Recently, The Daily Meal covered a pertinent topic: What Is “Sustainable” Food and Why — and How — Should You Cook It? In this piece, sustainable farming practices were highlighted and we gave you reasons why seeking sustainably sourced products can have a positive impact on the environment. With so much emphasis on the purity and integrity of seafood in American and world news, we decided it was time to investigate sustainable fishing methods as well.
As the days go by, more and more sustainable fishing companies are being created. Some of these companies are catching the fish themselves, while others are selling fish caught sustainably by others. Greensbury Market, an online distributor of sustainable finfish and shellfish that is described further in the accompanying slideshow, explains the key differences between sustainable and non-sustainable seafood:
“A lot of the fish available today in the United States [is] imported, often from places where health and environmental standards for growing or catching fish are low.
“Many popular fisheries have been using methods to catch or farm their fish that can hurt habitats and other wildlife and drain the ocean of its resources.
“Traps, bottom trawling, and dredging methods of catching fish [can] cause serious damage to habitat[s] and totally wipe out several species on the seafloor.
“Thousands and thousands of animals that live in the sea including dolphins, turtles, and fish are thrown back into the sea, dead, after they have been accidentally caught as bycatch.
“Many popular wild fish contain substances like mercury or PCBs that are damaging to your health.
“Overfishing depletes our [fish] of their habitat. When there aren't enough larger fish to catch, fisherman move onto catching smaller fish… [and] the smaller fish are food for other fish. This can have a big and lasting effect on the entire ecosystem.”
“Sustainable fishing techniques like long-line, handline, troll, jig, or speargun fishing have little impact on the ocean's habitat and ecosystem. These fishing methods have very low levels of bycatch. Sustainable fisheries maintain a high level of sustainable practices to maintain the natural ecosystem of the ocean for future generations to maintain and enjoy its resources.”
The following sustainable fishing companies are well aware of the outlines just described by Greensbury Market. One such company not highlighted in the accompanying slideshow, Hawaii’s Hilo Fish Company, Inc., notes well the current peril that ocean-dwelling species face. If overfishing continues, “the populations of almost all seafood will collapse by 2048. Eating sustainable seafood alleviates some of these stresses on the environment.”
Further, Hilo Fish Company, Inc. adds that fish is the primary source of protein for 20 percent of the world’s population. Out of the entire worldwide population, 120 million people rely on the fishing trade for a portion or all of their income. With so many people reliant on fish for not only income but also nutrition, it’s important to ensure the long-term survival of humans by fishing sustainably. The following companies are doing their best to do just that.