Fish advice from the consumption center
Zander, herring or salmon? Which fish can you still eat with a clear conscience
The world’s oceans are fished empty in many places. Can fish still end up on the plate? The consumer advice center gives answers on how sustainable consumption can work.
Fish is an important part of a healthy diet: it provides valuable proteins, fatty acids and minerals. But the oceans are overfished. Wild fish and seafood are becoming increasingly scarce. The answer to this is mostly aquaculture fish. This in turn is fed on wildly caught fishmeal.
To ensure that future generations still have fish on their menu, mandatory catch quotas and environmentally friendly fishing methods are needed. This would allow to conserve the diversity of species. But which fish is actually still sustainable? The consumer advice centers in Hamburg and Berlin have updated their fish guide and are giving answers.
These fish are endangered
Endangered species include eel, sturgeon, shark, herring, Atlantic salmon, mussels, mackerel, ruffians and bluefin tuna. However, one and the same type of fish may be overfished in one fishing area and not in another. For example, stocks of herring from FAO 21 U.S. fishing zone are in good condition, while those in FAO 21 East Newfoundland fishing zone are in fairly poor condition. In addition, the fishing methods have various effects on stocks and the ecosystem, so these have also been included in the assessment. You can see in which table there is a fish in the overview. That is why consumers should always pay attention to the origin of the catch. If in doubt: ask the seller.
In fact, fishing without any impact on the marine environment is not possible. But certain fishing methods can greatly reduce overfishing (juvenile fish, other fish species, dolphins, seabirds and turtles) and protect the seabed by not dragging the nets over them. Thus, entire ecosystems can be protected.
These fish are allowed on the table
The consumer center recommends consuming fish that have been caught sustainably, ideally with fishnets. Good choices include Alaskan Chicken, Pacific Salmon, Yellowfin Tuna and Walleye (all of specific fishing areas featured on the list). There is also nothing wrong with fish from aquaculture, as long as the fish are in so-called recirculation systems and, at best, carry an organic seal. For example trout, salmon or pangasius. You can find the full list in the current consumer advice center fish guide, which you can see here.