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THE BIGGEST THREAT TO OUR OCEANS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK

THE BIGGEST THREAT TO OUR OCEANS IS NOT WHAT YOU THINK

 

While the world begins to realize the magnitude of plastic pollution in our oceans, an even bigger threat to our aquatic neighbours is also looming large. As microplastics increase in the ocean, the number of marine creatures is in decline due to the commercial fishing industry. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), about one third of the globe’s fish stocks are overfished (1).

 

As alarming as this may be to hear, if you are a fish n’ chips lover or sushi addict, do not feel disheartened- there is a solution to this mismanaged fishing frenzy that is affordable, accessible and attainable.

 

Canadians demand change

 

According to a recent study, “91 per cent of Canadians feel it is important that seafood comes from sustainable stocks, however only 8 per cent feel they have adequate information about how their seafood [is sourced]” (2). In other words, the general public is eager to be part of the solution but there is a lack of resources in order for consumers to make informed food choices that reflect their values.

 

At SPUD we see this challenge as an opportunity to support our customers who wish to change the world one bite at a time. This is why we partner with the Ocean Wise Seafood Program.

 

 

 

 

What does it mean to be Ocean Wise

 

The Ocean Wise Seafood Program is a conservation program whose mission is to make it as easy for consumers to make sustainable seafood choices. As a part of the Ocean Wise Conservation Association, the Ocean Wise Seafood Program aims “to inspire the global community to become Ocean Wise by increasing its understanding, wonder, and appreciation for our oceans” (3).

 

A type of fishing practice or aquaculture system is deemed sustainable by Ocean Wise when “species are caught or farmed in a way that ensures the long term health and stability of that species and the greater ecosystem” (4). This information is collected by Ocean Wise from seafood vendors and then they label the sustainable seafood with the Ocean Wise logo. This way, a customer can know which seafood was harvested sustainably.

 

What you can do

 

When shopping on SPUD.ca, you will see the Ocean Wise logo on our seafood as we know that healthy oceans are key to our health and the health of our planet.

 

In terms of our health,  Canada’s new food guide recommends having at least two servings of fish every week. In relation to our environment, marine plants are incredibly important as they create 50% of our world’s oxygen! In addition, these underwater gardens take CO2 (a leading greenhouse gas causing climate change) out of the atmosphere in order to create this oxygen.

 

The benefits of our oceans and the species that call it home are truly endless and eating seafood sustainably is a great way to ensure it longevity and well-being. 

 

 

 

If you’re more of a watcher than a reader, learn more about Ocean Wise Seafood here:

 

 

Sources:

 

1) Ocean Issues. Ocean Wise. http://seafood.ocean.org/sustainable-seafood/ocean-issues/

2) Murray, Ryley. WWF Finds 91 percent of Canadians feel sustainable seafood is important. WWF Canada. 2011. http://www.wwf.ca/newsroom/?uNewsID=9521

3) About Ocean Wise. Ocean Wise. https://ocean.org/about/

4) About The Ocean Wise Seafood Program. Ocean Wise. http://seafood.ocean.org/about-ocean-wise/

 

Michelle Austin

Michelle is SPUD's Marketing and Sustainability Coordinator. She believes a sustainable food system is the key to creating a environmentally-friendly and just world. You can often find her in the mountains biking, hiking or skiing.

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