Sustainability in Seafood: The Quest for a Greener Future
Author : John Rame | Published On : 26 May 2023
It is no secret that seafood is a major part of the human diet. In fact, it is one of the most popular sources of protein in the world according to the best exotic fish exporters in the world. However, our love affair with seafood has come at a cost; overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices are decimating marine ecosystems and putting many fish populations at risk.
This industry is one of the most environmentally destructive industries in the world
One of the most shocking things about this industry is how destructive it is to the environment. Unlike the best swordfish suppliers in the world, many in the industry tend to favour unethical practices that harm the environment. According to a report by the World Wildlife Fund, the industry is responsible for:
- Destroying overfishing and unsustainable fishing practices are decimating marine ecosystems
- Killing an estimated 100 million sharks each year (mostly for their fins)
- Causing the death of up to 300,000 dolphins and porpoises each year as "bycatch" (animals caught unintentionally in fishing nets)
- Producing 24% of all animal agriculture's greenhouse gas emissions
As you can see, the list goes on. It is hard to deny that the fisheries have had a major impact on our planet – and not a positive one. Unlike a reputed seafood export company, most turn a blind eye towards the destruction that they are causing.
Seafood consumption is on the rise, putting even more strain on our oceans
The main reason for this is population growth. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the world's population is projected to reach nearly nine billion by 2050. That means more people will be competing for finite resources. The UN FAO estimates that by 2030, we will need about 50% more food than we do today.
That is a lot of mouths to feed, and a lot of seafood. It is no wonder that global consumption has increased steadily over the past few decades. In fact, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Americans now consume more of it than any other country in the world!
The problem is, as demand for seafood increases, so does the pressure on our oceans. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), overfishing is one of the biggest threats to ocean ecosystems today. Every year, commercial fisheries remove about 90 million metric tons of fish from the world's oceans. That is about twice the weight of all the cars manufactured in the United States in a single year!
With so much at stake, it is clear that we need to find a way to sustainably harvest this type of food if we want to protect our oceans – and ensure that there is enough for future generations. So, what exactly is sustainability? How can we make sure that more of it ends up on our plates?
There are some simple ways to reduce your seafood consumption without giving up your favourite dishes
Of course, there are always ways and means to reduce the amount of seafood we consume, after all, it is a finite resource. However, that does not mean you have to give up your favourite dishes altogether. Here are some easy ways to make your seafood consumption more sustainable:
- Buy smaller portions.
- Opt for sustainably caught or farmed fish instead of wild-caught fish.
- Choose shellfish and other invertebrates instead of fish.
- Look for certified sustainable products.
When it comes to sustainability, every little bit helps, so even making small changes in the way you purchase and consume seafood can make a big difference in the long run. Who knows? You might just find that you enjoy trying new types of sustainable dishes, too. So, next time you are at the grocery store or out to eat, keep sustainability in mind and make choices that will help preserve our oceans for future generations.
Buying sustainable seafood is one way to ensure that you are eating fish that does not damage the environment
One of the best ways to help make sure that the seafood you are eating is sustainable is to buy it from sources that are environmentally friendly. This means buying from fisheries and farms that have been certified by organizations like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
These organizations set standards for sustainable fishing and farming practices, so you can be sure that the products you are buying meets certain criteria for being eco-friendly. When you buy MSC or ASC certified products, you are also helping to support those businesses that are working hard to operate sustainably.
Of course, not all sustainable seafood is certified by these organizations, but there are still plenty of ways to tell if a particular fish or shellfish is being raised or caught in a sustainable way. For example, look for fisheries that use "selective fishing gear" like handlines or trap nets, which minimize bycatch (the accidental catching of non-target species). Or, choose seafood that comes from certified "responsible aquaculture operations," which follow best practices for things like water quality and fish welfare.
Making sustainable seafood choices is one of the best things you can do for the planet. It is not as difficult as you might think. So next time you are at the supermarket or your favourite restaurant, keep sustainability in mind and help make our oceans a little bit greener.
Sustainable seafood is an important part of creating a more environmentally friendly future for our planet. While it may seem like a daunting task to make sustainable seafood choices, it is actually not that difficult, and it is something that we can all do to help make a difference. So next time you are at the supermarket or your favourite restaurant, keep sustainability in mind and help make our oceans a little bit greener.
Supporting sustainable seafood businesses is essential for ensuring a greener future for our oceans
When we support businesses that are committed to sustainability, we are helping to create a demand for more environmentally friendly practices. This, in turn, will help reduce the impact of fishing on our oceans and ensure that future generations can enjoy the same abundance of seafood that we do today.
So next time you are looking for seafood, be sure to seek out businesses that are committed to sustainability – your wallet (and the planet) will thank you!