Apparently. The obvious source is fish but we are running out of fish:
In 2006, aquaculture production was 51.7 million metric tons, and about 20 million metric tons of wild fish were harvested for the production of fishmeal. “It can take up to 5 pounds of wild fish to produce 1 pound of salmon, and we eat a lot of salmon,” said Naylor, the William Wrigley Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. [via Future Pundit]
This is why Jared Diamond’s Collapse is so unfortunate. Diamond is a good writer and the question he tried to answer in that book is extremely important. But he whiffed. Suppose I write a book about obesity. I give a list of ten reasons people are fat: 1. Too much Food X. 2. Too much Food Y. And so on. (Just as Diamond gave a list of eight-odd reasons societies collapse.) Such a book would be far less helpful than a book with a correct theory about obesity, a theory that explains why Foods X, Y, etc. cause obesity. The theory could be used to find new, better, flexible ways of avoiding obesity. The list of foods to avoid cannot. In The Economy of Cities, Jane Jacobs (whom Diamond doesn’t mention) said that collapse happens for one overarching reason: The society is too resistant to new ways of doing things. The crucial struggle in any society, said Jacobs, isn’t between the rich and the poor or between owners and labor; it’s between those who benefit from the status quo and those who benefit from change.
Thanks to Peter Spero.