Today is World Oceans Day – a day to honor and bring awareness to the oceans and the impact we are having on them. One of the ways you can help and make every day World Oceans Day is to always choose sustainable seafood. As a catering company who strives to source the very best in natural and sustainably produced meats and seafood, spreading the word about sustainable eating to help our oceans and environment is incredibly important to us. As such, here are some quick facts about sustainable seafood and how you can make the right choices every time you go to the supermarket or dine out.
What is Sustainable Seafood?
It is seafood that is either farmed or caught in environmentally friendly ways that help with the long-term vitality of harvested species and takes into account the well-being of the ocean by using practices to reduce the negative impact on it.
What Do Sustainable Fisheries Do?
They target plentiful species instead of those that are not as numerous. For example, they often target fish that might be lower on the food chain and therefore have the ability to quickly reproduce, which helps sustain their populations. Sustainable fisheries also use safe environmental fishing practices instead of more destructive ones like bycatch, which is the incidental capture and often mortality of non-targeted marine animals and endangered species (such as sea turtles). They also work to minimize negative output, like pollutants, that are damaging to the environment and coastal ecosystems.
What Are the Benefits of Choosing Sustainable Seafood?
When you choose sustainable seafood, you are helping add to the recovery of fish stocks and their habitats. It is also healthier for you as studies have found that sustainable seafood often contain less mercury than unsustainable choices. By eating sustainably, you are also fighting against over fishing, which depletes the stock of fish in the ocean. Not only does this negatively affect the ocean’s ecosystem and marine species but also people in developing countries who rely heavily on fish as a main dietary staple and on fishing as their main source of income.
How Do You Know if Seafood Is Sustainable?
When buying seafood from the supermarket, always check the labels. Choose products that are labeled as certified sustainable from organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council and Friends of the Sea. A great resource for choosing sustainable seafood is the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch. They have pocket consumer guides to the best seafood options to eat and ones to avoid as well as a helpful Seafood Watch App that gives up-to-date recommendations for ocean-friendly seafood and sushi. It doesn’t get any simpler than that!