Durable Fish

We have become ever more conscious about what we eat, organic food is available in abundance and the media has a lot of attention for ecologically irresponsible production methods. However, the fishing industry is covered with a veil of silence.

World’s fisheries are having a huge impact on our environment and the well-being of mankind in general. Bycatch, over-fishing, destruction of the habitat are a few examples of the effects of modern fishery politics.

Some examples that we as consumers are rather not confronted with:
  • Of all fish stocks worldwide 70% is over-fished.
  • To harvest 5kg of shrimps in some cases 90kg of other marine life is caught as bycatch.
  • Popular codfish is very scarce.
  • Bluefin tuna is almost extinct as are 2 other tuna species.
  • Farm fish are mostly predator fish (e.g. salmon, tuna) that need wild fish to grow. So fish farms do not solve the over-fishing problem.

The way we are abusing the oceans will lead to the destruction of most sea life and researchers state that only a few species wil survive. This seems unbelievable but if we consider that for instance fishing on sharks during the last 20 years has lead to 80% decline of these species, we understand that the influence of the fisheries is excessive. A moratorium on eating fish or at least most fish species will become essential.

A frequently heard phrase is ’I don’t eat meat, but do eat fish’, presuming a healthy living. But is fish healthy? Unfortunately for the fish eater, this is a total misconception. Most fish we eat is very unhealthy. Fish contains heavy metals in large quantities and PCB’s, causing cancer. If we eat more than 2 ’fat’ fish every week, we exceed the toxicological accepted limits of these substances. Fish oil makes no difference (note: to make 1 liter fish oil, 20 kg fish is needed).

The most important reason fish is supposedly healthy is the fact that it contains the essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. However fish does not make these acids itself but receives it from the algae it eats. These algae are available in eco-supermarkets or you can buy them online (e.g. https://www.noble-house.tk/en/products/food/okinawa-omega).

Mankind would improve its health and environment by eating less fish and getting the essential fatty acids directly from eating algae oils. And if you persist to eat fish, fish guides for your area can help selecting the ecological better and more durable caught fish. Note – yet these guides are a snapshot. The scarcity of species can change rapidly over time since most fish stocks are under continuous threat.

Fish guide UK: http://www.goodfishguide.org/
App for fish guide: http://www.goodfishguide.org/information/mobile+app

Fish guide Germany: https://issuu.com/greenpeacede/docs/greenpeace_fischratgeber_2016

Fish guide the Netherlands: http://www.goedevis.nl/
App voor viswijzer: https://itunes.apple.com/nl/app/viswijzer/id377191753

International (including USA/Canada): http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/oceans/which-fish-can-I-eat/alternative-fish-guides/#a0

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