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).


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:

Allergy substitutions

Experiment with the following substitutions for allergies and intolerances. Use the measurements as a starting point, and don’t be afraid to try again if your first attempt didn’t work out. If you choose soy or corn please try to find an organic (GM free) source.

Wheat flour1 cup 1 cup and 2 Tbsp light spelt flour, or
1 cup and 3 Tbsp whole spelt flour
And reduce liquid by 25%
2/3 spelt and 1/3 barley flour
¾ spelt and ¼ oats (can be crumbly)
Wheat flour
(for gluten free)
1 cup potato starch, 1 cup rice flour, ½ tsp xantham gum
2 cups white rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour
2 cups rice flour, 1 cup soy flour, 1 cup potato flour or maize cornflour or tapioca flour
Self raising flour Add 2 tsp baking powder for each cup of flour
Sugar1 cup 2/3 cup agave – if too sweet decrease to ½ cup next time
+ reduce any liquid ingredients by about 25% OR
If no liquid, increase dry ingredients by 25%
2/3 – ¾ cup maple syrup
+ reduce any liquid ingredients by 25-30% OR
If no liquid, increase dry ingredients by 25-30%
and 1 ¼ tsp baking soda
½ cup date puree plus ½ cup Sucanat, and
Reduce liquid by 2 Tbsp
1 cup Sucanat, or Rapadura, or brown sugar, or maple sugar, or Turbinado
¾ cup agave nectar – reduce liquid and decrease temperature by 5°C
1 ¼ cup backstrap molasses – reduce liquid in recipe by ¼ to 1/3 cup
and decrease temperature by 5°C
and add 1 tsp baking soda for each cup used (to balance acidity)
½ to ¾ cup honey – reduce liquid ¼ cup
and decrease temperature by 5°C
and add 1/4 tsp baking soda for each cup used (to balance acidity)
¾ cup barley malt or rice syrup
and reduce liquid by ¼ cup
1 ½ cup maple syrup –
decrease liquid ¼ cup OR increase flour ¼ cup
1 cup milk 1 cup soy milk, or almond milk, or rice milk
½ cup coconut milk plus ½ cup soy milk, or almond milk, or rice milk
1 egg(Follow instructions for egg replacer using warm water) 1 Tbsp of ground flax seeds with 3 Tbsp water – allow to sit for 2 minutes
(up to 2 eggs)
Boil ½ cup of the flax seeds in 3 cups water until gluey. Strain.
One “egg” is equal to about 1/4 cup of the gel.
1 tsp finely ground chia seeds and 3 Tbsp. Allow to sit for 2-5 mins.
(up to 2 eggs)
¼ cup packed silken tofu, puree in food processor or blender (binder)
¼ cup of any puree (e.g. apple) or 1 small banana, mashed (binder)
¼ cup of avocado puree
2 Tbsp arrowroot flour
2 Tbsp potato starch
1 Tbsp soy flour and 1 Tbsp water (setting agent) OR
1 Tbsp rice flour and 1 Tbsp canola oil (setting agent) OR
1 Tbsp corn flour and 3 Tbsp water
2 tsp baking powder and 2 Tbsp carbonated water (leaving)
1 tsp baking powder, 1 Tbsp water and 1 Tbsp vinegar (added at the end) (leaving)
1 egg white(will whip like an egg white) 1 tsp psyllium, or ¼ tsp xanthan gum
and ¼ cup water (allow to stand) – will whip like egg white
Cocoa Carob powder
Gelatine Agar agar
Tomato Puree one beetroot and one carrot.
Wine Grape juice

References: Ricki Heller, Suzanna Paxton, Robyn Russell, Sue Sheppard, Heidi Swanson, Meghan Telpner, Wholefoods, and various other sources.