How to Find Ethically Sourced Sustainable Seafood
It’s no secret that seafood is delicious, and just as important is its incredible health benefits. Seafood is packed with nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A and several types of vitamin B and is high in protein and low in saturated fats. That all sounds awesome, but for the healthiest options out there, ethically sourced sustainable seafood makes a major difference, and these experts have tips on how to find it.
What Is Sustainable Seafood?
Sustainable seafood is fish and shellfish that you can feel safe about eating, and the United States is one of the top countries at the forefront of sustainable seafood.
This means that the seafood is excellent for both you and the planet. There are far lower chemical amounts found in this type of fish. Sustainable seafood includes fish that has been caught or farmed with respect to its individual species and to the health of the oceans in mind.
When you’re searching for ethically sourced sustainable seafood, take a look at the certifications present on the label. The Marine Stewardship Council or MSC is one such logo to look for.
The MSC is described as an international non-profit. The organization has designed a labeling system and fishery certification program to cite and reward sustainable fishing practices.
Two more well-known and regarded seafood certifications featured in the U.S. include the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP).
Sustainable Seafood Companies
There is a wealth of information these days about most companies, and if a brand is worth its salt, you will be able to learn more at a seafood company’s website, its infographics, and even customer reviews. Fresh seafood that is ethically sourced and sustainable is available for consumers, and you can find this superb quality of wholesale seafood online.
These kinds of companies work with a variety of local and international sustainability organizations to ensure that they are following strict guidelines.
A great, sustainable seafood company welcomes your questions and provides plenty of information about their methods and philosophy about their brand,
Here is another way to help you find ethically sourced sustainable seafood. You can check out the U.S. government’s FishWatch database. Online, you will find more than 100 species profiled.
You can look up a favorite seafood choice and find the region where it is available. You can also learn about its nutritional facts, its unique taste, texture, and color. There is also information about the fish’s or shellfish’s availability, health benefits, and even recipes.
Shopping Or Dining
There are restaurants and grocery stores that favor ethically sourced sustainable seafood and are more than happy to share how their fish or shellfish is caught.
Ask them questions, and select fish that are pole and line caught or farmed sustainably.
The methods you want to stay away from when shopping for fish or choosing fish from the restaurant menu are those that involve bottom trawling, ghost fishing, longlines, and poison/explosives.
The Safe List
There is a safelist that features sustainable seafood that is healthy and delicious and is not an over-fished species that is facing extinction. Some of these safe list seafood options include Atlantic mackerel, Alaskan salmon, barramundi, and Pacific sardines among others. Squid and mussels are also yummy choices from the safe list.
Seafood species to avoid are swordfish, shark, and bluefin tuna as they are examples of being over-fished and approaching extinction and also taking longer to reproduce their young ones.
There is also the “red rated seafood” to avoid. Here again, red-rated seafood or rated five on the Good Fish Guide means that the seafood comes from unsustainable fish farming methods and fisheries.
Those fishing methods used have been described as harmful to the environment. One example of a red-rated fish is the wild northeast Atlantic Halibut.
It isn’t always so simple for the average consumer to find the healthiest seafood to purchase, but today, there are more ways to find the information you need. Ethically sourced sustainable seafood offers your best bet for nutritious seafood that ensures that you get a healthy source of protein and protects the spectacular, marine ecosystem.