The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization reports that more than 70 per cent of the world’s fish stocks are fully fished, overfished or exploited.
Our oceans are facing an unprecedented crisis. This has caused many Canadian grocers to think differently about the sources of the seafood they sell, prompting the development of sustainable seafood policies to help protect our oceans.
What does this mean for you? If you were asked to define what sustainable seafood means, could you do it?
According to Canadian grocer, Loblaw Companies Limited, seafood sustainability means that the type of seafood caught can maintain or increase its population in the future without harming the ecosystems from which they come.
But sustainability is not just the number of available fish, it’s also about changing the way we farm and catch fish. Certain fishing and farming methods have a negative impact on our oceans by damaging the marine environment.
It is important that better methods are put into place and sustainable seafood practices are embraced. Knowing the origin of the seafood you’re eating is important. The same species of fish can come from different bodies of water, each with its own fishery systems that may not be sustainable.
Education is key. Read the package, read the labels and ask questions. Look for products carrying the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) ecolabel, as it indicates the product is sustainably sourced.
MSC is an international non-profit organization that developed the world’s leading environmental standard for independent, third-party scientific certification of sustainable and well-managed wild-capture fisheries.
The more informed you are, the better equipped you’ll be to make good decisions. Beyond the obvious fresh and frozen counters, seafood is also a secondary ingredient in products such as fish oils in vitamins and Omega 3 in juice, eggs, and dairy.