It’s time we got fussy about fish!
The European Commission has just launched this “choose your fish” campaign to encourage people to “think sustainable” when they buy fish in shops and restaurants.
What’s the fuss about fish?
More than 70% of Europe’s fish stocks are overfished and some species are rapidly nearing extinction. This is because the fishing industry is taking more fish out of the oceans than can be replenished – and much of it ends up thrown back in.
Large volumes of undersized, over-quota or unwanted fish or other sea creatures are routinely caught in nets, and thrown back (“discarded”) into the sea, usually dead or dying. Very young fish and dolphins are just some of the victims of such practices. Meanwhile, despite throwing so much away, Europe still depends on imports for about two-thirds of its seafood! The whole system is incredibly inefficient and wasteful.
Why the waste?
Part of the problem is down to the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), which doesn’t regulate the industry enough and pours money into subsidies to encourage more fishing. In this video released in August, Greenpeace says that the CFP allows European fleets to take 2 to 3 times more from our threatened oceans than what is considered sustainable.
Another part of the problem is us shoppers: we don’t give enough thought to the fish we buy and the impact our choices have on the fishing industry. The fact is we have a lot of influence: every time we buy tuna, or shellfish, fresh fish or frozen fish that’s been caught and processed by irresponsible companies and brands, we are voting for more of the same.
What can we do?
By making small changes to our shopping habits we can force the industry to change its wasteful ways. That’s why Save Fish is one of hiSbe‘s 8 Everyday Choices.
Because of overfishing, there are fewer and fewer fish in the sea. The situation is serious, but it is not irreversible. If we all play our part and get fussy about fish we can help ensure there will be enough fish now and in the future!
The “choose your fish” campaign gives some great advice on how to make more sustainable choices when you buy fish.