According to a recent United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report titled Green Economy and Trade-Trends, Challenges and Opportunities, The global market for organic food and beverages is projected to grow from $62.9 billion in 2011 to $105 billion by 2015.
The total value of seafood that has been farmed according to certified sustainability standards is forecast to increase to $1.25 billion by 2015, up from $300 million in 2008, according to the report.
In order for consumers to make informed decisions, labeling on all seafood should indicate:
• the exact species name
• place of origin of catch and processing
• whether the fish is farmed or wild
• the fishing method used.
Making choices about sustainable seafood is difficult as they are commonly mislabeled. Here are Here are six tips for buying sustainable seafood:
1. Choose fish that feed low in the food chain (ie Sardines, mackerel, dab, pouting, herring, tilapia)
2. Know your fishing methods: Choose hook-and-line, pole-and-line, handpicked, trap-caught Avoid: Trawls, dredges, drift nets
3. The good, the bad and the ugly of aquaculture: Choose cultivated oysters, cultivated mussels, farmed tilapia, and fish farmed in recirculating or closed systems. Avoid: Farmed shrimp, farmed salmon, and other fish species farmed in open-net pens and cages
4. Use guidelines and tools available: Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise App is a great tool to help you make sustainable seafood choices.
5. Support local markets and restaurants that are providing sustainable options: Use the Ocean Wise website and app which has a great location finder for shops and restaurants that provide certified sustainable products.
6. Ask Questions Find out if the seafood you want to buy is wild or farmed, what fishing methods were used, and in which country it was caught. Also ask is the species in trouble where the animals were caught?
Does fishing for the species damage or alter ocean habitats? Is there a large amount of by-catch taken with the target species?
In 2011 The Organic Trade Association (OTA) has reported that seventy–eight percent of US families say they purchase organic foods.
“In a time when the severity of the economy means making tough choices, it is extremely encouraging to see consumers vote with their values by including quality organic products in their shopping carts,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO. “Nearly half – 48 percent – of parents surveyed revealed that their strongest motivator for buying organic is their belief that organic products “are healthier for me and my children. Other motivators for purchasing organic included concern over the effects of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics on children, and the desire to avoid highly processed or artificial ingredients.”
© 2013, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.
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