Food consumption is among the non-reversible processes that require sustainable cycles. Over the years, Singapore relies on fish as a source of protein. This is a healthy motive as white meat is much healthier when compared to red meat. With most of the staple diets being starch, fish inclusion in the diet is important for nutritional purposes. Many factors have influenced the popularity of fish in the diets of the residents. They include the following:
Since ancient times, seafood has been an important inclusion in the diet. The nutritional and medicinal aspects of most seafood make them a popular meal. With the recent increased in scientific studies, the culture of fish consumption has increased, especially due to the nutritional aspects. The Food Industry has also promoted this culture by producing fish products.
Most of the staple foods in the different cultures base their popularity to easy access. Singapore has access to seawaters, which makes fish available. The prices of fish are quite low, especially in regions nearing the shorelines. This ease of access is a contributing factor to the development and maintenance of fish consumption cultures.
Although this was not the initial factor, with the recent awareness of benefits of fish consumptions has exaggerated their consumptions with time. Among the seafood, fish has additional benefits such as oils and omega supplements. With this realisation, the formal population increases their preference to wheat meat consumption, and fish is the best alternative.
What Is the Current State
Since fish has been a cultural food for many years, it is obvious that the fish population is affected. Singapore government has a fisheries department that deals with management of fishing in the country. In addition, the government has put in place rules and regulations regarding fishing. However, according to World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the efforts are still inadequate.
Most of the rules are lenient to the fishing offenders and this makes it a hide-and seeks game with the authorities. According to WWF, the future of fishing in Singapore is wanting, especially with the increased rates of fishing offenders. The Food Industry has been on the spot for buying black market fish from fishing offenders. Of course, the prices will be lower than when compared to buying fish from the genuine fish vendors.
The Species at Risk
Different fish species have different tastes and impact on menus. Some cultures will choose certain species and ignore the rest. Generally, there are two varieties of fish, the edible and the non-edible. The non-edible varieties have some aspects that may be lethal to humans. For others, they are dangerous and fishing them is a risk to the subjects.
In the edible class, taste and preference come into play. Given the variable individual preferences, cultures will choose the defining fish from the edible types. For Singapore, they have four common fish species that have a general acceptance and overall consumption in the country. Of those four, there of them are at risk of extinction. This is due to ineffective measures to fishing regulations, especially in the far seas of Singapore. The species are the following:
It is a common component of steamed-dishes in most of the premium restaurants in Singapore. Its extinction probability stands at over 50%.
Indian Thread fin
It is a popular species due to its taste in soups and pastry dishes especially in Hawker center. Due to its high rates of consumption, its extinction rates stand at over 60%.
Yellow Branded Scad
It is also famous in the Hawkers centre for nasi lemak delicacies. The probability rates for this stands at a staggering 40%.