April is Earth Month, which means we should all be thinking a little bit more about the world around us. As we celebrate Earth Month, we’ll be taking a deep dive into seafood sustainability in a month-long series. Up first, what is sustainable seafood? Earth Month is a great opportunity to learn about a sustainable food supply and preserving our waters for future generations.
Seventy percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, yet only 2 percent of the world’s food supply comes from the ocean. Seafood is one of the most sustainable proteins on the planet if sourced responsibly, so we should be looking to the waters to help feed the planet.
Sustainable seafood means that it has been caught or farmed with minimal impact to the wild population or the environment. To be responsible stewards to the ocean, we need to make sure we are harvesting what we need today but that it will also be available in the future. It’s important to know where seafood comes from – whether from a wild fishery or farm – and it should only be coming from those that are utilizing thoughtful, science-based approaches to their management practices.
NOAA’s FishWatch.gov provides easy-to-understand facts about the science and management behind U.S. seafood and tips on how to make educated seafood choices. To learn about more organizations helping to improve the standards of responsible fishing and farming, click here.
Additionally, most grocery stores have a quality and sustainability practice in place to guarantee that seafood comes from responsibly harvested sources, ensuring long-term sustainability of our oceans for generations to come.
WHAT CAN YOU DO? Consumers are encouraged to try something new to help alleviate the potential of overfishing. Shrimp, salmon and tuna make up more than 50 percent of what we eat in America, but there are hundreds of other species commercially available.
In fact, as the month continues, we’ll take a look at the difference between farmed and wild seafood, which trusted certifications to look for in the store, and how to shop for sustainable seafood.