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.
Photograph 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.