Sustainable Seafood

By: Nadia Lovko, Sustainability Metrics and Reporting Intern

When you buy seafood in the Midwest, it is easy to forget where it came from.  We are so distanced from the fishing industry that we don’t see the impacts of over-fishing and unsustainable fishing practices.  

ImagePhotograph by Richard Eskite Photography, Workbook Stock/Getty Images

In reality, 70% of fisheries worldwide have been exploited or have already suffered a collapse.  The increasing demand for seafood and more efficient methods of fishing have pushed global fisheries to their limits.  If fishing practices continue in this way, this could lead to a global crisis.  While it negatively affects the ocean ecosystems, it also can have terrible human impacts.  Many communities worldwide depend on fishing as a major source of economic support and as a major food supply.  So what can you as a consumer do?

There are many resources available to consumers with regards to sustainable seafood.  The most accessible of these is Seafood Watch created by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  This easy guide tells consumers what fish options are the best for each region.  This guide can be printed from their website and is available as both an Android and iPhone app.  The guide takes into consideration how the fish are caught or farmed, the abundance of the fish, their health effects to humans, and the health of their habitats.  Using this guide, consumers can know what fish are best for them and the oceans, and what fish they should avoid for the time being.  

Another resource for consumers is the National Geographic webpage: The Ocean.  This site goes into why sustainable fishing is necessary, as well as having a guide for picking the best seafood for you.  This site also has recipes and cooking tips from chef Barton Seaver that help incorporate sustainable seafood practices into your meal plan. 

Start using sustainable seafood practices in your daily life using the Seafood Watch Mobile App and the Seafood Watch Pocket Guide today! 


One thought on “Sustainable Seafood

  1. Great resources! It should be noted though that east coast fisheries have been improving, especially in comparison to the 80s when it was open season. People easily forget that the reason why fishery output has been stable for many fisheries has less to do with the number of fish available and more to do with the fact that the technology to hunt down the fish has gotten better.

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