When you look at a piece of meat, or a piece of fish, it’s often difficult to tell what species it is. Turn it into a pie or a fish cake and the difficult becomes the impossible. That’s where DNA testing helps. With a sample half a centimetre wide dropped into a little tube of preservative, you can find out if your fish is what the packet says, or if it is something else. It’s not even very expensive.
Seafood is well known as a source of healthy oils and nutrients. Studies show that fish oils are good for your heart, brain and bones. Some claim that they can protect you from the effects of air pollution and reduce the signs of aging .
For many, eating certified sustainable fish as part of a balanced diet is an effective way of ensuring that we receive the nutrients, protein and oils we need. But there’s also a growing preference to supplement diet with fish based products in the form of Omega-3 rich fish oils.
The MSC has been setting standards for sustainable fishing for over 15 years now. Fisheries can verify that they operate sustainably, and consumers can choose their fish and seafood on that basis.
So I thought let’s link Christmas to the ‘principle product’ of our work: labelled, certified fish to eat. Though I work in the UK where fish isn’t traditionally part of the Christmas menu, many countries do celebrate with seafood delicacies. If we take a more international view, there are plenty of fantastic and Christmassy fish products available with the MSC ecolabel: smoked salmon, lobster, caviar, herring, the list goes on…
Sweden’s Bothnian Bay vendace fishery, which produces the renowned Kalix löjrom (Caviar of Kalix), was MSC certified in June 2015. Fishing take place only five weeks a year, so I took the opportunity to visit the fishery in action during September. This was my first visit to a certified fishery, and I was amazed by the fishermen’s focus on sustainability.
The “red gold” Kalix löjrom is famous throughout Sweden and the Baltic region. Due to the uniqueness of its colour and flavour, the region’s special roe holds the status of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), much like Champagne or Parma ham.
Every year, MSC Oceania runs the Australia-wide Sustainable Seafood Day. In 2015, the team took to the sea, the streets and social media with their #ForTheSea hashtag and the help of advocates from all walks of life. Explorers, researchers, health practitioners, athletes joined to celebrate how choosing sustainable seafood can help keep our oceans healthy. One of these ‘Ocean Ambassadors’ is pro surfer and artist Felicity “Flick” Palmateer, who has also been involved in June’s World Oceans Day. The Oceania team caught with her to talk about her involvement and her love of the ocean.