I read a good little article this morning from The Conversation website. I go for canned salmon these days in preference to tuna. My Very Herby Salmon Patties are a regular, very tasty, quick, easy, fast, and very very healthy dinner. Canned salmon isn’t ideal either, but it’s within my boundaries for acceptable. Sadly, tuna has been outside those boundaries for many years now.
Transhipping tuna in Marshall Islands. Quentin Hanich
Seafood is increasingly marketed as the clean, healthy choice for consumers – full of good oils and proteins and low in fat – with canned tuna a favourite cheap source of healthy protein. But science provides ever-worsening reports on the state of many fisheries, and their effect on marine ecosystems.
As international conservation negotiations flounder, consumers and industry are increasingly relying on eco-labelling to tell which seafood products come from sustainably managed fisheries. But there’s more to tuna than “dolphin-friendly”: what do these labels really tell us?
Labels need to tell the whole story of a fishery
Traditional fisheries management and early eco-labelling schemes only focused on target stocks or iconic species. They did not consider how fishing affected target, associated and dependent species or marine habitats.
But in recent decades, fisheries management has used two key principles: the “precautionary approach” and the “ecosystem based approach”.
Under the precautionary approach, managers have to be more cautious when information is uncertain, unreliable or inadequate. They can’t use the absence of adequate scientific information to defer conservation and management measures.
Under the ecosystem approach, managers can’t just think about the species being fished. They also have to keep populations of dependent and associated species at levels where they can reproduce, and protect important marine habitats.
You can read the full article at The Conversation here. It’s not long, and it’s well worth the read.