Seafood is a food source that tends to have a large impact on the environment. That impact is not usually positive, and it is something that makes seafood consumption difficult for anyone who cares about the environment. Overfishing can cause a severe change in the ocean ecosystem that will throw the balance out of order. There are also several harmful fishing practices used that don’t lead to the best environmental outcomes. That affects the lives of animals as well as our own.
Dredging and bottom trawling are two common harmful practices. Dredging involves dragging a dredge across the sea floor. They scrape the bottom and tend to remove coral reef habitats among other things. Trawling involves dragging a large net across the sea floor behind a boat. This fishing net also drags across the sea floor. Sometimes animals that we don’t intentionally fish for end up in fishing nets and don’t survive. If you want to make seafood choices that do the least damage possible to the environment, there are a few options to choose from. There are companies consciously working to have a positive relationship with the environment. They regularly make efforts to retrieve their seafood in sustainable ways that do not damage ecosystems.
Sustainable seafood is harvested in a way that is not harmful to the environment. It causes the least impact on marine life by leaving their ecosystems more intact. Suppliers of sustainable seafood put limits on how much they can fish. They make sure not to alter wildlife populations. Overfishing has harmed many different species, but sustainable seafood brands are looking to quell that negative impact. Mass fishing methods that produce bycatch are also avoided by sustainable seafood brands. Sea turtles, dolphins, and a host of other animals we do not eat are kept safe when companies don’t focus on profits above all else. There are local fisheries using traditional methods to catch fish for their town’s residents that result in safer environments for sea life.
Another method companies use to obtain sustainable seafood is to create it! There are vegan seafood brands that do their best to mimic the taste and textures you love without the environmental harm involved. Some brands specialize in underwater greens, making tasty seaweed and kelp available for purchase. Other brands make their own seafood meat that is reported to taste amazing. As long as a company does their best to reduce the harm they bring to the environment, they are providing us with sustainable choices. Here are a few of those options.
The Bumble Bee Seafood Company oversees multiple different brands that have different approaches to seafood. Some of their brands sell fresh sustainable caught seafood, and some of them sell canned seafood. Bumble Bee Seafoods provides snack sized packets of tuna in a number of flavors. They have jalapeno, roasted garlic & herb, and chipotle flavors. And that’s only three of many. Snow’s is their clam centered brand. There you’ll find canned white clam sauce, canned clam chowder, and even chopped and minced clams. Their brand Beach Cliff offers canned sardines in different flavored sauces. You can have them plain, or in tomato sauce or soybean oil, among other choices. These brands make sure they remain affordable while supplying high quality items.
Canned seafood isn’t all you’ll find at The Bumble Bee Seafood Company. They have brands that also supply fresh seafood. Anova Food is the brand for people who want the highest quality sashimi grade seafood. They are the first company in the world to offer seafood that is fully traceable to the source. You can even get amazing, chef curated recipes from their website. Learn how to make a kale tuna salad or a poke bowl! This company will help to make your meals great.
Atlantic Sea Farms created the first commercially viable seaweed farm in the U.S. Their goal is to provide healthy, fresh alternatives to imported seaweed. They are based in Maine and focus heavily on maintaining the health of our oceans. Most of the seaweed on the market comes from Asia. It can be grown in compromised water with little to no oversight. When this seaweed arrives in the U.S., it is occasionally rehydrated and then infused with blue and yellow dyes to make it look fresh. Atlantic Sea Farms will give you seaweed that is actually fresh rather than dyed to look that way. This company used to sell mainly to restaurants and smoothie shops until they saw the public need for their products. Now we are all fortunate to have the opportunity to get their product delivered to our homes.
Aside from providing us with fresh sea kelp, Atlantic Farms also has come up with innovative ways to prepare kelp. They created a product called sea-chi. It is kimchi made with kelp rather than cabbage. It is an awesome way to enjoy sea kelp. You can find many great recipes on their website. This company’s mission is to have everyone enjoy sea kelp that is much fresher than what we’re used to.
Good Catch Foods offers awesome plant based seafood alternatives. You can get fish fillets, fish burgers, and crab cakes among others. The best part is that these are made with chickpeas, soy, fava beans, navy beans, and chickpeas. No ocean ecosystems are harmed in the making of these meals! You can find this brand at select restaurants and delis. You can find their fish-free burger alternative at 37 Bareburger locations throughout the U.S. Select Whole Foods locations carry their tuna salad, and their tuna melt can be found in multiple delis on the east coast, and at 28 VeggieGrill restaurants on the west coast.
If you’re not sure what to do with all these seafood alternatives, their website has got you covered! They offer different amazing recipes that you will love to indulge in time and time again. Among those recipes, you’ll find a fish burger benedict with hollandaise, corn chowder with crab cakes, and crescent-wrapped fish cakes with remoulade. You’ll end up hooked on these recipes!
Blue Nalu is on a mission to be a world leader in cell-cultured seafood. Cell cultured seafood is seafood that is developed in a lab. Cells are grown on an edible surface designed to give them the texture of wild fish meat. They focus most on growing the fish that are overfished and difficult to farm. Their products are grown from the cells of real fish, but the fish are left alive and unharmed. You won’t be able to tell the difference between this fish and the fish caught from the sea. Their method for creating the meat is extremely effective. They also seek to reduce food waste through their methods. Rather than grow a whole fish to then throw out the unwanted parts, they just make the parts that people are most likely to buy. You can buy all the fillets you want without worrying about food waste!
Seafood has been so far left behind when it comes to lab-manufactured meat, but Blue Nalu seeks to change that. They want to make their seafood products as popular as lab made chicken and beef. They even have their own chef that demonstrates great recipes with their fish to show people just how great it is.
Dock to Dish is seafood’s version of farm to table. This seafood is caught by local fishermen using traditional fishing methods. There is no large company trailing a heavy net behind a boat in this equation. There are just people catching what they can for the day. They do not catch endangered species. They make sure to keep those communities intact. Dock to Dish considers itself a community supported fishery. This means that it aims to foster a positive relationship between fishermen, their consumers, and the ocean.
Community supported fisheries came about as a way to help marine ecosystems recover from the overfishing they have long experienced. Dock to Dish is the only seafood supplier in the U.S. that has a registered nurse on staff to monitor the health of the dock team and fishermen. They care just as much for the health of the seafood they catch, as they are known for the safety and freshness of their food.
To obtain your seafood from Dock to Dish, you will need to have a membership. Memberships go fast. As a result of their fishing methods, they are not able to provide their services to too many people at once. They have to keep their services limited in order to make sure they don’t overfish and contribute to harming the ecosystem, which is the opposite of their goal. Dock to Dish makes sure that their members know exactly where their seafood comes from. This service costs a bit more than buying seafood from a market, and that is so the fishermen can benefit while using practices that benefit the environment.
Seafood doesn’t need to be harmful to the environment. Stop supporting the average seafood company that cares for profits over environmental justice and patronize the places listed here instead. You have options when it comes to enjoying seafood and doing minimal harm. These options will leave you feeling guiltless and satisfied.