Sustainable fisheries aim to help ensure that a wild, diverse and healthy
ocean ecosystem will exist long into the future.
This means fishing (or farming fish) in a way which allows fish stocks be harvested without compromising the ability of the population to replenish itself and without harming the environment. For example, this means not fishing during breeding seasons, not taking juveniles that haven’t yet had an opportunity to reproduce and by reducing the amount of non-target fish caught by accident (called by-catch). Here at ZSL, we have worked to ensure we only use sustainable fish in all our catering outlets as well as in the animal departments. That means you can enjoy a sustainable fish meal as a zoo visitor and our penguins, otters, sealions and piranhas do too!
The ocean is critical to our planet’s – and, therefore, our own – well-being. It is home to 90% of the world’s living creatures, and seafood is the main source of protein for one-sixth of the human population. With over 75% of world fish stocks fully or over-exploited, we are depleting the fish and other marine life that we eat faster than their populations can replenish. At the same time, demand for seafood is increasing. As consumers, our seafood choices have the power to make this situation worse, or improve it. If you want to know how to choose sustainable fish yourself then here are some tips to help you:
- Download the Selfridges’ Fish Guide as a handy pocket guide to take to the shops with you. Produced jointly between Selfridges, ZSL and the Marine Conservation Society, this guide lets you make informed decisions on which seafood to buy.
- Find out more about seafood choices on the Marine Conservation Society website.
- Download the Project Ocean smartphone app so you can get information straight to your phone (coming soon).
- Choose fish with the Marine Stewardship Council blue tick logo which shows that fish is from a certified fishery.
It is important to spread the word and encourage others to make sustainable choices as well. Sustainability is also about spreading the load, so eat a variety of species rather than just one or two, and think about cutting down your overall seafood consumption. Always ask the person you buy fish from where and how their fish is caught - if they can't tell you or if you are not completely satisfied with their answer, don't buy the fish!