Many many years ago, there was a village where no one has ever eaten anything from the sea. A few village men accidentally caught a few fishes and ate them. They liked it. They were not sure the reason why. Some said it was because of the taste. some said it was because of the nutrient they could not get elsewhere.
As the news spread, they even opened a store and started to sell the fishes to the others. Some followed and opened similar stores selling fishes nearby. As they were gradually gaining popularity in the village, people invented a name ‘SEAFOOD’ and the area was then called SEAFOOD market. No one knows how the name came from but this was the way people called it.
The SEAFOOD market kept on growing. As it was expanding, some started to sell things other than fishes. There were crabs, shrimps, shellfishes… There were even stores which sold seaweed, frogs, whale meat and freshwater fish. In fact, the seaweed store used to have its business in the vegetable market but moved to the fast-expanding SEAFOOD market.
At the same time, the market kept on expanding and still so now. It became quite a trendy thing to shop from the SEAFOOD market. Even companies bought stuff from the SEAFOOD market for their top executives!
One day, people in the village started to debate what is really meant by SEAFOOD. Some argued that only saltwater fish counts. Some argued that any watery stuff should be included so long as it is helping (or nutritious) to the consumers. Some stores were even more ‘inclusive’ by arguing that the SEAFOOD market can sell anything so long as there was demand. People were selling fish-shaped drug which created short term pleasure but was not nutritious at all. Some challenged that the drug in fact created dependency.
In fact, a few stores came together and established something called ‘International Seafood Federation’. The association sat out some standards of what seafood is. For example, seafood can only be saltwater fish and in more details it should be ‘a limbless cold-blooded vertebrate animal with gills and fins living wholly in water’ It started to accredit other stores according to those standard. And the accredited stores needed to be supervised by a supervisor (differently accredited by the Federation) which in turn needed to be supervised….. and so on.
No one knows exactly how the debate started or the meaning of the debate. There were some hypotheses though:
Governance Perspective – Some said there have been cases of food poisoning, and thus there were calls to regulate the market. In order to do so, we need to know what SEAFOOD is in the first place.
Academic Perspective – Some scholars became interested at this growing SEAFOOD phenomenon and wanted to research deeply into the topics like what it is, how it helps, etc.
Ethical Perspective – Some stores strongly believed that their products were truly nutritious. They have invested a lot of R&D and took proud of their products. In addition, they challenged that some other products were deceiving, and should be kicked out of the SEAFOOD market.
Market Perspective – Few admitted but some said what is really going on … possibly unconsciously… is that the debate is simply a battle of money. Everyone wanted to have a share of this fast growing SEAFOOD market. So, all wanted to define SEAFOOD in a way so that their products stayed or became relevant.