WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD & WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Sustainable seafood is caught in a way that makes sure we can go on catching seafood for generations. It’s line and trap-caught, not scooped up in giant trawler nets. Or it’s farmed, so natural stocks don’t take a hit. In short, it’s seafood caught in a way that protects the environment, other marine life and the overall population of a species.
Why is sustainable seafood important? Fish is delicious. Fish is nutritional. Fish is a main diet staple all over the world. And while there are more and more of us, oceans have their limits. So if we all want to eat fish, and we want the generations who come after us to benefit from the ocean’s bounty as well, we need to protect those oceans and the life within them.
Canadians are leaders in sustainable fishing, but we export about 85 percent of our fish
CAN I GET MY FAVOURITE FISH AT ANY TIME OF YEAR IF I BUY SUSTAINABLE?
It depends what you’re looking for. We can get salmon, halibut, trout, cod, scallops, and mussels all year in Canada. But wild-caught fish, have seasons – just like vegetables. So wait for the right season if you want wild sustainable fish. It’s worth the wait.
Pay attention to where your fish comes from
SOME SEAFOOD IS AVAILABLE FROM BOTH SUSTAINABLE AND UNSUSTAINABLE SOURCES. HOW DO I MAKE SURE WHAT I BUY IS SUSTAINABLE?
The good news is Canadians are world leaders in sustainable fishing and aquaculture. The bad news is we export about 85 per cent of those goods. That means a lot of the seafood you see in the grocery store comes from other parts of the world where they don’t fish as sustainably.
So pay attention to where your fish comes from, and look for seals of approval from companies such as Oceanwise, SeaChoice, the Marine Stewardship Council and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council.
And if you aren’t sure: ask. Fish mongers should know, and if they don’t you’re helping them out. A business wants to stock what their customers want. If we want sustainable seafood, it’s in their best interest to make sure they have plenty.
I’VE HEARD CONFUSING THINGS ABOUT WHETHER FARMED FISH IS A GOOD SUSTAINBLE CHOICE…
Not all fish farms are created equal, and it pays to know the difference. Some fish are farmed in tanks, and others in sectioned-off areas of the water where their wild cousins roam. To be considered sustainable, farmed seafood should be fished in a farm that doesn’t hurt the wild stock next door by introducing disease, depleting food supply or introducing excessive waste to the water.