Demand for seafood has doubled over the past 30 years; three-quarters of the world’s oceans are now fished right up to their limit. Often we’re eating rare or endangered ocean species without realising it. This includes shark, commonly sold as ‘flake’ in fish and chip shops; and species such as orange roughy, bluefin tuna, swordfish, and toothfish. ‘Bycatch’ – fish caught unintentionally – often sees up to 15 tonnes of discarded fish per tonne of targeted seafood.
When buying sustainable seafood you want to ask a few questions:
- Buy local. Ask where it’s from and if it’s imported ask for certified sustainable seafood.
- Consult a seafood guide. Use the the Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide or app to choose a fish that has been sustainably caught and managed. For the best choice in tuna consult the Greenpeace canned tuna guide.
- Look for certified products from the Marine Stewardship Council (see below).
If you consult your Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide, you’ll want to choose fish which are ranked “Green – Better choice”, such as Australian Bonito, Bream, Luderick, mullet, tailor and whiting.
Here are some of the more popular fish with their green – better choices:
- Calamari – choose Squid, calamari, cuttlefish and octopus
- Crab – Blue Swimmer (Sand) crab, Mud crab
- Mussels – Blue Mussels, also better choice is Green Mussel imported from New Zealand
- Salmon – Imported canned salmon, predominantly Sockeye (Red) and Pink Salmon
- Tuna – Australian Bonito, Better choice: troll or poll and line caught Albacore Tuna and Skipjack Tuna
For choosing a sustainable fish consult one of the following resources:
- Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide and app – Australian Marine Conservation Society
- FishBase – search to find out more about the fish on your plate
- Fish2Fork – The campaigning restaurant guide for people who want to eat fish – sustainably
- Good Fish Bad Fish
- Good Fish Guide (UK) – Marine Conservation Society
- Greenpeace’s International Seafood Red List of seafood that is sourced from unsustainable fisheries and sustainable seafood
- Sustainable Seafood Product Finder – Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)