How to Know You’re Choosing Sustainable Seafood

Whether your seafood meal of choice is a tuna casserole, lobster tail, or a deep-fried fish sandwich from you know where — every time you eat fish, you’re having an impact on our environment and the lives of millions of people whose communities depend on the health of our oceans and size of our fish stocks.

When you choose seafood from sustainable sources, you’re actually helping to support fishery-dependent economies and doing your part to ensure our oceans are healthy now and in the future.

Not to mention, sustainable seafood is a healthy, convenient way to get all your protein in a day.

Did You Know?

  • 1 billion people, largely in developing countries, depend on fish as their main source of protein.
  • 200 million people are directly or indirectly employed in the fish and seafood industries.
  • 50%+ of the world’s traded seafood comes from developing countries.

Source: United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO)

How To Recognize Sustainable Seafood

Two of the main problems facing the fishing industry today are overfishing and bycatch.

Sustainable seafood is caught using responsible methods that reduce environmental impacts, keep our oceans from being overfished and protect other marine animals from harm or death.

Choosing seafood that’s sourced from responsible fisheries is an easy way to ensure the continuing health and long-term viability of our oceans and individual species. Here’s what to look for:

Pole & Line caught fish. Pole and line fishing is a method used to catch tuna one fish at a time. Many conservation groups rate it as the most environmentally friendly way of fishing tuna. All of Ocean Brands’ wild caught tuna is caught either by pole and line, free swimming, or by long line fishing with circle hooks. All these fishing methods reduce bycatch of other marine life, including sea turtles and sharks to provide the most ocean-friendly tuna. We’re also proud to be a founding member of the IPNLF (International Pole and Line Foundation).

FAD-free fish. We’re not talking trendy fish. A FAD is a fish aggregating device; a human-made object that’s used like other fishing gear, to make it easier to catch fish. Typically, a FAD is made up of either tethered or free-floating buoys that attract fish such as tuna, marlin or mahi-mahi. Problem is, FAD fishing can result in the bycatch of over 300 different species, including sharks, turtles, seabirds and dolphins. They also often trap immature tuna, which can have a negative impact on the entire ocean ecosystem.

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) approved. MSC certified seafood bears a blue, globally recognized MSC label which makes it easy to choose products that are certified sustainable. The coveted blue MSC label assures you that from ocean to plate, the product is traceable back to a certified sustainable source.

Making the choice to buy and eat sustainable seafood is an easy way for you to be environmentally responsible. And buying fish from sustainable fisheries encourages more retailers to stock sustainably-sourced seafood and more fisheries to improve and become certified.

Sources:
https://www.msc.org/what-you-can-do/10-reasons-to-choose-the-blue-fish-label 
https://www.msc.org/what-we-are-doing/oceans-at-risk/the-impact-on-communities
https://www.chatelaine.com/food/kitchen-tips/how-to-buy-sustainable-seafood/