood-industry trade group.
While the likes of Greenpeace say that there is more than can be done, it’s still encouraging to see fast food franchises altering their practice. It seems that ecologically-sensitive fishing practice may be the next green frontier for food franchises.