But don't just stop buying seafood: buying seafood from sustainable, environmentally-friendly fisheries promotes their development and the creation of new ones. It often supports the local, small fisheries, and consequently the survival of local economies around the globe.
So, next time you're about to buy seafood, stop for a minute and think what you are buying!
Buying certified seafood (in markets, fishmongers and restaurants)
|The MSC label:
Customer Licence Code
Learn more: www.msc.org
Different MSC-labelled products are sold in different countries. The MSC provides online information about their world-wide distribution: where to buy. If your local stores or restaurants aren't stocking MSC-labelled products, then encourage them to contact the MSC for information on how to stock MSC-labelled products. The MSC website comes in several languages.
The Marine Stewardship Council about itself
What is the MSC Standard? (MSC)
Where to buy? (MSC)
Here are links to some of the best "fish-lists" I've found on the Web (all provide downloadable pocket guides to carry with you!). If you know of any fish list in other languages, or specific for different parts of the world, please email me the link: dita.vizoso_at_unibas.ch
Remember that buying the right fish depends on where you are. In some cases, stocks fished sustainably in one part of the world are overfished in other regions. Always try to obtain more information on local fisheries: buying local fish (if it is properly fished) is always best.
The Seafood Watch Program of the Moterrey Bay Aquarium (USA-based). A very good guide. Incluye guía portable en Español.
Good Fish Guide from the Marine Conservation Society (UK-based). A very good guide.
The Einkaufsführer of the WWF-Schweiz (Swiss-based). The best I've found for german-speaking Europe. Some products are local, but many are available Europe-wide.
Regional guides to buy:
Australia: from the Australian Marine Conservation Society.
Great Britain: Marine Conservation Society.
Netherlands: De Noordzee.
Buying local seafood / fishing techniques
If you have the chance to buy seafood directly, you can probably enjoy a very fresh product, promote local business, and use the oportunity to raise awareness among the local fishermen.
Find out what kind of techniques they use, and whether they are aware of the environmental problems of each. In the SeafoodWatch program you will find a lot of info on the different techniques (also as pdf Fact Cards): How Fish are Caught or Farmed.
Help promote those who fish in a sustainable way. Let them know that the way they treat the environment does matter for their customers.
The certification program of the MSC is voluntary: also small, local fisheries can join the program and increase their status and sustainability. The WWF, through its Global Marine Programme, helps fishing communities to develop well-managed fisheries and become MSC-certified.