Friday, July 25, 2014

An Intro to Seafood Sustainability

          If you read my announcement recently, you know that I’ve teamed up with some other amazing local bloggers to form the SSBA, a forum to spread the word about sustainable seafood. Through weekly blog posts we'll educate and provide consumers with information and tools to shop for and consume seafood responsibly.

Check out some of our first posts:

Why Am I Doing This?

         I’ve blogged for the Boston Local Food Festival for several years and covered sustainability in my articles on their site. I’ve touched on some of these issues here in this blog and I'm excited to focus on them in more detail (in addition of course to my normal restaurant reviews and other food and wine posts!) Starting this week I'll post at least one in depth article a week and my regular day will be Friday. I've included an excerpt from the SSBA page below so you can see what I mean by sustainability.

About Seafood Sustainability

          “By 2050, the global population is expected to reach nearly 10 billion people, requiring the production of twice as much food as we currently consume.  Assuring food security will require improvements in farming methods, new technologies and superior stewardship of finite natural resources.  Seafood will play a vital role in a healthier future if wild fisheries can be managed well and best practices prevail in the aquaculture industry, a goal shared by many stakeholders in conservation and the food industry.  Today, aquaculture provides roughly 50% of seafood, expected to rise to 67% by 2050.  When consumers know the facts, we are convinced that they will embrace the ideas and spirit behind “Sustainable Seafood” and begin actively to search out producers of authentic, quality, responsible seafood products”

          While most industry experts agree that sustainability means consuming both farm raised and wild caught seafood responsibly, much of the information available in the mass media tells a different story. Many health advocates still decry the dangers of eating farm-raised fish like salmon. But, if we don’t eat farm-raised fish we’ll quickly deplete our natural supply and add to the ever-growing list of endangered species. The answer is not ignoring the farm raised fish altogether but rather finding farms that use good practices and raise fish as close to their natural environment as possible. We read about farms that produce only organic, natural, grass fed beef all the time, so why is there so little attention around seafood farms with similar practices? There are organizations that certify seafood farms that adhere to these high standards, and shops and restaurants committed to using them. So why does there seem to be so little information readily available (and easy to find) for consumers? Additionally, not all wild fish are endangered and not all sourcing methods are harmful. How can the average person make informed decisions while at the grocery store or out to dinner?

          I plan to cover topics such as healthy and sustainable farming methods, where to shop for sustainable seafood, key words to look for, questions to ask, recipe ideas, restaurant reviews, book reviews, and more. Check back here and my fellow SSBA members' pages for our weekly posts on all of these topics and more!

Up Next Week: A Review of Good Fish by Becky Selengut

What do you want to know about seafood and / or sustainability? Leave your topic suggestions in the comments section!

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