What Does Sustainable Seafood Mean?

What is Sustainable Seafood?

CODWe talk a lot about sustainability here at OceanBox because it’s pretty important to us, but it can look a few different ways.  Sustainability can be in how we package our food, which by the way, is made with post-consumer products and with materials that can be reused.  Sustainability can look like responsible choices in going paperless in our internal office procedures.  But, the biggest part of our sustainability is in how we source our fish and seafood.  It’s a pretty big deal!

So, what the heck does “sustainable seafood” actually mean?

Sustainable seafood is a term that refers to how fish and seafood are harvested from the ocean in a responsible way that promotes future growth, rather than exploitation of species.  It used to seem that the ocean had unlimited resources and with an ever-growing world population, many fisheries eventually were exploited.  It’s estimated that 70% of the world’s fisheries are exploited or on the brink of a collapse.

Sustainable seafood is a way to boost our oceans and help manage the resources for the future.  These fishing operations target the plentiful species, including those that are smaller and lower on the food chain because they reproduce faster.  There are also rules and precautions to minimize by catching other species while you’re fishing for one specific species.

Wild & Sustainable

Yes, there are responsible fishing operations out there and the industry monitors the sustainability with regulations and specific rules for operation.  There is strict population monitoring and tracking from the time something leaves the ocean to the time it makes it to your plate!

Questions to Ask:

•What is the population of the species at specific locations?

•Are the populations strong that are being fished?

•Does the catch method harm the local ecosystem?

•Is there by-catch (also called incidental catch)?

•Are the fish caught before they reproduce?

•Are the fish slow growing or fast growing (slow growing fish are more susceptible to exploitation)?

Aquaculture

The best way to regulate and monitor for sustainable growth is by controlling the operation from the start, which is why fish farms are so vital to a sustainable seafood industry.  Fish farms actually produce half of all the seafood the world eats, and they are a great way to control not only sustainable practices, but also healthy organic practices as well.  Truly sustainable operations will focus on environmental impacts like disease, pollution, and other damage to a local ecosystem, all while producing really healthy (and tasty!) fish and seafood!

Questions to Ask:

•Is there any negative impact to the local environment?

•What is being fed to the fish?

•Are chemicals or drugs being introduced to the fish in the water or in the feed?

There are a lot of questions you can be asking about where your food comes from.  Thankfully, there are more and more companies getting on board with responsibly-sourced, and sustainably-sourced foods.  At OceanBox, we’re proud to be a company that sustainably sources our meat so that you can enjoy with confidence every tasty bite!

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