- Vulnerability of species due to fishing pressure - long living fish with low numbers of offspring are vulnerable to fishing pressure as they take longer than other species to replenish their population.
- Abundance of the population - making sure removal rates are not higher than the population is capable of replacing. If so, the species is being overfished.
- Bycatch - when birds, sharks, turtles and other marine life that are not intended to be harvested, are caught and discarded.
- Habitat Impact - how much damage is the fishing gear causing to the ocean environment and if the fishing method is causing harm to other marine life in the area.
- Effective management - means long-term health takes precedence over short term economic benefits.
Here are some things to think about when purchasing farmed seafood:
- Marine resources used in feed - farming certain species of fish and shellfish requires that other species are used in their feed. In some cases, more wild fish is used in feed than what is produces. Seafood raised on plant- based diets are better choices.
- Risk of escapes - when farmed fish escape, they can inter-breed with wild stocks or compete or food, spawning habitat and other resources.
- Disease and parasite transfer - aquaculture systems that discharge untreated waste may release disease and parasites to wild stocks.
- Risk of pollution - aquaculture systems can pollute the surrounding ecosystem, harming marine and freshwater habitats. Situating operations away from ecologically sensitive habitats is important.
- Effective management - ensuring the regulations and management structures necessary to effetely control risks to ecosystems.
Purchasing from operators that favour sustainable seafood help ensure there will be healthy, delicious seafood for years to come. SeaChoice is committed to developing working partnerships with companies to broaden their sustainable seafood offerings through the implementation of six steps of the Common Vision for Environmentally Responsible Seafood. When determining which seafood to purchase - either at the grocery store or at a restaurant, you can refer to Canada's Guide to Sustainable Seafood to make the right, responsible choice as a consumer.