How to buy sustainable seafood in Australia

A nice video showing a sustainable way to catch fish in Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia
According to the “Shop Ethical” guide:
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:

  1. Buy local. Ask where it’s from and if it’s imported ask for certified sustainable seafood.
  2. 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.
  3. Look for certified products from the Marine Stewardship Council (see below).

msc1

Good swaps

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

Seafood guides

For choosing a sustainable fish consult one of the following resources:

Permablitz in Australia

permablitz

“Changing the world, one garden at a time”
– Kim Glasgow

Permablitz started in April 2006 with a collaboration between permaculture students and a South American community group in Melbourne, Australia. Since then, many more permablitzs have been held and it has gained an international reputation as a successful tool for fast-tracking the suburbs towards sustainability.

A permablitz is an informal gathering involving a day on which a group of people come together to transform backyards into productive, edible gardens at someone’s home. Permablitzs require you to help out at three or more other blitzes before having one at your own home.

The network runs on reciprocity and each blitz always includes a permaculture design.

“Permablitz is a social enterprise committed to improving the sustainability of our cities and suburbs. We use a sustainable design system called permaculture to help communities move away from denial and dependent consumerism to engagement and responsible production. Our core focus is helping people sustainably grow food where they live, building healthy communities in the process. Rather than depressing people with the bad news, we empower them with the good news – that solutions are at hand – and get on with having fun rolling them out” – Dan Palmer.

“Our ultimate aim is to make the suburbs edible enough such that should food become unaffordable, we don’t even notice.”

It’s great to see a simple idea such as Permablitz is gaining momentum and growing throughout Australia.

Capital cities:

Resources