The fishery industry is rife with scandal. Rampant overfishing has had a profound effect on numerous aquatic species, including dolphins and sharks, while pollution has affected not just the health of the oceans themselves but the fish that come from them, putting the health of consumers at risk. And then there’s the issue of seafood fraud, which has recently been causing waves around the world.
The solution to these dangerous practices is for consumers to commit to supporting responsible aquaculture. Ethical fish farms are not only important because of how they treat and respect the fish they raise, but they also provide numerous benefits to the environment and the consumer. Responsibly raised fish aren’t fed antibiotics or unethical feed, and they are kept in large pens that allow them ample room to move and grow without impacting the local fish species in the area.
By choosing fish that are raised in ethical farms committed to responsible practices, we can all do our part to change the tides of the fishing industry. And thankfully, with so many resources at our fingertips, it is easy to source responsibly raised nutritious fish.
Check Your Own Consumption
Start sourcing seafood responsibly at home with an app like Seafood Watch. This app allows you to gain access to the latest recommendations for seafood in your region, so you can pick from only the most responsible choices. Additionally, the app allows you to search for seafood by either common market name or Japanese name (a huge bonus for sushi fans!), and there’s even an option to help you hone in on restaurants and stores near you that serve responsibly sourced seafood.
Another great app for the environmentally conscious consumer is the Good Fish Guide, which comes from the Marine Conservation Society. This app not only tells you which fish are good to eat and which ones should be avoided, but it also provides delicious recipes. The information featured in this app is also available in an easy-to-download PDF, ensuring you can make good choices even when your phone doesn’t have access to data.
Share Your Commitment
Sharing your plans to eat more responsibly may well influence your friends to do better too. Sign a petition and pledge to eat only responsibly-sourced seafood. By committing to making better choices at the grocery store and to asking your restaurant server, “Where did this fish come from?”, we can all help to shape the conversation around sustainable fishing practices. Consumer demand has the very real ability to change the way businesses are run, so if we all demand quality and ethical processes, the fishing industry will have no choice but to pay attention.
Become a Responsible Seafood Ambassador
Take things a step further by becoming an Ocean Wise Seafood Ambassador. This 30-minute training program will give you the knowledge you need to make informed choices—and share that knowledge with the world. The training itself is free, but you can also choose to make a small donation to become an Ocean Warrior and help protect the health of oceans worldwide.
Each of these actions is super easy for us as individuals, but when we all decide to make more sustainable choices, we can make a big difference. Commit to eating only responsibly raised fish—it will have a very real impact on the future.
Want to learn more about aquaculture and responsible fish farming methods? Learn more about how this industry is helping to shape a more sustainable future.
Photo Credits: Regal Springs, united photo studio / Shutterstock Inc., Regal Springs