Simple Rules For Buying Fish Responsibly

Simple Rules For Buying Fish Responsibly

Choosing to buy fish is a healthy, simple move. Choosing which fish is a healthy, sustainable purchase has become a rather complicated affair of late. The Wall Street Journal suggests some simple rules for eating well and being good to the seas.

Image via Mr. T in DC.

As noted in the article, numerous organisations and major supermarket chains have made efforts to colour-code and consumer-guide fish. But even when one lands on a fish that doesn’t seem over-fished and balanced, one finds out that one shouldn’t eat too much of it, due to potential contaminants or vitamin imbalances. So the Journal distills some smart talk from those in the know:

… Tim Fitzgerald, a scientist in the oceans program at the Environmental Defense Fund … suggests consumers eat more farmed fish such as tilapia and catfish, which don’t need as much fish meal in their feed. (But) even if a fish is abundant and harvested responsibly, contamination concerns complicate the picture further.

… Mr Fitzgerald, of the Environmental Defense Fund, suggests a few ways to navigate all these issues: Eat more small fish, and a wider variety of them, including mackerel, oysters or sardines.

Mixing it up reduces the chances that you are getting too much of a single contaminant, he says, adding that the lower one eats on the food chain, the less of an impact one has.

“The sky is falling a little bit, but we don’t need to run around screaming,” says Mr Fitzgerald. “There are a lot of things consumers can do.”

The whole article is a great explainer on the issues involved in modern seafood, including an interactive graphic that takes you onto fishing boats. What are you buying at the fish counter lately, and why?

Guidelines for Eating Sustainable Seafood [ via The Food Section]


  • I think this is a great article and have had a look at the associated link. The only issue I have with it is that it seems US centric and many of the fish on the website at the end of the link don’t exist in the Southern Hemisphere. I would love to see an .au-centric article which carries similar themes.

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