What fish can you eat?

Fish is considered healthy – but not sustainable. The fish guide of the consumption centers gives recommendations on what types of fish you can still buy from an environmental point of view.

Can one still eat fish with a clear conscience? There are different opinions about that. Organizations like WWF or Greenpeace have published fishing guides in the past that give an overview of how overfished certain species are and how big the environmental impact is.

The latest purchase recommendation comes from the consumption centers in Hamburg and Berlin. You have updated your fishing guide along with Manfred Krautter from the independent sustainability advisor EcoAid. This divides sea animals into the categories “wild-caught to be recommended”, “wild-caught to be recommended under certain conditions” and “wild-caught to be recommended”. Aquaculture animals have also been classified, for example salmon, shrimp and trout.

You can download and print the folding booklet for free from the Hamburg Consumer Center website. You can also get a printed version of the brochure for two euros in shipping costs.

Which fish is ecologically acceptable?

What fish can you still eat?
Fish guide: What fish can you still eat? (Photo: CC0 Public Domain – Pixabay / photo graphics)

There are many problems associated with fishing: animal suffering, environmental destruction, overfishing. There are approaches to more sustainable methods as well as seals, but Armin Valet of the Hamburg Consumer Center warns: “[M]sometimes the labels on the package promise more than they deliver ”.

aquaculture are intended to hold shares, but are also subject to criticism. “The breeding is done […] Fishmeal from dubious wild catches is often used in distant lands and as animal feed, ”says Valet. Not every product from aquaculture is therefore recommended.

  • Green light For example, the Hamburg Consumer Council Center publishes trout from aquaculture with an organic seal (EU, Naturland). Atlantic salmon from closed ground-based systems or recirculation systems are also recommended. If it comes from Europe, the guide also recommends salmon from online cages with the EU organic or Naturland seal.
  • If the popular fish of European aquaculture (net cage systems) only has a seal from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) or none at all, according to the guide, it is conditionally recommended.
  • If the salmon comes from aquaculture in Chile, so be it advises the consumption center of the purchase for.

at Wild caught fish Among other things, the main fishing area, partial fishing area and fishing methods were examined. The fish guide also considers whether the fish has a certificate.

  • as recommended the fishery guide classifies, inter alia, Alaskan chicken from the Northwest Pacific (FAO 61 fishing zone) and the Northeast Pacific (FAO 67), se which received an MSC seal.
  • Alaska Pollock is unmarked not recommended. The category also includes, for example, Nephrops and scampi (all species except Skagerrak and Kattegat) from the NE Atlantic trapped by bottom otter trolls and log rails.
  • Conditionally recommended is a ruffian from the North Atlantic, from Iceland, if it bears the MSC seal.

According to the website, the recommendations are valid until August 2023 at the latest.

Fischratgeber: According to what criteria did the consumption center evaluate?

What makes a fish recommendable? The guide to consumer advice centers in Hamburg and Berlin is based on previous estimates by the institutions.

  • WWF
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Marine Conservation Society
  • Fishsource, a platform of the NGO Sustainable Fisheries Partnership

According to the press release, assessments by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and NABU have also been taken into account where necessary.

The assessments on which the guide is based must be scientifically based, take into account effects on the marine environment and updated annually to be considered. The assessment was done by Manfred Krautter, an independent sustainability consultant. We could not find more accurate information on how individual factors – such as animal welfare or the degree of overfishing – were weighted.

WWF’s fishing guide is even more transparent. Documents detail exactly how the assessment of each species is made. In addition, the fish guide offers detailed information on each species of fish, including their problems. The WWF lists a total of 44 species as “good choices,” though mostly only under certain conditions. The fish guide of the consumption centers also gives a total of 14 recommendations for wild fish and eight for aquaculture – each with restrictions.

Utopia says: 31 percent of the world’s fish stocks are overfished, and another 58 percent are fished to the limit. In addition, there are many other problems that remove the desire for fish: Destruction of valuable habitats by troll nets and aquaculture, pollution of water bodies, threat to other animal species due to bycatch (only that makes up 38 million tons per year). , i.e. 40 percent of global fish catch).

Because the situation is so complex, individual seals are often not enough to provide customers with comprehensive shopping tips. If you want to buy “better” fish, you should definitely research beforehand.

Or even better: do without fish and try a vegetarian alternative instead. We don’t need fish for health: We can also cover our need for omega-3 fatty acids with other foods like seaweed oil, walnuts or linseed oil.

Read about it:

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