Over the last few years, the topic of sustainable seafood has entered the consciousness of many consumers. Along with the focus on vegetarian and vegan diets, the strain of overfishing on our underwater ecosystems has been widely publicized. With that being said, there are ways you can enjoy your favourite seafood dishes while being conscious of sustainability. Keep reading to find out how to eat seafood sustainably.
Every year over 155 million tonnes of seafood is consumed. With this number growing at an alarming rate, some changes in our consumption are required. There are many small alterations that you can make to your diet and purchasing habits, which will hugely benefit the world’s oceans. Start thinking about how you consume today and eat seafood more sustainably tomorrow.
Choose Sustainable Species
Just because some seafood species are in short supply doesn’t mean that you should stop eating seafood altogether. Seafood is incredibly healthy and introduces many important fats and nutrients into our diet that we struggle to get elsewhere.
However, it is important to choose the right species. The Marine Conservation Society provides an up-to-date list of all the fish that are safe to eat and the seafood that is best to avoid. With this guide, you will be able to enjoy seafood like organic farmed salmon, dab, swordfish, or plaice, with the knowledge that you are eating seafood sustainably.
Buy Fish That Are in Season
Another important step in eating seafood sustainably is choosing seafood that is in season. This may mean that you can’t always choose the seafood that you fancy, but with so many options out there, there is bound to be a delicious alternative.
Each fish or sea creature has a season in which they are more abundant in the waters. This is the best time to fish, as it enables the stocks to repopulate more easily than during the other months. When fish are caught year-round, the stocks can become dangerously low, and species can suffer.
Buy Frozen Seafood
Although you may read a lot of advice that you should buy local fresh seafood when consuming sustainably, it is not always possible to get seafood from your local coastline.
There is no need to worry, though, because there is evidence to suggest that buying frozen seafood from sustainable frozen seafood suppliers can be just as sustainable, if not more so. For example, frozen seafood could be considered more sustainable than fresh seafood because it produces less waste. If fresh seafood is not purchased and consumed after a couple of days, then generally, the product has to be thrown away. Furthermore, frozen seafood can be caught during the seasons when species are in abundance and sold later when they should not be fished, meaning that the species number should be able to bounce back more easily.
Although buying fresh produce can be great, there are many arguments for the increased consumption of frozen seafood. Of course, like anything else, it is important to educate yourself on your frozen seafood supplier and ensure that they are working in partnership with sustainability initiatives and organizations.
Eat Out at Sustainable Restaurants
It is always a treat to enjoy a meal out from time to time. Some of the best seafood dishes can be difficult to prepare, and so there is always a temptation to order seafood off the menu.
Just because you are eating out doesn’t mean you can’t still ensure that the seafood you are eating is sustainably caught. The sustainable restaurant association works with restaurants and foodservice businesses to become more sustainable by helping them source their ingredients sustainably. So next time you are eating out, why not check out the list of sustainable seafood restaurants near you?
Buy Only What You Need
There is always the temptation to overbuy produce to avoid the frustration of running out of something. However, food wastage is a huge problem and certainly one to avoid when trying to consume sustainably.
With over 150 thousand tonnes of food being wasted each day, it is clear that we need to make sure we only buy what we intend to eat to ensure our oceans thrive. These marine ecosystems are delicate, and to guarantee that the future of our waters is healthy, we need to think twice about how we consume.
Next time you are in the mood for seafood, there is no need to worry. Seafood should be enjoyed by those who consume it sustainably. The future of our oceans is in our hands, and by adopting our advice, you can continue to enjoy the things you love.
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