Sea provides us a lot of things. Food, livelihood, entertainment, and sailing are a few of them. You may imagine the usual scene of fishermen with their nets when you hear the term seafood but things have changed now.
Commercial companies have been employing high technology equipment to track and catch the fishes in the oceans. High-Technology equipment helps them catch a large number of fishes and other marine animals. But this is causing a serious impact on the ocean ecosystem. Fishes that are in high demand such as Salmon, Tuna and several others are hunt more. This results in the decline of these varieties in several parts of the world. This also includes some endangered and protected species.
Another problem associated with modern fishing is bycatch. The fishing industry uses the term bycatch to represent those unwanted fishes that come along with the target fishes. As these fishes are undesirable, they are thrown back into the sea dead or alive. With the growing competition and the demand, the situation is becoming worse day by day.
Fortunately, several individuals and non-profit organizations have joined the sustainable seafood movement started in 1990 to save the oceans. However, their contributions alone would not be enough to change the current situation. Everyone has to take responsibility and perform the necessary things.
Now what should you do? Well, you can do a lot of things. Being a consumer, the first thing you can do is to buy sustainable seafood. Brands and companies that provide sustainable seafood take into concern issues such as overfishing, bycatch that are seriously damaging the ocean ecosystem. They follow certain rules and standards set by international communities such as FAQ. This includes certain practices such as no target stocking, use of selective fishing gear, no bycatch, etc.
You can also drive the market for sustainable seafood by demanding sustainable seafood from local restaurants. The consumer can eat those fishes that are caught locally or that are lower in the food chain such as codfish. It would be great to educate yourself on endangered species and avoid eating them.
You can also go with farm fishes. These fishes are raised in a closed environment or a pond. It doesn’t matter where you are thinking to buy your fish from, but make sure that it is posing minimum effect on the nearby habitat. Whether the fishes are placed in the open ocean or raised in a pond, the structure should be built in harmony with the environment.