Sustainable Seafood Guide: How to Save the Seas with Your Diet
Maybe you have heard that eating beef is one of the biggest contributors to your carbon footprint, much more so than driving. However, if you are like many of us, you may not have thought about how eating seafood affects the environment. Whether you live by the coast or thousands of miles from the nearest shoreline, the biggest impact you have on the oceans is through your diet. Beyond its health benefits and its cultural significance, there is no denying how delicious lobster with freshly-squeezed lemon tastes on a hot summer day. With a seemingly (and deceptively) abundant supply of inexpensive seafood, it can be hard to say no to that double order of fish tacos. But can the seas really provide an endless bounty of food?
Sierra Club Green Home investigated how our diet impacts the oceans, and we now offer this easy-to-follow guide to enjoying seafood sustainably.
Americans now eat four times as much seafood as we did 50 years ago, but fish populations have not been able to keep up with our increasing appetites. By conservative estimates, about 32% of world fish stocks are estimated to be overexploited, depleted, or desperately in need of respite and recovery, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Large, open-ocean fish such as tuna have declined by an estimated 90% since 1952, according to World Watch.
Photo: Kino Bay Center for Cultural and Ecological Studies)