Have you seen the new Netflix documentary Seaspiracy? It's attracted a lot of attention lately!
It's of course true that overfishing has become a problem and reducing your consumption of seafood can help to fight climate change. But so many communities worldwide depend on fishing for vital income and employment. Can we create a more sustainable way to consume seafood?
Unregulated fishing is contributing to overfishing, with illegal fishing operations extracting along up to 25 million tonnes of fish from the ocean annually. Non-target animals, such as dolphins and sea turtles, are often harmed in aggressive fishing practices, including getting caught in nets.
Fishing can be made more sustainable in a variety of ways. Remote electronic monitoring (related to CCTV) allows better policing illegal fishing activity. Organisations such as WWF (World Wildlife Fund) work with independent fisheries around the world to ensure sustainable practices for fishing lobster and shrimp.
You can help by buying certified seafood--look for labels such as the MSC Blue Fish that indicate sustainable and fair practices. If you live in a coastal community, look for local fisheries and fishmongers to ensure your financial support stays in your community. And most importantly, speak to your representatives and make your voice heard--a majority of countries spend less than 1% of their GDP annually on biodiversity-related activities, but you have the power to change that!
What do you think about sustainable fishing? Would you be more likely to purchase seafood that is produced sustainably?