Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Maybe my own strategy helps you to get an idea: I like to eat fresh and tasty fish without feeling guilty. My favourite fish and seafood species are salmon, corgenonus, and salmon trout and tuna and scallops.

  • Salmon: I buy it from organic farming in Europe – with this strategy I know there has not been any bycatch (also no bycatch for fish meal used in an aquaculture, as for organic this is not allowed), I do not have to worry about toxic ingredients ( e.g. heavy metals, xenoestrogens etc), EU origin: Avoiding long transportation and cooling (CO2 and other emissions)
  • Corgenus: Wildcaught from lakes in Switzerland. This is a very tasty freshwater fish, native e.g. in a number of Swiss lakes and Lake Constance. In Switzerland fisheries are obliged to ensure sustainable fishing, according to WWF there is no risk of bycatch and populations are kept stable with the help of additional breeding stations. Lake Zurich is just next door, so I avoid long transportation and cooling (CO2 and other emissions)
  • Salmon trout: I prefer organic aquaculture from Switzerland and Europe. Same reasons as for salmon.
  • Tuna: I love it but I absolutely avoid it, mainly because I really do not want to know how many rays, sharks, turtles, birds and other fish had to die just because I liked to eat a can or a steak of tuna (bycatch!). The tuna populations themselves are in deep shit as well. So if I want to make a very rare exception I go for MSC labelled tuna. It is far away from my idea of sustainable fishing but probably the best option if there is no other way around buying it
  • Scallops: They are actually the only type of shell fish I like to eat. I was completely shocked when I saw how they are caught. They most often use dredges which go over the seabed with a heavy metal bar. The seabed after that reminds one of a raked field. WWF recommends to buy scallops handcaught, e.g. from the Atlantic or from European aquacultures.

Seabed after scallop dredging. Photo: Howard Wood

I used the WWF Switzerland fish recommendations to elaborate my strategy, but I do have to add that I try to avoid MSC as well. They might be better than most other labels, but they do not guarentee for zero bycatch either. Find fish and seafood recommendations for your country here.

Please free to post your own strategies that you discovered!

Scallop Dredge. Photo: NOAA