Blank Park Zoo is a proud partner of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, aiding consumers in making seafood choices to ensure healthy oceans.
Our oceans, although vast, are falling victim to many environmental threats and as Seafood Watch reports, there are not, in fact, plenty of fish in the sea. The wild fish populations are well below natural levels. Overfishing, illegal fishing, and habitat damage caused by irresponsible fishing practices are just a few of the issues keeping populations low and unable to recover.
Aquaculture, or farm fishing, would appear to be an easy solution to supplement our ever-increasing demand for seafood. As with our oceans, however, things are not always as they appear. Although half of our seafood comes from farms, it raises new issues that must be taken into consideration. Seafood Watch measures the ecological impact of such farms as dependent upon the species, farm location, and process of raising while identifying sustainable farms as those limiting habitat damage, preventing the spread of disease and non-native species, and minimizing wild fish used as feed.
The issues are complex and often varying for each species. Seafood Watch, however, has taken all the guess work out of making our seafood choices work to improve rather than worsen our oceans’ conditions. The recommendations include seafood items that are the “Best Choices,” “Good Alternatives,” and those to “Avoid.” So, the next time you are at the grocery store or at a restaurant, make ocean-friendly seafood choices and use your purchase power to make a difference!
You can pick up your pocket-sized guide at Blank Park Zoo or download it on your mobile device today!