The oceans need our help! Simple choices when you purchase seafood can help make a difference!
We all love seafood like salmon, tuna, and shrimp, but each of these species desperately needs our help! If we want to continue enjoying the bounty of the ocean, we have to alter our habits. You can help by adopting these simple changes to your seafood purchases.
Salmon - Salmon is a staple in supermarkets these days, but the way it is caught or farmed is very important for the environment. Farmed salmon (Atlantic) significantly impacts the environment because it requires up to six times as much feed as wild salmon, and therefore less sustainable than their wild counterparts. For more information on farmed salmon, the Ocean Futures Society has produced a great video: Farmed Salmon
Avoid all farmed salmon and ALWAYS choose wild salmon (ideally Alaskan). For more information, see the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Profile: Salmon
Tuna - How a fish is caught (the harvesting method) is also very important in determining whether a fish is sustainable. For example, yellowfin and skipjack tuna is typically caught using purse seine nets and longlines, which have high rates of bycatch - bycatch is when fish and other animals such as turtles, dolphins, seals and more are unintentionally caught and killed by the nets.
Avoid longline-caught albacore tuna or wild-caught tuna from the North Atlantic. Instead choose troll or pole-and-line caught albacore from the Pacific. To learn more about tuna fishing, see the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Profile: Tuna
Shrimp - Most imported farmed shrimp should be avoided due to the detrimental effects on the surrounding habitat, such as pollution and harm caused by invasive species. In the wild, certain fishing methods can be highly destructive, i.e. bottom-trawl nets sweep across the bottom of the ocean catching and killing everything that lives there. Bottom trawl nets typically catch four to five pounds of other marine life (bycatch) for every one pound of shrimp - not a sustainable fishing method and deadly to other wildlife!
Avoid imported shrimp that is wild-caught or farmed in open systems and instead choose black tiger shrimp, freshwater or spot prawns, or wild caught shrimp from the Canadian Pacific. To learn more about shrimp fishing, see the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Profile: Shrimp
You have purchase power! Every time you buy seafood, you vote for that company and support their purchasing policies. Use your dollars to support businesses that provide and catch fish sustainably. Thank you!