360 Depletion

The Problem:

More than 90 species of marine fish in Europe’s waters are threatened with extinction, according to a European Red List of Marine Fishes report published in 2015 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Anthropogenic factors like pollution, coastal development, offshore oil and gas extraction, and mining are putting European fisheries at risk. However, industrial-scale fishing and the economic pressures of a growing globalised seafood market is thought to be the main reason more species are under threat of extinction. The question of sustainable seafood is complex and has many dimensions to it like: what species are caught in certain locations, what fishing methods are used, and whether the catches are monitored appropriately to ensure compliance to catch quotas.

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO): “About one billion people largely in developing countries rely on fish as their primary animal protein source” (that is one in seven humans on the planet). In addition to providing food, the fishing sector provides valuable employment for millions of workers across the world. As global human populations continue to increase, wild fish and shellfish populations of commercially-captured species can no longer support the demand for seafood products. Aquaculture is the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants, especially fish, shellfish, and seaweed, in natural or controlled marine or freshwater environments. Aquaculture is seen by many as an option to help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks by providing an alternative efficient means of protein production. However, it is still a relatively young food production sector compared with agriculture and there are concerns about some practices and environmental impacts. The sector recognises the challenges and there is currently a lot of investment in creating new knowledge and technology to help overcome potential bottlenecks to the growth of the sector as well as alleviating concerns about its environmental impacts.

What seafood YOU choose to eat can help alleviate the pressures on vulnerable fish stocks, preventing their depletion. Sustainable seafood is caught or farmed in a manner that enables production of that seafood to be maintained in the long-term. If WE act now, some threatened fish stocks can be saved!

What Can We Do?

What seafood YOU choose to eat can help alleviate the pressures on vulnerable fish stocks, preventing their depletion. Sustainable seafood is caught or farmed in a manner that enables production of that seafood to be maintained in the long-term. If WE act now, some threatened fish stocks can be saved!

Tip 1: Make smart consumer choices. Only eat sustainable seafood. There are plenty of seafood guides available online which tell you what seafood is good for you and the planet, and what isn’t. Some supermarkets pride themselves on ensuring the seafood they sell is from sustainable sources.

Tip 2: Learn more about the fishing and aquaculture sectors so you can make informed choices as a consumer.

Tip 3: Ask your restaurant if the fish they are serving is a sustainable resource. Even asking the question may cause them to investigate sourcing sustainable seafood in the future.

Tip 4: Buy seafood that has certification stating it is sustainable, for example it holds the Marine Stewardship seal of approval: https://www.msc.org/, ASC Aquaculture Production: http://www.asc-aqua.org/, The Fair Trade Capture Fisheries Standard: http://fairtradeusa.org/certification/standards/download-center , Food Alliance: http://foodalliance.org/shellfish, Friend of the Sea http://www.friendofthesea.org/about-us.asp?ID=9.

Useful Resources:

Sea Change Resources

Resources to help everyone make a SeaChange in their life.

About the Project

Sea Change is an EU H2020 funded project that aims to establish a fundamental “Sea Change” in the way European citizens view their relationship with the sea, by empowering them, as Ocean Literate citizens, to take direct and sustainable action towards a healthy ocean, healthy communities and ultimately a healthy planet.

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Our Ocean, Our Health

The ocean makes planet Earth a habitable place to live and the marine environment is a source of vital human health benefits.

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Consortium

The Sea Change consortium consists of 17 partners from nine different countries, coordinated by the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.

This consortium, which comprises nine public research organisations, one SME, five non profit organisations and two higher education institutions, brings together selected experts to collectively provide the knowledge, competence, skills and facilities needed for ensuring a good project development, the achievement of project objectives and the successful delivery of project results.

Contact

  • Phone

    Jon Parr
    Sea Change Coordinator
    +44(0)1752 426479

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    Jon Parr
    Sea Change Coordinator
    jpar@mba.ac.uk

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    Marine Biological Association
    Citadel Hill,  Plymouth,
    PL1 2PB, United Kingdom

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