We are eating more seafood than ever before with global consumption per person growing from 22 pounds in 1960 to 41 pounds in 2011. Our Chefs’ Table Society of BC launched a Spot Prawn Festival which now in the 7th successful year is very enthisiastically supported. Wonderful sustainable seafood available fresh for about 2 months (May & June) showing those distinctive sweet delicate flavours with a firm texture. Spot prawns are caught fresh daily and sold off the boats to the public at the docks every afternoon during this season.
We work closely with the Vancouver Aquarium and their Ocean Wise Program. Interesting to check out their extensive listing of seafood that is recommended, not recommended or under review on the website www.oceanwise.ca/seafood.
Ocean Wise makes recommendations based on 4 main criteria:
a. Abundant & Resilient
c. Limited By-Catch
d. Limited Habitat Damage
You will note that so many prawns and shrimps are not recommended as well as Atlantic Cod, Atlantic farmed salmon, Blue Crab, and lots of tuna including Yellowfin Ahi. In the Vancouver marketplace Wild Pacific Salmon, Halibut, Farmed Oysters and Sablefish (black cod or butterfish) – no more Chilean sea bass – are all very popular and well supported. Ocean Wise now has more than 450 Canada-wide partners. Quite a few restaurants in Vancouver have gone to using only 100% Ocean Wise recommended products. To find sustainable seafood near where you live, download the Ocean Wise app. This is certainly something important to be aware of when making your own seafood choices. A top 12 in random order of presently recommended sustainable seafood by Ocean Wise:
1. ARCTIC CHAR : Closed-system farmed
2. HADDOCK: North West Atlantic – Handline caught
3. HALIBUT: Pacific – Bottom longline or handline caught
4. SHELLFISH: Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Scallops – Beach or Suspension Farmed
5. SPOT PRAWNS: BC – Trap caught
6. ALBACORE TUNA: BC – Pole or Troll caught
7. COD: Pacific – Bottom longline or trap caught
8. SABLEFISH: Alaska & BC – Bottom longline or trap caught
9. MACKEREL: Atlantic, Pacific, King, & Spanish – Purse seine caught
10. LAKE WHITEFISH: Lake Huron, Superior, & Michigan – Gill net or trap net caught
11. RAINBOW TROUT: Closed-system farmed
12. SALMON: Chinook, Chum, Coho, Pink, & Sockeye – BC & Alaska – Seine net, gill or troll caught
Please let us know your thoughts on seafood sustainablility and more specifically what seafoods are the most popular in your region.
As consumers I think that it is critical that we make informed decisions and be very aware of the sustainability of our food sources as many species teeter on edge of becoming “endangered” or extinct. There is also the impact some fishing methods have on the various ecosystems.
This not only applies to seafood as the raising of other protein sources, especially beef, has a serious impact on our planet.