All life came from the oceans. We depend on them, but have been progressively destroying them on an alarming scale. That's a scary fact. Industrial pollution, climate change, habitat destruction and ruthless over-fishing have brought on a situation that can no longer be ignored.
Our oceans are critically over-fished. The depletion of many fish populations is one of the many consequences of the systematic exploitation of our environment. Many popular fish, such as tuna, plaice, cod and salmon are now endangered species and will disappear if no action to preserve them is taken. Tuna especially are so critically endangered that environment protection organisations, such as Greenpeace, have advised to stay clear of it as much as possible. The decline of Mediterranean tuna has reached 80%. Many other fish we have been accustomed to eat are close to that same brink of extinction.
Farmed seafood may appear a good alternative to wild-caught fish. But in most cases, this is not a safe assumption. Most farmed fish are carnivorous species, and are fed with wild-caught smaller species that are sourced by unsustainable and destructive methods. What is more is that many industrial aquaculture farms are associated with poor human rights records and ill-treatment of workers.
Some seafood can be contaminated by toxic heavy metals and antibiotics. Sadly, this is true both of farmed as well as of wild sea-fish. Prawns in particular can be affected by antibiotic pollution.
Removing seafood and fish from our tables entirely would be very difficult indeed, given its high nutritional value. But in order to ensure that your seafood is obtained in a sustainable manner, there are a few things you can do:
- Only buy seafood that is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)
- Don't buy Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna or Bigeye Tuna under any circumstances, and limit your consumption of tuna in general.
- If you wish to eat tuna, go for rod-and-line-caught skipjack tuna.
- If you wish to buy canned tuna, buy only those brands that rank high on Greenpeace's annual sustainability list for canned tuna.
- Choose line-caught fish (more sustainable than net-fishing, avoiding by-catch)
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