What is Sustainable Seafood?

We’re increasingly hearing and learning about making environment and sustainable choices. One thing that you may have heard of, but not entirely understand, is sustainable seafood.

Seafood is incredibly good for you, and generally requires a lot less emissions and resources to produce than cattle and poultry. However, that doesn’t mean all seafood is sustainable, not all seafood is equal. So, if you love seafood, but also our planet, choose sustainable seafood and help protect our seas.

Cairns is perfectly situated along the eastern coast of Australia, opening itself to the marine goods of the ocean. Exploring the restaurants along the foreshore you’ll see many of them proudly state their use of sustainable seafood. But what does this mean?

Sustainable seafood key principles

  • Stocks with healthy populations

    This means that fish, crustaceans and other marine animals have not been taken from dwindling or endangered environments. Additionally, fishers must not overfish.

    Overfishing occurs when animals are removed from the water at a faster pace than they can regenerate. For example, if a species takes two months to regenerate, and 20% of their population is fished every two weeks, they are being overfished.

    To avoid overfishing, fishers should regularly move locations to ensure they are removing fish from different population groups.

  • Minimal impact on the environment

    All fishers to protect the broader marine environment. This means that their fishing does not have any negative impacts on the broader ecosystem or marine life. This includes ensuring fishing waste does not end up in the ocean, and not changing the food supply chain by overfishing.

  • Caught with effective, responsive, and responsible management

    Good management is imperative to the protection of ocean resources, and the assurance that fishing is sustainable. Without responsible management of fisheries, it would be easy to fall into unsustainable habits. Additionally, they help to protect fishers’ jobs, which is super important in a coastal town such as Cairns!

Sustainable seafood in Cairns

You’ll be pleased to know that seafood sustainability is super important to fishmongers and restaurants in Cairns. Keep an eye out for signs stating seafood is sustainable, and if you’re not sure then ask your server if they can tell you.

Cairns is so good at maintaining seafood sustainability that the Australian government hosts international workshops here to teach the world about sustainable fishing!

Eating sustainable fish

Most of the seafood served in Cairns is sustainable, with many restaurants only serving sustainable food. We recommend looking for stout whiting, Spanish mackerel, and farmed barramundi on the menu. If you’re on holiday though and are keen to treat yourself, there are plenty of delicious and sustainable crustaceans for you to crack open.

Tuck into delicious marron, tropical lobster, prawns and redclaw crayfish. In fact, even the famous spanner crab and mud crab are both sustainable here!

As you can see, choosing to eat sustainable seafood far from limits your choices. Plus, by choosing sustainable, you can treat yourself and feel like you’re saving the planet.

Related article: Tropical flavours in Cairns

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