Forest and Bird has issued an update of its popular, and very useful, Best Fish Guide. The guide
takes into account the state of fish stocks, the amount of seabird, marine mammal and non-target fish bycatch, the damage done to marine habitats and other ecological effects caused by the fishing to decide on its rating.
It’s a tool that empowers the consumer to make an informed choice about their seafood. Just as we might give it a sniff to judge freshness or compare prices, the Best Fish Guide is a sniff-test of each fish species’ sustainability. Forest and Bird say:
Making the best seafood choice is not easy. All fishing has an impact. We urge you to use this guide to help make more informed choices when buying seafood… Our combined buying power can help take pressure off the most over-exploited species and alleviate the harm caused by the most damaging fisheries. Our choices can also influence government policies, change fishing practices and help ensure that fisheries are managed sustainably.
The wallet-card guide can be obtained from Forest and Bird, and the ratings are all online here. The full assessment and methodology are also downloadable:
- The Best Fish Guide: Ecological Assessment (PDF, 2028 kb)
- The Best Fish Guide : Assessment Methodology (PDF, 705 kb)
Our ocean is not “out of sight, out of mind”; it is the backyard, the pantry and a source of pride for all New Zealanders. It is not too late to reverse the decline, and it makes economic sense to do so now. We can commit to strong action on climate change, a good Oceans Policy, and making the Fisheries Act sustainable.
Consumer tools like the Best Fish Guide help us as individuals vote with our wallets for a sustainable and healthy ocean.
To end, here’s something a Kiwi band could copy: the Oxford band Stornoway make a political point in their ‘Good Fish Guide’ song: