Every cent that you spend on seafood has a direct and profound impact on the health of oceans, fishing communities, and seafood business practices. Your dollars are your voice, and when you use your voice to demand sustainable seafood businesses will listen!
What is “Sustainable Seafood”?
Sustainable seafood is caught or farmed in ways that do not compromise long term ocean health and ensure continued availability of seafood for future generations.
- Enough fish are left in the oceans to reproduce and populations are not depleted
- Fishing methods limit the bycatch of other non-targeted marine species
- Responsible and effective fisheries management plans based on current scientific information are in place
- Fishing and farming practices are not causing excessive pollution or destruction of habitat
- Farming practices do not excessively use marine resources in feed
- Farming practices ensure that farmed fish will not escape into the wild or transfer disease and parasites to wild fish
How do I know if I am buying sustainable seafood?
It is essential that you know exactly WHAT SPECIES of fish you are eating, WHERE and HOW it was caught.
Why is This Important to Know?
Many commercial fisheries stocks are being overfished at an alarming rate and are unable to reproduce themselves fast enough to meet the growing demand for seafood throughout the world. It is estimated that 90% of all the big fish in the ocean are already gone. Where did they go? We have eaten them! If we do not drastically change our fishing and consumption patterns we might lose these ocean resources. For some species extinction is a very real possibility.
Additionally many fishing and aquaculture practices are highly destructive to the marine environment and cause unnecessary death to non-targeted species and extensive damage to marine habitats.
Wouldn't it be better to just not eat fish then?
HELL NO! If you choose to not purchase seafood at all you completely remove your voice from the conversation. Why would a business change it's practices for someone who isn't one of their customers anyway? By directing your dollars towards businesses that have committed to sourcing sustainable seafood you are amplifying efforts towards true sea change.
There’s Reason to be Hopeful!
We have the power to reverse these trends of declining fish populations by changing our personal actions and taking responsibility for the fish we are taking out of the oceans to put on our plates.
The sustainable seafood movement is gaining momentum as more people become aware about the impacts of their seafood choices on the ocean. We are in the midst of a Fish Revolution.
You Can Make a Difference!
- Know what you are eating- We know seafood tastes good, we really love it too, but if you are unable to determine if it is truly sustainable then choose to pass on the seafood dish and go with another tasty option.
- Know your fish facts- Become familiar with sustainable choices and species of concern.
- Ask questions- Ask WHAT species, WHERE and HOW your fish is caught. If you are unable to get answers, politely refuse to purchase seafood items and choose a different dish on the menu.
- Eat the little guys- Small fish generally reproduce faster & in larger numbers making them more resilient to fishing pressure. These fish also contain the highest levels of Omega 3s. We can reap the benefits directly by eating smaller fish.
- Buy local- When possible purchase seafood from local fishing communities. Locally-caught seafood often comes from smaller-scale, more sustainable fisheries, and has a lower carbon footprint since it doesn’t have to be shipped long distances. However, not all local seafood is sustainable and not all sustainable seafood is local. Remember to ask about how the fish is caught. Fishing sustainably is hard work. Support fishermen taking bold steps to conserve our fish while maintaining their livelihood.
- Buy seasonal- When possible, purchase seafood in season. Eating seasonal seafood allows fish a break to reproduce and keeps populations healthy.
- Know your fishmonger- Build a relationship with those that you buy seafood from. Fish people are awesome people!
- Vote with your dollars- Support retail stores and restaurants with responsible and publicly available sustainable seafood policies.
- Use your voice- Share your commitment to sustainable seafood and your love of the oceans with others in your community. Advocate for healthy oceans by talking with your friends, families and political representatives.