Knowing how fish are raised and caught is the first step in sustainable buying.
Look for these key descriptive terms on the label:
Trolling: Baited fishing lines pulled behind a boat; little or no bycatch of unwanted fish.
Pole-caught: Single fishing line attached to a pole; little or no bycatch.
Purse seining: Large wall of netting encircles schools of fish, such as sardines, or species that gather to spawn, such as squid; some types unintentionally catch other animals.
Longlining: Central fishing line, sometimes more than 50 miles long, holds smaller, baited lines; primarily used to catch tuna, halibut and swordfish, but it also hooks sea turtles, sharks and seabirds attracted to the bait.
Trawling: Large nets dragged through the ocean, either midway down or along the floor; nonselective and bottom trawling seriously damages seabeds.
Green money talks louder than retoric. If you want to eat healthier foods, then let your purse do the talking.
If you do not buy junk, pesticided food or toxic or endangered species meat, GMO plants, animals, or toxic seafood then the pressure to harvest so much meat from the sea or land will not be there.
Look for ecolabels before you buy
Ecolabels or green stickers are labelling systems for food and consumer products. They are a form of sustainability measurement directed at consumers, intended to make it easy to take environmental concerns into account when shopping. Some labels quantify pollution or energy consumption by way of index scores or units of measurement; others simply assert compliance with a set of practices or minimum requirements for sustainability or reduction of harm to the environment.
Ecolabelling is often voluntary, but green stickers are mandated by law in North America for major appliances and automobiles, but not our food products or me
Can you trust ecolabelling? The pressure for green-sustainable products and food is growing as consumer demands rises. many large corporations and former quality natural food companies have felt the need to “rubber stamp” labels or greenwash their products because it will bring them more $$$.
Food ecolabels does not mean the same as organic labelling. Many certification standards with ecolabels exist, such as Rainforest Alliance, Utz coffee, cocoa and tea, GreenPalm, Marine Stewardship Council, and many more; these are aimed at sustainable food production and good social and environmental performance, but are not organic.
Two of the largest ecolabeling groups for seafood are the Marine Stewardship Council which uses an ecolabel MSC for certified sustainable seafood and the Friend of the Sea which focuses on certifying sustainable fisheries.
Friend of the Sea
The Friend of the Sea is an NGO founded in December 2006 to conserve marine habitat and resources by means of market incentives and specific conservation projects. It is the only scheme which certifies as sustainable, with the same seal of approval, both farmed and wild-caught products. Certified products from all continents include anchovies, caviar, clams, cuttlefish, halibut, kingfish, mackerel, mulloway, mussels, prawns, salmon, seabass, seabream, shrimps, squid, sturgeon, trout, tuna, turbot. Fishmeal, fishfeed and Omega-3 Fish oil have also been certified. Sustainable seafood, products and their origins are audited onsite by international certification bodies, against Friend of the Sea criteria. Certification bodies currently auditing against Friend of the Sea criteria are Aqa, Bureau Veritas, IFQC and SGS .
The Friend of the Sea criteria is currently the only one which follows the FAO – Guidelines for the Ecolabelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Capture Fisheries, by fulfilling Article 30 of the Guidelines which allows certification only of products from fisheries targeting stocks which are not overexploited.
The Marine Stewardship Council’s distinctive blue ecolabel enables consumers to identify seafood that has come from a sustainable source. The MSC program is voluntary and fisheries that are independently assessed and meet the MSC’s environmental standard can use the MSC blue ecolabel. As of April 2010 it can be found on the packaging of seafood and fresh fish counters on nearly 4,000 products in over 60 countries around the world.
The MSC standard is consistent with the ‘Guidelines for the Eco-labelling of Fish and Fishery Products from Marine Wild Capture Fisheries’ adopted by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in 2005. Any fishery that wishes to become MSC certified and use the ecolabel is assessed against the MSC standard by a third party, independent certification body that has been independently accredited to perform MSC assessments by Accreditation Services International (ASI). Chain of custody certification along the supply chain from boat to point of sale ensures that seafood sold bearing the ecolabel originated from an MSC certified fishery. The Council was founded as a result of the work of the Seafood Choices Alliance.
Eat sustainably raised or caught non-endangered fish. Here is a guide to sustainable fish and sushi.
Excerpts courtesy of http://bit.ly/aJ8EL5
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