The United Nations recently discovered that 80% of fish stocks in the world are over-harvested. If this continues, many species are at risk of extinction. We Aussies each eat around 19kg of seafood every year, with our biggest catches being sardines (for farmed Atlantic salmon), rocklobster, tuna and abalone (for exporting) and shark, mullet, flathead and whiting (put on our plates). With such a big appetite for briny beasts, it’s important that we’re made aware of the environmental hazards involved.
The Australian Sustainable Seafood Guide, published by the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), has organised 100 seafood species into three categories to make it easier for you to decide which fish your eco-conscience allows you to feast on. The species are categorised depending on how the fish is caught and whether it’s endangered:
1. Say No
Barramundi, orange roughy, swordfish, bigeye tuna, shark, gemfish
2. Think Twice
Bugs, coral trout, dory, flathead, ling, red emperor
3. Better Choice
Bonito, bream, blue swimmer crab, mackerel, mussels, calamari
AMCS director Darren Kindleysides says: "We are not saying don’t eat fish. We are simply recommending that people avoid species under threat and opt instead for seafood that is sustainable, readily available and kinder to the seas."
MasterChef regular Guy Grossi launched the ‘Sustainable Seafood Guide’ iPhone app late last year, which allows you to search for your favourite fish and check that it’s harvested sustainably. It also features extensive info on the sustainability of canned tuna.
Check out Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide at www.sustainableseafood.org.au.