The role of consumers is simple, attempt to choose sustainable seafood when cooking at home and eating out in restaurants!
By choosing seafood that comes from well-managed fisheries, you send a message up the supply chain (to chefs, retailers, wholesalers, farmers and fishermen) that responsible fishing is a viable and necessary part of their industry. It supports those already doing the right thing, and encourages those who aren’t to change their practices.
Ensure that your choices contribute to the responsible management of fish stocks and encourage farmers and fishers to act in a way that causes minimal environmental damage.
To help you make an informed choice at the seafood counter, here at GFBF we’ve put together some QUICK TIPS
When purchasing seafood or eating out in a restaurant, consider:
- The sustainability of the species on offer
- The origin of the species
- The fishing technique or aquaculture method used
Avoid seafood that appears on any ‘Seafood Redlist’ or is categorised ‘Say No’. Avoid seafood caught by damaging fishing methods such as bottom trawling, or farmed using methods that have adverse impacts on marine ecosystems. (You can check out individual species profiles in the Seafood Converter to see how they rate – find it on the homepage!)
Ask, Ask, Ask Questions of your seafood purveyor or restaurant. Ask them to identify species by their Standardised Fish Names (see ‘Fish Names and Labeling’), ask them to tell you how it was caught or farmed, and ask them to tell you exactly where it is from. This information is all vital to making an informed choice about what to purchase. Letting them know your interest in sustainably sourced seafood will also encourage them to learn more and adopt responsible purchasing practices themselves.
Remember, there are plenty of sustainable options for the seafood lover. At GoodFishBadFish we’re not trying to scare anyone off eating seafood, but we are encouraging substituting overfished and environmentally damaging species with sustainable alternatives. Not sure what to pick? Check out the ‘Seafood Converter’ (on the homepage) for info on your favourite seafood items, some good alternatives, and handy cooking tips too!
GoodFishBadFish Tips for Purchasing Seafood Sustainably
In general, Australian aquaculture regulation and fisheries management is very good – so only buy Australian seafood.
Eat lower on the food chain
Small schooling fish are usually fast breeding and short-lived, making their stocks more robust and more capable of withstanding fishing pressures.
Avoid larger, longer lived species
Avoid tunas, shark (“flake”), skates and rays, which have very few young and are under pressure from decades of overfishing.
When at fishmongers and restaurants, ask about origin, fishing technique or aquaculture method. Ask suppliers of seafood to identify species by its Standardised Fish Name.
Be an informed consumer and signal your interest in sustainable seafood so that restaurants and retailers realise the demand for and the benefits of sourcing sustainable seafood products.