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Are we depleting our oceans?

The ocean has always been viewed as a bottomless resource but the reality is that marine resources are finite.


The ocean provides us with tremendous and often unseen economic, social and cultural benefits; it acts as a vast highway for commerce, it provides a place for recreation and, importantly, it supplies food or income for 2.6 billion people worldwide. Today, however, the ancient tradition of fishing has in many cases left in its wake dangerously depleted fish stocks and an ecosystem whose balance has been sufficiently tipped to jeopardize the existence of a number of key species.

  • 85% of the world´s fish stocks are either overexploited or exploited to their maximum (2010 UN report).
  • No fishing gear is completely selective. As a result, many non-target fish or endangered species of albatrosses, sharks and turtles are thrown back dead(2010 UN report).
  • Some fishing techniques pose a threat to marine habitats which are the life support system for marine life.
  • Marine ecosystems exist in a delicate balance – therefore harvesting a species can have implications for the function of the entire system.

Although this problem may seem insurmountable, it is not. If we all join together and implement some really simple steps, our oceans and the marine life it supports will be given a chance to recover.

Here's how you can help:

With so many different seafood options available in restaurants and supermarkets, how can you ensure you make the best choice for you and for the environment? There so many factors to consider and choosing seafood can be a real challenge! BUT by asking the right questions, and knowing what to look for and what to avoid, you can better choose seafood that is good for you and good for the environment!

To help you make better seafood choices, we have taken a fairly simple, yet effective, approach. It is similar to a traffic light system - when the species is listed as green, go for it! When it is orange, think twice about it! And red, well that is a definite no-no!

With well over a hundred species assessed, using an internationally accepted best practise methodology which captures information about the biology, the impacts of the fishing methods used and the management of the fishery, the SASSI seafood database contains all of the information you need to know about the species under assessment.