Whilst some divers adopt the policy of “fish are friends not food”, for many, no trip to a coastal resort is complete without a lovely seafood dinner! With fishing methods coming under increasing scrutiny we decided to take a look at sustainable fishing methods and ways of buying your seafood whilst maintaining a clean environmental conscience.
Sustainable fishing is basically a fishing method that can continue indefinitely without reducing the species ability to maintain its population, without affecting any other species, its food source or damaging the environment.
Whilst it may seem a simple solution to only eat farmed fish, this in itself is riddled with issues as in certain areas the building of farms on coastal lands is destroying the already threatened mangrove areas and in addition the feeding and treating of the fish in the farms is far from environmentally friendly.
So when buying your fish what can you do? Well the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has a web site to help advise consumers of which fish to eat www.fishonline.org , there is also the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) logo to fish which are caught sustainably. Last years survey into supermarkets showed that that the most responsible of these was Co-op, with Waitrose, Marks and Spencer and Sainsburys coming in a close second. When buying fish ask the fishmonger about how the fish was caught and if they don’t know, then go somewhere else.
Take care with the most common fish bought in the UKsuch as cod, haddock, salmon, canned tuna and prawns. Due to their popularity, there are problems with all these fish and you need to choose carefully.
Many celebrity chefs and restaurants are trying to make sure they lead by example including Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsey, which helps further the cause.
By all means enjoy your fish and chips but remember as divers we also need the seas to remain full of life so choose wisely.