Share The Wealth by Chris Gupta
June 21, 2007

Sustainable Seafood

Here is a quick synopsis on Sustainable Seafood extracted from the Summer 2007 (London, Ont. Canada) Slow Food newsletter. While on this theme it provides me with an opportunity to remind you to see Sharkwater, aside from the breathtaking beauty of this film it is essential viewing for anyone who cares about the state of the environment and the future of the world as a whole. This film really shows why not to depend on the masses and especially the governments - it is a clear demonstration of Margaret Mead's statement "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has." We can be those citizens! For a success story* see end of this article.

Please note that in the sustainable alternative listed below, I do not , in the main, consider, farmed fish as a viable alternative! While this does have the potential to be such, however, their can be use of fish feed (such as shrimp, crabs, shell fish etc.) from poorer countries, thus depriving the locals of much needed sustenance.

The alternative is GM foods coming fast and furious and other contaminates...

"Here are just a few: Aluminum tolerance in papaya, tobacco, rice, and corn (so they can grow the plants in soil contaminated with aluminum). Growth-enhanced farm-raised salmon. Monosexed fish. Altering carnivorous fish to starch-based digestion. Antifreeze gene in warm-water fish to raise them in cold climates."

Extracted from: Why Genetically Modifying (GM) Food Products Are A No No

Chris Gupta


Sustainable Seafood - Are You Ocean Wise?

The Vancouver Aquarium's Ocean Wise program works with local restaurants to help them identify sustainable seafood options for their menus. At participating restaurants, consumers can choose seafood menu items which have the Ocean Wise logo beside them.

The Vancouver Aquarium works to ensure that ocean resources are harvested and consumed in a sustainable manner. One of those resources is the fresh, high quality seafood that is available in BC.

The world's marine life is quickly being depleted. An estimated 90% of all large, predatory fish are already gone from the world's oceans. The only solution is to turn back from the brink, and to begin consuming seafood in a sustainable manner.

Sustainable seafood can be defined as:

1) A species that is abundant and resilient to fishing pressures;

2) A species that is well managed with a comprehensive management plan based on current research;

3) A species that is harvested in a method that ensures limited by-catch on non-target and endangered species;

4) A species whose method of catch ensures there is limited habitat loss associated with the harvesting method.

Endangered Fish Alliance

Closer to home, many local chefs are also members of The Endangered Fish Alliance. The Endangered Fish Alliance was started in Toronto in December of 2002 by a group of concerned chefs, restaurateurs, caring food professionals, conservationists, and was coordinated by staff members of the Toronto enviroguide.

The Endangered Fish Alliance encourages members in Canada to make environmentally-wise choices by not serving four endangered fish:

· swordfish,

· Chilean sea bass,

· orange roughy, and

· certain types of caviar.

Currently at 161 pioneer members, more restaurants continue to join this alliance.

Membership in this not-for- profit organization is free. They ask only that members do not serve the four endangered fish and encourage them to use the website to learn about the state of the world's fisheries before choosing seafood for their menus or inventory.

Find out more at:

Shopping Guide:
Sustainable Alternatives

Chilean Sea Bass

Pirate fishing fleets that disregard fishing limits are illegally catching this fish from Antarctica. Unless people stop eating Chilean sea bass, it may be commercially extinct within five years.

Alternatives include:

Alaskan Halibut
Atlantic Herring
Atlantic Striper
Cat Fish
Mahi Mahi
Pacific Halibut
Sable Fish
Striped Bass
White Sea Bass


Swordfish are usually caught on longlines, which kill both the adults and the young -- also, many tuna, sharks and sea turtles. Swordfish may not be a healthy choice. It has a high level of cancer-causing methylmercury, also known as a reproductive toxin.

Alternatives include:

Hawaii Swordfish
Tuna (long line
caught Albacore,
Bigeeye, Yellowfin,
canned light, white
and Albacore)


These caviar-egg producing sturgeons from Russia, Iran and Turkey are at risk of extinction because of over fishing and water pollution. Sturgeon doesn't produce eggs until the age of 20, so heavy fishing doesn't allow time for the young to grow up and reproduce.

Alternatives include:

Farmed White
Sturgeon Caviar
Farmed Paddlefish Roe
Farmed Rainbow Trout Roe
Whitefish Roe
Wild Pacific Salmon Roe

Orange Roughy

This fish can live to be over 100 years old. Each July, when they are over 20, they come together in easy-to-net spawning schools. Once 30,000 tons of orange roughy could be taken quickly from one place.

Alternatives include:

Pacific Halibut
Pacific Sole
Summer Flounder

*Success! in Saving the Red Snapper

Fin-tastic news! Thanks to the efforts of over 15,000 Care2 members that signed the Ocean Conservancy's "Act Now to Save the Red Snapper" petition, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has adopted a plan to set a science-based catch limit for red snapper.

For over two decades Gulf fishery managers, whose responsibility it is to protect and sustain our fish populations, ignored science and repeatedly set catch levels too high. As a result, the spawning population of Gulf Red Snapper is down to 3% of its historic abundance.

This change in fishery management reverses twenty years of bad practices and management failures. Now, the Red Snapper will be able to rebound.


posted by Chris Gupta on Thursday June 21 2007

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