- Sustainable seafood
Sustainable seafood is
seafoodfrom either fished or farmed sources that can maintain or increase production in the future without jeopardizing the ecosystems from which it was acquired. The sustainable seafood movement has gained momentum as more people become aware about both overfishingand environmentally-destructive fishing methods.
How seafood is deemed sustainable
In general, slow-growing fish that reproduce late in life, such as orange roughy, are quite vulnerable to overfishing. Seafood species that grow quickly and breed young, such as anchovies and sardines, are much more resistant to overfishing. Several organizations, including the
Marine Stewardship Council, and Friend of the Sea, certify seafood fisheries as sustainable.
Marine Stewardship Council
(MSC) is an international non-profit organization that runs a certification and eco-labelling programme for sustainable seafood.
The MSC was founded in 1997 as a unique green-business partnership between WWF, the global environmental conservation organization, and Unilever, at the time a major seafood processor. It has been fully independent since 1999.
Fisheries that meet the MSC standard for a sustainable fishery can use the blue MSC ecolabel (shown right) on their seafood products. This enables consumers to easily identify sustainable seafood when shopping or dining out. The MSC website lists [http://eng.msc.org/html/content_531.htm outlets selling MSC-certified seafood] .
As of August 2008, there are over 1,700 MSC-labelled seafood products sold in 38 countries around the world [ [http://www.msc.org/html/content_462.htm About MSC ] ] . Approximately 7% of the world’s edible wild seafood catch comes from fisheries engaged in the MSC program. 34 fisheries have been independently certified as meeting the MSC’s environmental standard for sustainable fishing and over 70 are currently undergoing assessment. Another 20 to 30 are in confidential pre-assessment. Together the fisheries record annual catches of over 4 million tonnes of seafood. They represent 42 percent of the world’s wild salmon catch, 40 percent of the world’s prime whitefish catch, and 18 percent of the world’s lobster catches for human consumption.
The MSC standard for a sustainable fishery looks at 3 aspects of a fishery [
Marine Stewardship Council] :
1. The condition of the fish stock(s) of the fishery - this examines if there are enough fish to ensure that the fishery is sustainable.
2. The impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem - this examines the effect that fishing has on the immediate marine environment including other fish species, marine mammals and seabirds.
3. The fishery management system - this evaluates the rules and procedures that are in place to maintain a sustainable fishery and to ensure that the impact on the marine environment is minimised.
The MSC has the only seafood ecolabel that is consistent with the ISEAL Code of Good Practice for Setting Social and Environmental Standards and UN FAO guidelines for fisheries certification. The FAO ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries’, require that credible fishery certification and ecolabelling schemes include:
- Objective, third-party fishery assessment utilising scientific evidence;
- Transparent processes with built-in stakeholder consultation and objection procedures;
- Standards based on the sustainability of target species, ecosystems and management practices.
The MSC has succeeded in bringing together a broad coalition of supporters from several organizations and businesses around the world with a stake in the future of seafood. The MSC works through a multi-stakeholder partnership approach, taking into account the views of all those seeking to secure a sustainable future.
Friend of the Sea
Friend of the Sea [ [http://www.friendofthesea.org Friend of the Sea] ] is a project for the certification and promotion of seafood from sustainable fisheries and sustainable aquaculture. It is the only certification scheme which, with the same logo, certifies both wild-caught and farmed seafood. Friend of the Sea started as a project of the Earth Island Institute, the NGO which operates the successful International Dolphin-Safe project (www.dolphinsafetuna.org). It is participated by some of the main retailers world wide, such as Carrefour Italy, Coop Italia, Eroski, Manor and Finiper. Some important producers have also undergone their products to assessment for certification.
Friend of the Sea’s criteria compliance is verified by independent accredited certification bodies. Essential criteria for fisheries are the following (all criteria are described in documents downloadable from website): (a) the product should not originate from overexploited (nor depleted, data deficient or recovering) stocks; (b) fishing method should not impact the seabed; (c) fishing method should be selective (maximum 8% discard – average WW according to FAO 2005); (d) fishery should respect all legal requirements. A list of Friend of the Sea conforming origins and approved fishing methods is available under the ‘Sustainable Fisheries’ menu on the web site.
Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood WatchProgram, although not an official certifying body like the MSC, also provides guidance on the sustainability of certain fish species. Seafood Watch takes into account the [ [http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/SeafoodWatch/web/sfw_faq.aspx Monterey Bay Aquarium: Seafood Watch Program - Frequently Asked Questions ] ] :
1. Inherent vulnerability of the species to fishing pressure
2. Status of the species population.
3. Nature and extent of bycatch.
4. Effect of fishing practices on habitats and ecosystems.
5. Effectiveness of the fishery management.
In the US, the Sustainable Fisheries Act defines sustainable practices through national standards. Although there is no official certifying body like the MSC, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationhas created FishWatch to help guide concerned consumers to sustainable seafood choices. [ NOAA: [http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishwatch/ FishWatch] ]
Chefs and restaurants
Due to growing public concern about
overfishing, many seafood restaurants have begun to offer more sustainable seafood options. Additionally, some restaurants specialize in sustainable seafood, such as the seafood restaurant Hook in Washington, DC. The Seafood Choices Alliance is an organization whose members include chefs that serve sustainable seafood at their establishments.
For a comprehensive list of sustainable seafood options, several organizations provide free, pocket-sized guides about "best," "good," and "avoid" seafood choices. [ [http://overfishing.org/pages/guide_to_good_fish.php Overfishing - A global environmental problem, threat and disaster ] ]
* [http://overfishing.org/pages/guide_to_good_fish.php Guide to good fish guides] A comprehensive list of region specific seafood guides.
* [http://www.oceansalive.org/eat.cfm?subnav=bestandworst Oceans Alive]
*Monterey Bay Aquarium
* [http://www.blueocean.org/seafood Blue Ocean Institute]
* [http://seafood.audubon.org/ Audubon Society Seafood Lover's Guide]
* [http://PacificAlbacore.com PacificAlbacore.com]
* [http://afrf.org American Fishermens Research Foundation]
* [http://wfoa-tuna.org Western Fishboat Owners Association]
* [http://www.cleanfish.com CleanFish Sustainable Seafood]
* [http://www.chartingnature.com Charting Nature]
* [http://eng.msc.org/html/content_531.htm Outlets selling MSC-labelled seafood]
* [http://www.seafoodchoices.com Seafood Choices Alliance]
* [http://www.utne.com/2008-09-18/Environment/UtneCast-A-Guide-to-Ethical-Sustainable-Seafood.aspx Podcast interview on how to eat seafood sustainably]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Seafood — is any sea animal or seaweed that is served as food, or is suitable for eating, particularly saltwater animals, such as fish and shellfish (including mollusks and crustaceans). By extension, in North America although not generally in the United… … Wikipedia
Seafood Watch — NOTOC Seafood Watch is a program designed to raise consumer awareness about the importance of buying seafood from sustainable sources. It is best known for publishing consumer guides for responsible seafood purchasing in the United States.… … Wikipedia
Sustainable yield in fisheries — The sustainable yield of natural capital is the ecological yield that can be extracted without reducing the base of capital itself, i.e. the surplus required to maintain ecosystem services at the same or increasing level over time. This yield… … Wikipedia
Maximum sustainable yield — In population ecology and economics, maximum sustainable yield or MSY is, theoretically, the largest yield (or catch) that can be taken from a species stock over an indefinite period. Fundamental to the notion of sustainable harvest, the concept… … Wikipedia
Phillips Foods, Inc. and Seafood Restaurants — is a family owned and operated seafood company in the mid Atlantic region, United States. Phillips Foods, Inc., seafood manufacturers as well as restaurateurs, specializes in blue swimming crab meat and crab cakes, and also produces an extensive… … Wikipedia
Overfishing — Atlantic cod stocks were severely overfished in the 1970s and 1980s, leading to their abrupt collapse in 1992 Overfishing … Wikipedia
Marine Stewardship Council — Type Non profit organization Industry Sustainable seafood ecolabel programme Founded … Wikipedia
Miya's — Coordinates: 41°18′35″N 72°56′07″W / 41.3098°N 72.9354°W / 41.3098; 72.9354 Miya s Sushi is a sushi restaurant located in … Wikipedia
Bon Appétit Management Company — Infobox Company company name = Bon Appétit Management Company company company type = Private company slogan = foundation = 1987 (Palo Alto, CA) location = Palo Alto, CA key people = Fedele Bauccio, CEO Michael Bauccio, COO| industry = Sustainable … Wikipedia
Cetacean bycatch — Group of Fraser s dolphins. Cetacean bycatch is the incidental capture of non target cetacean species by fisheries. Species which are seriously affected by this include dolphins, porpoises, and … Wikipedia