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Eat Sustainable Fish

Eat Sustainable Fish

Choosing more sustainably-caught fish reduces your carbon pollution and protects our oceans. It can result in tastier meals, too.

Why

The carbon impact isn’t huge, but the type of seafood you eat and how it is caught does impact your carbon pollution. For example, shellfish is typically more carbon intensive than line- and net-caught fish. Fishing techniques like dredging, bottom trawling and beam trawling are also very fuel-intensive.

Eating sustainable fish has other benefits, too. It supports smaller fishing communities that are better at protecting fish species, which have been fished to near extinction, and their habitats. This is also important because a healthy ocean absorbs around 40% of the atmosphere’s carbon.

How

When buying fish in a shop or restaurant ask how your fish was caught. Choose net- or line-caught fish. Avoid fish caught by dredging, bottom trawling or beam trawling.

Buy local and seasonal fish. Local is important because it has a smaller carbon footprint and supports fishing communities. Seasonal is important because it protects wild fish stocks by avoiding certain species during their breeding seasons.

Try new species of fish, this reduces the pressure on the most commonly eaten species.

Keep up-to-date on fish sustainability and seasonality. The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) is a good place to start.

References

References:

a healthy ocean absorbs around 40% of the atmosphere’s carbon

FAO 2016

Impact Stat calculations:

The average carbon emissions generated through fishing with active gear (trawling and dredging) is 1.29 kgCO2 per kg of fish, while the average carbon emissions generated through fishing with passive gear (pole and line, pots and traps, and gillnets) is 0.464 kgCO2 per kg of fish (Seas at Risk, Reducing the Footprint). We assume that when making the pledge, if you’re fully successful then you will achieve the full difference between these two values.

This only considers the emissions from the fishing activities themselves, we haven’t factored in the emissions from travel, cooling, and packaging, which can be considerable.

We assume an average portion size of 140 grams.