Sushi lovers now have a tool for figuring out if their meals are environmentally sustainable.
As sushi grows ever more popular, stories of over-fishing and collapsing fish-stocks have jumped up. On Thursday, Canada’s first sustainable sushi guide was released to help consumers make smart choices.
The guide, released by the Ecology Action Centre, along with its national partner SeaChoice, provides a handy checklist card of products to avoid and ones to target.
The goal is to get customers asking where their food is from and how it’s caught.
“Asking questions is the first step. And they may not have answers. But 20 years ago you couldn’t get an organic salad, you couldn’t get free-range chicken or beef at a restaurant. Now you can in a lot of the better restaurants. That came from asking for it. It came from consumer demand,” said Susanna Fuller of the Ecology Action Centre.
Many species, especially tuna and some kinds of eel, have taken a huge hit from over-fishing. Other concerns centre around the harmful ways some fish are caught, such as longline fishing, dredging and bottom trawling.
Fuller said many restaurants simply don’t know where their food comes from. But if enough people ask questions that will change.
“You also have a completely clear conscience that you’re doing something good for the oceans and (having) sushi restaurants in the future. Because the way that we’re going, we won’t have fish stocks to supply them,” Fuller said.
The guide is available at all Hamachi restaurants, the Ecology Action Centre headquarters, and printable online at www.seachoice.org/page/guides.