Fish for the Future

In 2014, SEA LIFE Trust was approached by SBS to be the Education Outreach partners for the 3 part TV series ‘What’s the Catch?’ hosted by Matt Evans and directed by Steve Oliver. The additional teachers notes accompanied by snippets from the programme are an important part of taking action to help our oceans.

6 more things you can do to help when buying seafood

Your purchasing decisions can really make a difference in ensuring the future of our seafood. Here are some great tips to help you make better seafood choices:

  1. Look for the MSC label. All fisheries certified by the Marine Stewardship Council have undergone independent assessment to ensure they meet strict environmental criteria and adhere to best practice. 
  2. For tinned tuna buy only brands that say ‘pole and line caught’. This means that there has been little to no bycatch (other species caught and killed) in this method. Much of our tuna is caught using purse seine or gill nets which capture everything else that is swimming with the tuna. In Australia, Safcol and Oceanwise offer pole and line caught tinned tuna.
  3. Eat lower down the food chain. Smaller species such as sardines, and inshore species like mullet, are prolific breeders meaning they are more likely to replenish their populations in a shorter space of time. Larger species such as tuna, sharks and swordfish are slower growing and are more susceptible to overfishing.
  4. Farmed or wild? It depends on the species. Farmed tuna or salmon can take a lot of fish protein (wild caught) adding more pressure to our overfished oceans. Herbivorous fish like tilapia are a great aquauculture species as they don’t rely on fish for food. Purchasing farmed molluscs such as mussels, abelone, scallops and oysters is optimal as these are sedentary species, that filter the water column or sand beds for food so don’t require additional inputs. They also require clean water so if you have an oyster farmer in your area you’ll have a great steward for healthy habitats!
  5. Buy local – Australia relies heavily on imported seafood, much of which you have no idea where it came from or how it was caught. Buying locally means you are supporting pretty well managed  (but far from perfect) fisheries. Look for ‘Product of Australia’ when at your seafood counter.
  6. Say ‘NO’ to Flake (shark). Shark meat has shown to have 3 x times the safe limit for mercury which is toxic metal to humans.

Continue exploring more about our marine conservation work and see how you can help our charity.