Fish play a very important role as food. Since 1980 the demand for fish production has almost doubled itself. In the next ten years an annual increase of 1.5 perc ent is expected. An estimated 2.5 billion people cover their demand for animal proteins predominantly or entirely with fish. More than 200 million people depend directly on fishing and its downstream branches as a livelihood.
Reports about the dramatic developments in the oceans - and the campaigns such as the one WWF is currently propagating - are making consumers become more sensible. To buy fish and seafood with a clear conscience, there are a variety of labels which help you gain some orientation:
MSC (Marine Stewardship Council)
WWF's label for sustainable fishing. Critics point out MSC's tolerance for the use of bottom trawls.
Friend of the Sea
Fishing only not overfished species with methods which minimize by-catch.
Strict rules in line with animal protection, fair trading and sustainability. So far no offer on the market yet.
Fish 4 Future
Fish and seafood products from sustainable fishing methods and aquaculture.
Label for the method of fishing which protects dolphins; often found on preserved food such as canned tuna.
AquaGAP is a certification programme for Good Aquaculture Practices. All aquaculture species can be certified, ensuring transparency of origin; quality at each stage of production; good aquaculture farming practices (which maintain or improve the health of surrounding ecosystems); adherence to principles of corporate social responsibility; and a commitment towards local communities.
Also recommendable are:
- Organic cultured fish - particularly herbivorous species such as pangasius, tilapia and carp.
- Fish from local fishery which use conservative fishing methods.