Feature Image Credit.
As Australians, we like to think that we’re eating Australian seafood however, 75% of our seafood is currently imported, predominately from Asia. With scientists forecasting a 37% rise in seafood consumption by 2050, this demand can put pressure on fisheries to overfish.
Therefore, how do we know that the fish we’re buying is sustainable?
A key to choosing sustainable seafood is labelling. Despite some non-government and government efforts to improve this over the years, such as a mandatory requirement in 2008 to include ‘country of origin’ labelling for packaged seafood and AMCS’s Australian Fish Names Standard introduced in 2007; we still have a long way to go because it is still possible to buy fish that was caught or farmed overseas, but processed in Australia, labelled as ‘Made in Australia’.
Australia’s weak seafood labelling laws means consumer health is at risk: high levels of mercury or other contaminants can be found in marine creatures such as fish/sharks which puts your health in danger.
What we still need on seafood labelling:
- Accurate names of species for imported, as well as domestic seafood.
- Where it was caught.
- If caught in Australia, the individual State or Commonwealth fishery from which the fish is sourced should be provided.
- If the fish is imported, the major fishing area as designated by the UNFAO should be identified.
- How it was caught: labelling for which type of fishing gear or aquaculture method used.
- The name of the company that caught or farmed the seafood.
The Australian Federal Government is needed now more than ever to impose stricter regulations on labelling and traceability. All fishing has an impact but some methods are more harmful than others. This means that if we knew how our fish was caught/farmed, we could avoid choosing seafood that was taken or produced by more damaging methods such as super trawling.
Help stop overfishing by banning the super trawler in Australia permanently by signing our petition.
Also improve labelling by joining the Labelmyfish campaign.
– A.K #Error404fish