Are you aware of the fact that overfishing is the greatest threat to ocean ecosystems? The increasing demand for delicious seafood is the main cause of overfishing. But there’s no need to stop eating seafood, just opt for sustainable seafood.
What is Sustainable Seafood?
A seafood is sustainable if it is caught or farmed in such a way that it doesn’t put the species population in danger as well as the well-being of the ocean. It comes from fisheries that are able to maintain the food supply indefinitely without reducing the species’ ability to maintain its population and without affecting other species of the ecosystem. Other species may get affected by overfishing of one species by losing their food source, accidentally killing them along with the desired species or damaging their physical environment.
The method to catch a fish speaks a lot about how sustainable it is. Some methods are extremely destructive like bottom trawling – dragging sea nets along the sea floor to scoop up fish which causes harm to other species and pollution. Pair trawling is another unsustainable practice of fishing carried out by two boats, with one towing each wrap. It often kills dolphins.
How to Maintain Sustainability in Seafood?
It is extremely difficult to identify sustainable seafood because there is no specific label on fisheries indicating from where the seafood has arrived. One way to know is to simply ask the seller. The best way is to buy your seafood from sustainable fisheries like Marks and Spencer. Not all fish sold by them are from fully sustainable sources but it is certainly the best available.
Apart from that, know your seafood. Do not buy protected species like Atlantic cod, plaice, tuna, haddock, tropical prawns, monkfish, swordfish, sharks, rays etc. The list is long and not easy to remember but try avoiding these in fish markets.
Buy from your local fisherman instead of a fishmonger because it allows you to ask exactly how the fish is caught.
Eating less fish also helps. The nutrients, vitamins and oils found in fish can be found in dry fruits. Over one billion people depend on seafood as their primary source of protein. Eating less fish would definitely help our oceans.
Have a look at the Seafood Guide made by SeaChoice which highlights which species is best to eat and which ones to avoid.
Share and make other people aware of such sustainable practices. Every little effort counts when it comes to saving our oceans.
Image – Pixabay