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Living Lightly column

Make your seafood dinner sustainable this Easter

By Tess Middleton, Fin Free Albury Wodonga

How to have an egg-cellent Easter? Eat sustainably of course! This article is your go-to guide for what fish and seafood to feast on this Easter weekend.

Picture this – you’re lining up with what feels like 100 other families, all just wanting to get in, order, collect your food and get home again. So, I am going to give you all the information you need to make a fast and sustainable choice!

Think of our seafood as traffic lights – you have green, yellow and red options:

  • Green options are a sustainable, better choice;
  • Yellow options are okay, but you should limit your consumption;
  • Red options mean you should stop and revisit the menu, because, from a sustainability perspective there are better choices!

Your green options include oysters, salmon, barramundi, some types of prawns, dusky flathead and tropical snapper. These choices are best as these species are currently not being overfished and are generally resilient to the pressures of fishing.

Your yellow selections include Nile perch, Atlantic salmon, Moreton Bay bugs and rainbow trout. Species in this group may be caught using fishing methods that cause damage to marine habitats or are associated with high by-catch volumes.

The red items include yellowtail kingfish, blue grenadier (hoki), hake (cod) and of course flake! The red items are all species that are overfished, or a species that is classified as either threatened or protected.

Another reason to say no to flake (shark) is the excessively high mercury levels that flake contains.

Independent, scientific analysis of multiple flake samples, purchased from both fish and chip shops and supermarkets throughout Australia and globally, have consistently shown higher than safe for consumption mercury levels.

If ingested, the amount of mercury found in these samples are enough to cause neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia, they are even high enough to cause pregnant women to miscarry.

On top of all of this, purchasing flake also aids the shark fin trade, a trade that slaughters more than 100 million sharks every single year, leaving a third of all species threatened with extinction. Now, no piece of fish is delicious enough to warrant all of this is it?!

For further information on sustainable seafood you can visit www.sustainableseafood.org.au.