#6 Buy Sustainably Sourced Fish

Do it for the sushi…

At the rate we are fishing now, it’s estimated that the world’s fish stocks will collapse by 2048. It seems unfathomable to many, but along with deforestation and global warming, the decimation of fish stocks is a reality backed by science.

Yes, it’s possible that within our lifetime there will be little to no seafood. That means no more sushi (just California rolls with imitation crab… and nobody really likes those)

Good News: Fish populations can rebound if we manage them properly.

For the sake of the seas and all they provide us, Habit #6 is: buy sustainably sourced fish.

Here are two really simple ways you can stop contributing to overfishing and start supporting sustainable fishing practices:

Look for the MSC eco label

Only fish that has been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council can bear this eco label. It’s one of the few reliable identifiers that distinguishes responsibly sourced seafood from illegally harvested sources.

msc - marine stewardship council sustainable seafood eco label

Use Seafood Watch

Seafood Watch Consumer Guide

Use the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s guide to sustainable seafood. They have an app and a pocket guide that simplify seafood choices. Their guide lists fish in three categories – Best Choices, Good Alternatives, and Avoid – so you can quickly see what’s okay to eat and what’s not.

Their guide is geographic specific, so you can be in the know in every state and they even have a sushi guide.

Contrary to what some may be scared of, looking at this guide isn’t going to ruin your love of fish or make it impossible for you to find fish without feeling terrible. It simply helps you find the right alternative for fish that we shouldn’t be eating.

For example, did you know that salmon from Alaska and New Zealand are more sustainable than salmon from California, Washington, or Oregon? And farmed Atlantic salmon have a considerable negative impact (Avoid)?

Same fillet, different sources, big environmental implications!

 

Your Action Item:

Look for the MSC seal of approval when purchasing seafood.

Reference the Seafood Watch pocket guide or app to help you make more sustainable choices.

 

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Resources:

Sustainable Fish Guide

This post explains a bit more about the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s pocket guide and app.

WWF Facts

The World Wildlife Fund provides more information and resources if you’re interested in digging deeper into the state of our fisheries.

Sustainababble Podcast

Sustainababble is an environmental podcast with a comedic twist. The two hosts from the UK cover environmental concerns with a spice of dry English humor that’s good for a laugh. Episode 53 covers the state of our fish and it’s a good listen if your interested to learn about how fish stocks can be properly managed as well as the challenges we are facing between the economics of the fishing industry and the health of fish populations.

 

Dave

I am a minimalist, environmentalist, and conscious consumer with a background in environmental studies, conservation, and tech. I founded prch to help others be more sustainable and realize an alternative to consumerism.