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This is a sponsored article from SustainabilityTracker.com member Marine Stewardship Council.
Shopping for sustainable seafood can be easy. Just look for the MSC blue fish tick on a wide range of wild-caught seafood products available at your local supermarket in Australia and New Zealand.
More information on some of these products can be found on this platform.
Sustainable seafood means it’s been caught at a level where they’ll be around in the future.
Fish need time to grow and reproduce – sustainable fishing allows this to happen.
Our sustainable seafood guide makes shopping for sustainable seafood easier. Just look for the MSC’s blue fish tick on wild-caught seafood, and you’ll be supporting sustainable fishing practices.
A third-party sustainable seafood certification label such as the MSC blue fish tick means the product can be traced back to a sustainable fishery. A seafood rating guide looks at a range of factors at the species level to give you a rating such as good choice, avoid or eat less.
When using a seafood rating guide, we recommend using one that is globally credible and based on science, such as Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.
Seafood certification and rating programs are two ways to trust that you’re making an ocean-friendly choice when buying fish and other seafood products.
Both serve important roles in driving a more transparent seafood supply chain and encouraging companies to make continuous improvements toward sustainability.
They’re independent of seafood brands, retailers or restaurants, but work with them to keep them accountable and responsible.
According to the United Nations, over a third of all populations of fish are in decline and around 60% are fished to their limit. Sustainable seafood can help reverse this decline.
Key factors contributing to the problem are overfishing, illegal fishing and destructive fishing. The loss of species and ecosystems also has a serious impact on communities and food security.
You’ll find wild-caught sustainable seafood with the MSC blue fish tick in your local supermarket, select specialty retailers and restaurants.
There is no such thing as a sustainable species of fish. There are only sustainable populations of fish.
When you see the MSC blue fish tick on a wild-caught seafood product or menu, it can be traced back to an MSC certified sustainable fishery. By looking at each fishery individually using science, fisheries prove and improve their sustainability performance.
We hear a lot about different fishing methods being good or bad. A range of fishing methods are used in commercial fishing from pole and line to bottom trawling. Every type of fishing gear has some effect on the ocean environment. However, if carefully managed, virtually all gear types can be used responsibly and sustainably.
Each day thousands of fishing boats go out to sea, big and small. But which is more sustainable? We tend to think small equals beautiful and big equals bad, but that’s not true. A fishery’s sustainability does not depend on the size of its boats – but rather its impact on the marine environment, if populations of fish remain healthy and how it’s managed.
‘FAD free tuna’ is tuna caught without a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD). Fishing with FADs can sometimes increase the likelihood of bycatch. However, if managed well FADs can increase the efficiency of fishing and be deemed sustainable.
When you choose fish and seafood labelled with the blue fish tick, it can be traced back to an MSC certified sustainable fishery. MSC certified fisheries are well managed and more prepared for environmental changes. These fisheries follow current scientific advice to ensure they catch fish sustainably.
Additional good news is that fishing has less impact on the climate than the harvesting of other proteins. A study of greenhouse gas emissions of wild fisheries found that each kg of fish caught produces between one and five kilograms of carbon. By comparison, red meat production is estimated to range from 50 to 750 kilograms of carbon per kilogram of meat.
There is also evidence that sustainable fishing helps to reduce carbon emissions by increasing efficiency. For example, increased catches mean that fishing vessels make shorter fishing trips, reducing their fuel use and carbon emissions as a result.
Increasingly we want to lead healthy and sustainable lives and many of us are adopting a plant-based diet. Whether you’re a pescetarian or adopt a ‘seagan diet’ (vegan + sustainable seafood), the rise of seaweed means its more important than ever that we sustainably harvest these carbon-sucking underwater forests.
Sustainable seafood is easy to find when it has the MSC blue fish tick label.
However, not all seafood is labelled and therefore hard to be certain if it is sustainable. In the absence of a credible label, it is important to ask questions of your fishmonger, restaurant server and retailer:
Be sure the person selling you your fish is knowledgeable and confident in answering your questions and make your own judgement.
For more information, visit our sustainability profile.
This is an article from a SustainabilityTracker.com Member. The views and opinions we express here don’t necessarily reflect our organisation.