Sunday, May 10, 2009

Good Fish Friday - Buying Seafood this Easter (or any time)? Make it Sustainable

This Easter the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) is calling on the public to make a good choice on Good Friday and avoid overfished seafood species.

With Australians' love affair with seafood, some of our most popular fish species are being pushed to the edge of extinction by increasing consumer demand and destructive fishing methods. Species such as orange roughy, broadbill swordfish and southern bluefin tuna are on the overfished list and need a break if they are to recover from being loved to death.
In the 1990s seafood consumption in Australia increased by 13 per cent and this trend has continued into the 2000s, with Australians now eating an average of 21kg of seafood per person each year. '

"Not surprisingly, this has increased pressure on fish stocks dramatically and the number of fish species classified as 'overfished' has quadrupled since the 1990s," said National Marketing Manager, Ingrid Neilson.

"Australia's Sustainable Seafood Guide was created in response to a demand from the Australian public who loved eating seafood, but also loved our oceans," Neilson said.

"If you love our oceans, you can make a responsible choice this Easter. Choose whiting instead of deep sea dory, bream instead of shark and calamari instead of unsustainable commercial scallops," Neilson said. "Australia's Sustainable Seafood Guide can lead you to better seafood choices this Easter and help protect our fish stocks at the same time," Neilson concluded.

AMCS is an independent, national not-for-profit charity that has been operating for over 40 years. Their conservation work is funded through the generous support of Australians who want to give something back.

Additional information
1. The Australian Marine Conservation Society is a national charity dedicated to protecting our ocean wildlife. We work to create marine national parks, save our endangered ocean wildlife and make our fisheries sustainable.

2. The proceeds from sales of the Guide go directly back into the campaign to help reduce overfishing and provide the public with sustainable seafood choices.

3. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation has reported that over 75% of the world's fish stocks are fully exploited or over-exploited.

4. Scientists report that over 90 per cent of sharks and other big fish species have been removed from the world's oceans.

5. Australian overfished species that should be avoided include orange roughy, shark (flake), oreo dories and southern bluefin tuna.
- If you are eating seafood, you can make a 'better choice' by opting for:
- Whiting over oreos (dory, deep sea dory)
- Bream over 'shark' (flake, boneless fillet)
- Flathead over redfish (Nannygai)
- Calamari over scallops
- Tropical Trevally over tuna and swordfish

6. Unsustainable seacage aquaculture species should also be avoided. Seacage aquaculture adds pressure to our wild fisheries, uses fish meal made from wild fish and pollutes our waterways.

7. Some restaurants and seafood retailers no longer sell overfished species and environmental accreditation for commercial fishing operations is inspiring some fisheries to improve their environmental performance.

8. Ask your fish merchant the following questions. If they answer 'Yes' then say 'No Thanks' to purchasing that species.
- Is the species long-lived (>20yrs) or slow growing?
- Is it a deep sea species?
- Is it a shark or ray?

Click here to listen to the interview with Ingrid Neilson

Seafood Guides can be ordered online at or by calling 1800 066 299.

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