- Has the catching of this fish impacted endangered species?’ ‘
- Is the population of this species still healthy or has it been overfished by industrial scale fishing practices?’
- ‘Is this farmed seafood a better option, or is it doing more harm than good?’
Far too often consumers are left without answers when trying to find out if seafood products on their supermarket shelves have comes from sustainable sources. Inadequate labelling and a lack of publicly available sourcing policies have made it impossible for consumers and other market players to assess the sustainability of the seafood they buy and sell.
In recent years a ‘sustainable seafood movement’ has thrived. Consumers, retailers and seafood processors have started asking questions. The first step has been to demand transparency. As retailers started developing sustainable seafood purchasing policies they requested more accountability. They asked for sustainable seafood that has not been caught with destructive fishing techniques such as bottom trawling, and fish that does not come from overfished stocks.
A section of the Greenpeace website provides a quick insight into the history of overfishing and how we came to the current state of the oceans. It creates an overview over some of the main problems. It helps retailers and seafood processors to understand what a sustainable seafood purchasing policy is and how to develop one. Last but not least, with the Greenpeace “international seafood red list”, it lists 20 fish species at very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries (‘red-listed’) and explains the rationale for red-listing them. The international red list highlights key species companies should take action on as a first step in moving towards sustainable seafood purchasing policies.
Understanding the problem
What can I do?