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Focus on...sustainable fisheries
Focus on...sustainable fisheriesThe source of the food we eat is becoming increasingly important to us and many people are concerned not just by the quality but the ethics of what we eat. The way the fish we eat are caught has been something brought to public attention a lot recently, through campaigns such as Hugh's Fish Fight, and sustainable fisheries are a topic coming to the fore.
With concerns about overfishing and species going extinct, Greenpeace and the WWF are leading a huge push towards educating people about sustainable fisheries. Here are a few facts to get you started.
What are sustainable fisheries?
In basic terms: a fishing area that is properly managed, to make sure all fishermen operating within it are abiding by the laws, using only approved techniques and catching the quantity and type of fish they’re supposed to be.
How do they help?
One of the biggest problems in the world’s oceans is overfishing, damage to the environment and the overall threat to certain species. A sustainable fishery will be managed to make sure no species are threatened with extinction and that the techniques and level of fishing doesn’t adversely impact the environment.
Why does it matter?
Put simply, if we don’t manage our fishing habits properly, we will be seriously endangering the survival of many species of fish. In fact, it is predicted that if the current situation remains, the stocks of all species fished for food will collapse by 2048. On top of this, unsafe fishing practices are responsible for causing harm to many other species of animal, such as dolphins, turtles, sharks and seabirds, which can become ensnared and discarded, causing needless loss of life and suffering.
How can we help?
One of the best ways to help is to only buy fish that have been caught using safe, approved practices. You can look for the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo, which shows that the fish you are buying has been approved as sustainable seafood. Avoiding endangered fish is also a way to directly speak to fish buyers, sending the message that you're not prepared to eat these species of fish. Take a look at the MSC, which has a list of certified fish to eat - made up of species that are not in danger.