A guide to sustainable seafood
What exactly is sustainable seafood and how can you make better choices when it comes to what you put on your plate?
SUSTAINABLE SEAFOOD is seafood that reaches our plates with minimal impact on fish populations and the marine environment. It can be wild-caught or farmed in aquaculture. But very few fisheries are actually certified as sustainable throughout the world. To help you make better choices, download the sustainable seafood. But, generally, your best option is to choose small, fast-growing, sustainable species and avoid top predators such as swordfish, sharks and tuna.
1. Better choice
These species represent a better choice. Species in this group are not currently overfished. They are generally resilient to fishing pressure due to their life histories or the way they are exploited, have a history of stable catches and are caught or farmed using techniques that have low environmental impacts. Some of these species may still have minor conservation concerns, but have been assessed to be a better seafood choice.
Marketed as Australian salmon
Marketed as mud bracs, spammer crabs
Flathead (NSW & VIC)
Marketed as dusky flathead
Marketed as prawns
Marketed as calamari
Marketed as King George and stout whiting
Marketed as barra
Marketed as mussel
Marketed as Sydney rock, native and Pacific oysters
Marketed as black tiger, kuruma and banana prawns
2. Eat less
Eat less of these. Wild-caught species in this group may be caught using fishing methods that cause some damage to marine habitats or are associated with significant levels of bycatch. There may be scientific uncertainty about the status of wild-caught stocks and careful management will be needed to protect stock health. If farmed, the aquaculture methods used have some environmental impacts on our seas.
Barramundi (WA & NT)
Marketed as barra
Marketed as tropical snapper
Marketed as Balmain and Moreton Bay bugs
Marketed as tiger flathead
Marketed as dolphinfish
Marketed as western and western king, banana, tiger, school and endeavour prawns
Marketed as albacore and yellowfin tuna
Marketed as Tasmanina/smoked salmon
Marketed as ocean trout
Marketed as freshwater fillet, royal basa and Mekong catfish
Marketed as Lake Victoria perch
3. Say no
Say no to these. Wild caught species in this group, whether Australian or imported, may be overfished or their capture heavily impacts our seas by, for example, killing threatened or protected species as bycatch or damaging sensitive habitats. Farmed species include those produced by methods that place much stress on our oceans.
Australian wild caught
Marketed as sea bream
Marketed as hake
Marketed as jewfish
Marketed as deep sea perch
Marketed as flake
Otherwise knwon as pink snapper
Marketed as kingfish, yellowtail & Tasmanian yellowtail
Marketed as hoki
Marketed as Pacific white, whiteleg & black tiger prawns
Marketed as cod
Markated as albacore, yellowfin, bigeye tuna
Note: canned tuna sustainability is brand-dependent. Visit changeyourtuna.org.au for advice and information from Greenpeace.
In Australia and New Zealand, you’ll find sustainable seafood with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue fish tick on over 500 products and menus. To see a listing of sustainable seafood brands, restaurants and retailers that carry the label, head to: https://www.msc.org/en-au/what-you-can-do/buy-sustainable-seafood