We need to change our fishing habits before our favorite species of fish become extinct.
We launched our series on Facebook Watch with our partners at ATTN: called Your Food's Roots, and the the first topic we tackled was sustainable fishing. As it turns out, our favorite fish could be extinct within our lifetime if we don't change our fishing habits. Here are some alarming statistics to consider:
- The population of Pacific bluefin tuna is now only at 2.6% of it's historic size
- Fish is the main animal protein for over 1 billion people
- Over the past 40 years marine species have decreased by 39%
- The ocean will have more plastic than fish by 2050 if we don't change our plastic waste habits
So, how can each of us make a difference when it comes to overfishing? We have some tips:
Want to know whether the fish you're eating is caught using sustainable practices? Ask! Whether you're at your favorite restaurant or grocery store, ask your butcher or waiter about where the fish came from and whether the fish was caught using sustainable practices. You’ll want either a sustainably farmed fish or a sustainably-sourced wild-caught fish.
Check out Seafood Watch before buying fish
Before you buy your next fish, do some quick research on Seafood Watch, a trusted source that will tell you which fish to buy and which to avoid.
Eat smaller fish
90% of large fish have disappeared in the past half-century, and they are important for our ecosystem. For example, bluefin tuna is a large fish we should avoid eating—for every 100 bluefin that were once in the ocean, only 3.6 remain. What you can do instead is eat fish on the low-end of the food chain—consider sardines, mackerel, or bluefish—each of these is an excellent source of protein.
If we all make it a point to ask questions, do research before buying fish, and eat fish from the bottom of the food chain, we can make a difference about the overfishing problem.