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Sustainable Seafood or an empty Sea

Sustainable Seafood Choices

At the moment the Marine Park Authority of Queensland are doing their best to save the fish of Moreton Bay. With over 800,000 licensed amateur and professional fishermen in the area, the fish stocks are beginning to run out. Most Fishermen who have fished in the region for some years will tell you that they can't catch the amount or the size of fish they once did. The stories of throwing a line over the side for a quick breakfast are long gone.

Still, there are Brisbane Fishermens Associations thatare fighting for the right to catch whatever they like, when ever they like and in whatever numbers they wish. They don't want any protected areas. Are these people insane or just to dumb to realise that they are destroying the future for themselves, their children and grandchildren. It is this complete lack of vision for the future that has seen the demise of so many previously abundant marine environments around the world.

Shauna and I learnt to dive in the waters off Malta in the Mediterranean in 1990. It was a sad experience as there were hardly any fish left. Instead of seeing sea life we were taken to see underwater statues of the Madonna and Jesus Christ and bottles that tourists had left behind. It was like swimming in a giant aquarium without the fish. This experience quickly brought home to us the importance of preserving fish stocks. A sea without fish is an underwater lunar landscape.

We experienced the same lack of fish when we dived in the Caribbean Islands back in 1992. The only reason it has taken longer in Australia is that we have a small population spread over a large area. But our time is running out.

If you would like to know more about Moreton Bay go to :- http://www.savemoretonbay.org.au

We all love to eat fish and as long as there are fish in the ocean we will be eating them. So it makes sense to become wise and only eat what the Ocean can afford to lose. We offer this list below so we can eat fish/seafood without emptying the oceans. Below are some common sea foods suggested as sustainable alternatives by the Australian Marine Conservation Society's

Avoid
Commercial scallops

Better Choice
Blue swimmer crab or oysters

Why?: The scallop has be classified as over fished by the Rural Sciences Bureau, where the oyster and crab are a more robust species

Avoid
Shark (Flake)

Better Choice
Mullet

Why?: Some Species of Australian Shark are threatened with extinction, however wild mullet are caught using responsible methods.

Avoid
Southern Blue Fin Tuna

Better Choice
Trevally

Why?: SBF Tuna is heavily over fished & mostly bred in sea cages. Tuna can be substituted with trevally (not silver trevally) which is a robust fish often caught in the wild.

Avoid
Altantic Salmon

Better Choice
Australian Salmon

Why??: Atlantic salmon is bred in sea cages where as the Australian salmon is caught in the wild.

Avoid
Moreton Bay Bugs

Better Choice
Western Rock Lobster

Why: According to the AMC the bugs are vulnerable to over fishing. The Western Australian Rock Lobster Fishery has been environmentally certified by the Marine Stewardship Council.

See www.amcs.org.au for more information

Article by Robert Kendall

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