Let’s first go through what sustainable fishing is and why it’s important this practice is enforced.
By fishing sustainably, we guarantee there will be ocean and freshwater wildlife for the future. There are countless species of fish in the sea, most of which are consumed as food. Because seafood is so prevalent in many cuisines all over the world, the high demand for these water animals has led to overfishing practices, depleting the fish and shellfish populations.
Approximately 170 billion pounds of wildlife are fished from the sea each year. Scientists fear that by continuing to fish at this rate, the world’s fisheries will soon collapse and we can no longer rely on the ocean as an important food source. Our oceans cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, but the rapid demand for fish and seafood is growing quicker that our oceans can sustainably support.
This is where the idea of sustainable fishing comes into place!
When it comes to seafood, the term “sustainable” means that the fish has been caught and farmed under 3 conditions:
Source: Sustainability Active
Now, why should we eat sustainable fish instead?
1) Sustainable Fish are Healthier For You
The sustainable fish varieties you can find these days are high in protein, vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy omega-3s, while containing low amounts of harmful chemicals. Fish is also a lower-calorie source of protein. Many of the overfished seafood such as Chilean seabass, salmon, and tuna are actually tested high in mercury, PCBs and other contaminants. This is because larger fish that are higher up in the food chain tends to have to the compounding effect of contaminants due to bioaccumulation (Fish D eats Fish C which ate Fish B and A → accumulation of mercury as more fish eat the next fish)
2) Sustainable FIsh Can be the Cheaper Option
Almost 80% of the fish that is bought from supermarkets come from five species: cod, salmon, prawns, tuna, and haddock. But did you know there could be over 200 species of fish in the UK alone that can be eaten. In fact, there are many cheaper, more sustainable, less expensive fish that can be great substitutes of those top 5 consumed! For instance, mackerel and sardines are much cheaper but contain more omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, protein, and Vitamin D.
3) Ensure The Availability of Seafood for Years to Come
More than 85% of the world’s fisheries are fully exploited, resulting in a rapid decline of fish in the ocean. This will eventually lead to more and more endangered fish species and less availability of seafood for generations to come. There has been such a decline in the amount of fish in the ocean that ⅓ of the world’s commercial fisheries have collapsed! So if we want to ensure our kids, their kids, and their kids’ kids have an abundant supply of this source of protein, we need to fish more sustainably.
4) Drive Change with Your Shopping Habits
By showing to fishermen there is a demand for more sustainable fish, you are supporting their efforts and this may encourage other fishermen to change their practices too. With more awareness to this issue, sustainable seafood can become the new norm instead!
We just brought in two brands of sustainable fish from Portugal and the UK.
Not sure whether your seafood was fished sustainably? Here is a simple guide you can go through.
Source: Regal Springs