World Oceans Day: How to Choose the Best Sustainable Seafood Options

Bet on the consumption of varied fish and shellfish, ask about the “catch of the day” and bet on those products obtained from responsible practices.

Photo: Image by Arek Socha on Pixabay / Pixabay

The ocean covers more than 70% of the planet. It is our source of life and the sustenance of humanity and all other organisms on earth, the greatest proof of this is that the ocean produces at least 50% of the planet’s oxygen. However, despite its immense benefits to sustain life, it needs our help more than ever, not in vain. year after year, on June 8, World Oceans Day is celebrated. The main objective of this celebration is to inform about the impact of humans on the ocean, develop a global movement of citizens for the ocean, mobilize and unite the world population in a project for the sustainable management of the oceans.

The truth is that the ocean is essential for life, houses most of the earth’s biodiversity and is the main source of protein for more than a billion people around the world. In addition, the ocean is key to our economy, the data does not lie and it is estimated that, by 2030, there will be around 40 million workers across the ocean-related sector. Today more than ever it is important to create a different consciousness, with 90% of the large marine species of fish are completely depleted or overexploited and 50% of the coral reefs destroyed, there is no doubt that we are completely abusing the wonders that gives us the ocean.

Based on this, it is very normal that the inevitable question arises Is it worth continuing to consume fish and shellfish? Possibly, they are a great nutritional ally, they benefit health and weight loss, and if that were not enough, it is a very important industry that activates the economy. These are the three most important factors in selecting fish that are obtained from responsible and sustainable practices.

– Carbon footprint

Most of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported from China and Southeast Asia. What happens is that when it comes to fresh fish, it means that it was shipped on ice, which is considered a method that requires an incredible amount of energy and therefore it is a very harmful way for the environment. One of the best measures is to bet on buying frozen or canned fish, they represent a better alternative in terms of carbon footprint.

– The Biodiversity

Experts emphasize that it is important to expand the varieties of fish we consume, it is an important measure to protect the diversity of our oceans. There is data confirming that Americans tend to limit themselves to just four types of fish in their diet: shrimp, salmon, tuna and cod. That puts disproportionate pressure on those fish stocks and, as a result, industries often resort to most desperate and harmful fishing methods. A great recommendation to broaden our culinary horizons and thereby benefit the environment, is to buy fish with open mint and ask about the “catch of the day”. Not only will we be getting incredibly fresh fish, we will be actively promoting fairer practices.

– Capture method

It is always important to consider how fish and shellfish were grown and caught. Marine products generally fall into one of two categories: raised or caught in the wild. While fishing is praised by many as a way to save wild fish stocks, it is not always the best option. And even though wild-caught fish can mean a cleaner, healthier fish product, this is not always true either. It is worth mentioning that generally, dredging or bottom trawling fishing methods are the most damaging to marine life. This is because they essentially drag heavy nets across the ocean floor, altering the marine habitat and capturing organisms that we don’t even end up eating.

The best sustainable seafood options:

1. Anchovies

Anchovies are a type of blue fish that is normally cured and packed in oil or salt before being sold, in jars and cans. They are a sustainable variant, since they live at the bottom of the food chain; this means that They have a rapid growth cycle and repopulate quickly. Therefore, it is very important to know where they come from. Experts point out that it is convenient to avoid anchovies that are obtained from the Peruvian coast or the Southeast Pacific, since it is necessary to replace them. Instead, go for variants sourced from the Northeast Atlantic, especially if they’re certified sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or another similar organization. They are very high in protein, omega-3s and immensely versatile.

AnchoviesAnchoviesAnchovies. / Photo: Pixabay

2. Arctic trout (raised)

Arctic trout is a blue fish with a rich but subtle flavor, it is smooth and neutral, in large part for this reason it is known as one of the best substitutes for salmon and other white fish. It is a sustainable product, since unlike salmon, arctic trout are well adapted to cultivation and in fact it is often reared in a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS), which is a very clean method of farming fish. This greatly reduces the problems associated with traditional fisheries embedded in wild habitats, that often release waste, chemicals, and even parasites in your environment. It is a perfect fish for the daily diet, light, low in calories and delicious in flavor, the best thing is that it combines perfectly with many ingredients.

fried fishfried fishFried trout. / Photo: Shutterstock

3. Prawns and Shrimp

Prawns, prawns and shrimp belong to the crustacean family and at first glance they look very similar, however it is important to say that they are different species. Prawns are more popular globally and on average, they are larger than shrimp. They both have a mild flavor and a meaty texture, so you can often use them very similarly in cooking. It should be mentioned that prawns and shrimp are not always sustainable, and it is important to be selective. It is recommended to bet on cultivated variants, specifically those variants that have been evaluated by the Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP), Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) groups. For products in this family with the BAP label, choose those with at least a two star rating.

Shrimp roasted with green sauce./Photo: Courtesy of Las Palmas

4. Skipjack tuna

Skipjack tuna is frequently canned and tends to have a stronger flavor than other varieties. Among its great advantages, it is known that it has three times less mercury than albacore and yellowfin tuna. It is also sustainable, since skipjack grows faster than other types of tuna, so when they are caught, have usually had a chance to breed. Bet on those fresh variants that were caught with rod and line, they are products in which a large volume is avoided and that guarantees a large part of their freshness and quality.

tuna fishtuna fishTuna. / Photo: Shutterstock

5. Wild Alaskan Salmon

It is essential to mention that there are five types of Alaska salmon on the market and each one tastes a little different. Sockeye salmon is at one end of the spectrum, with a rich color, fatty meat, and strong flavor. Towards the other extreme is the pink salmon, with its lighter color and flavor. Regardless of the variant available or which is your favorite, wild Alaskan salmon are highly regulated and their populations are healthy. They are also often caught using pole and line or trolling methods, which have minimal environmental impact.

Omega 3Omega 3Wild salmon. / Photo: Shutterstock

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