Once upon a time, we chose seafood based on what we wanted or could afford, with little consideration for sustainability. We now know better.
The Marine Conservation Society estimates that 90% of the world’s fish stocks are fully or overexploited, with marine life under additional pressure from climate change and pollution. And now, a new Netflix documentary, Seaspiracy, has brought the subject back to the forefront, not least for being criticized by scientists and marine experts for ‘gathering evidence’ and distorting their views.
The hard-hitting 90-minute film, made by the team behind Leonardo Di Caprio, produced Cowspiracy and the brainchild of 27-year-old Ali Tabrizi from Kent made many people swear fish forever.
But while most consumers want to make responsible choices, it’s much more complicated than many of us realize. Check out the MCS’s Good Fish Guide and it seems that choosing the most sustainable fish (green) and avoiding the worst (red) requires a degree in marine biology. This is because it is not just the species that is important; you need to know where and how the fish are caught.
For example, bass caught in the Bay of Biscay was placed on the Guide’s red list in October because unsustainable fishing practices are killing increasing numbers of dolphins and porpoises. But according to Charlotte Coombes, MCS Good Fish Guide Manager, wild sea bass are not caught this way in UK waters and may be a good choice (although still not recommended – farmed sea bass is better).
“I appreciate that it’s complicated,” concedes Coombes. “But asking someone at a fish shop, fish and chips or restaurant where and how the fish were caught will show how important it is for customers to feel reassured that their seafood is sustainable.”
Avoiding fish caught in a way that is most likely to harm the environment can also be part of the wise choice of seafood. Beam trawling, for example, involves pulling nets suspended from heavy beams on them. along the seabed. “It can almost cut cheese through habitats, so it can be very damaging,” Coombes says.
Dredging, widely used to harvest scallops, clams and oysters, can also destroy the seabed and unintentionally capture vulnerable species. Pots, traps, handlines and perch lines, on the other hand, are considered the most sustainable fishing methods, being low in intensity and safe for the seabed.
Chef Mitch Tonks, who runs the Seahorse restaurant in Dartmouth and the Rockfish restaurant chain in the southwest, believes we can make good seafood choices by following one simple principle: buy fish caught by British fishermen. . “The UK fishing fleet is well managed and follows strict controls, such as quotas and the number of days at sea,” says Tonks, a pioneer in locally caught seafood. “If we start to think that all of our fish will come from guys going out to sea with a pipe and a yellow raincoat, that’s not going to happen.
Whether we like it or not, Tonks argues, beam trawlers have long been part of the UK fishing fleet and are responsible for catching 90% of the fish landed at Brixham and Newlyn, two of Grande’s largest fish markets. -Brittany. “If you’re saying you shouldn’t eat anything from a beam trawler, you’re suggesting something that’s unapproachable,” Tonks says. “My point of view is to buy from the British, to find out which fishing port the fish come from, and hope that we can put enough pressure on the industry so that it can change on its own.”
Tonks urges consumers to choose fish bearing the ‘blue tick’ eco-label, which is only applied to sustainable seafood certified to the Marine Stewardship Council Fisheries Standard, of which it is an ambassador. Many restaurants, fishmongers, and fish-and-chips also sell MSC-certified seafood, so it’s a good idea to ask before you buy. Over 70 percent of cod and 76 percent of haddock consumed in the UK is now MSC labeled, so sustainable options are readily available if you seek it out. The best farmed seafood options carry the Aquaculture Stewardship Council label.
Whether you make a vow to buy British seafood, opt for blue tick tagged fish, or familiarize yourself with fishing techniques, every little bit of effort can lead to changes for the better, says Coombes. “When people sit down, pay attention to these things, and make the right choices, it can make all the difference.”
Read more: A day in the life of a British fisherman
Good fish trade, according to the Marine Conservation Society
British stocks are doing poorly, but in Iceland and the North East Arctic, they are at sustainable levels.
Swap for: hake, now a great sustainable choice.
Sustainability depends on the species, location and fishing methods.
Swap forLine-caught mackerel (the best is caught in the southwest, but any mackerel caught in the UK is good).
May be sustainable depending on the species and where and how they were caught or reared. Choose organic, MSC or ASC labels.
Swap for: cordate mussels or farmed oysters, which do not need any food or chemicals and get everything they need from the sea.
Wild Atlantic salmon are not doing well and most farmed salmon need improvement. ASC certified organic and Scottish farmed salmon is the best choice.
Swap for: Farmed Arctic char, ideally from the UK, or farmed rainbow trout.
Other good choices
Haddock from the British seas as well as Iceland and the North East Arctic is sustainable.
Dover Sole of the Bristol Channel and the Western Channel is booming.
More about this article: Read More
This notice was published: 2021-03-31 16:01:38