Thursday, July 29, 2010

Understanding Seafood Sustainability

The subject of seafood sustainability is a complex issue. The subject applies to wild caught seafood as well as farm raised fish and shellfish
The following list offers tips for choosing sustainable seafood:

 - Buy local. Besides helping the local economy, buying local helps insure that fish is fresh. Typically, small scale local fisheries are sustainable

 - Ask questions and read labels. Where did the fish come from? Is it  wild-caught? Is the seafood from a sustainable fishery?

 - Knowing the country of origin is important when choosing seafood. If seafood offers no hint of where it originated, it may be wise to pass it up.

 - Ask your restaurant owner to offer sustainable and locally sourced seafood. Questions from savvy diners will send a message to chefs and management about  consumer preferences.

 - Try new kinds of fish and seafood. You may find a new favorite. Many fish markets and  other stores have begun carrying non-traditional fish and seafood, many of which  are delicious and healthy. When available, mackerel, herring, and pacific sardines are excellent choices with good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.   

 - Support sustainable fishing. Sustainable fishing practices protect future supplies of fish which is good for people whose livelihood depends on fish as well as being good for eco-systems.

 - Learn more about seafood and aquaculture, including issues concerning health, nutrition, sustainability, locally sourced products and how to safely handle and cook seafood.

While these habits may seem time consuming, the results are worth it. Seafood is known for its wonderful flavor, health benefits and popularity as a meal choice. To learn more about sustainability issues, see this article on sustainable seafood.

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