It's 2019, and the seafood industry continues to undergo changes that help shape the industry as a whole. One of the biggest and fastest evolving trends is the focus on sustainable fish to eat. Consumers are starting to pay close attention to the sustainability of all of the seafood they eat, and it's pushing suppliers to rethink their practices.
What Is Sustainable Seafood?
In short, sustainable fishing refers to seafood that comes from farming or catching methods that consider the species' long-term survival along with the ocean's well-being. It also focuses on communities who are dependent on fisheries for their livelihood. The sustainable seafood movement first started in the 1990s but it's gaining new recognition today as more and more people are shifting toward eco-friendly living practices.
Sustainable seafood comes from sources that have a healthy population. The fish are caught with minimal impact on the surrounding environment, and the area they are sourced from has responsible and effective management systems in place.
Does the United States Have a Sustainable Seafood Industry?
The United States gets wide recognition as a global leader in sustainable seafood for both farmed fish facilities and wild-capture fisheries. Any wild-capture fisheries in the United States have fishery management plans they run under that are science-based. Regional fishery management councils develop these plans using a public, open process combined with the most recent scientific information available. The United States has laws that govern these management plans, which must:
• Prevent overfishing
• Consider the economic and social outcomes for fishing communities
• Conserve and identify essential fish habitats
• Rebuild stocks when they get depleted
• Minimize bycatch
• Minimize interactions with any protected species
By using this process, you end up with sustainable fish to eat that meet today's growing needs while still letting the fish species reproduce and grow so they're around for future generations to enjoy.
The Sustainability Movement Lives On
2018 was the ten-year anniversary of the Friend of the Sea (FOS) certification scheme. This is the organization that works alongside seafood companies, fisheries, conservation groups, scientists, and the public to promote the best environmental choices when it comes to sustainable fish to eat. Since 2008, the FOS has worked to recognize and reward organizations that have sustainable fishing practices in place. It also rewards organizations who work to inform their customers about sustainable seafood practices.
Since 2008, over 600 companies spanning 50 countries have worked with FOS to determine their seafood's origin and sustainability. They've done this by using audits paired with the best scientific data available. Accredited independent certification bodies run these audits to ensure accuracy. Recently, this program expanded to encompass certification of ornamental fish, sustainable shipping, and whale watching operations.
Contact Tommy's Seafood for Sustainable Fish to Eat Today!
At Tommy's Seafood, we only use seafood from sustainable fishing, and we're passionate about preserving the seafood we use for future generations to come. If you'd like to know more about the sustainable seafood movement and current industry trends, get in touch with our staff today.