Fish as food
The huge variety of fish species make seafood one of the most exciting dishes to serve and enjoy. For many, a reliable source of fish is essential for food security and survival, not a luxury.
Who eats fish?
According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) report:
- About 85% of fish caught is used for human consumption.
The remainder is converted into fishmeal (mainly for high-protein feed) and fish oil (as a feed additive in aquaculture).
- A portion of 150g of fish can provide up to 60% of an adult’s daily protein requirements as well as healthy fats like Omega 3.
- In 2010, fish provided more than 2.9 billion people with almost 20% of their intake of animal protein, and a further 4.3 billion people with about 15 % of such protein.
- In some countries, fish accounts for more than 25% of animal protein intake.
In general, people in developing countries and especially those in coastal areas are much more dependent on fish as a staple food than those in the developed world.
- Asia has the highest consumptions of seafood as a continent, combining high per-person consumptions with large populations.
- Seafood supply increases at an average annual rate of 3.2% and global fish production has grown steadily in the last five decades.
- In 2012, global fisheries and aquaculture production totalled 158 million tonnes. This is approximately 10 million tonnes more than in 2010. In the mid-1990s seafood production was around 75-85 million tonnes.
Safeguarding seafood for future generations
In order to safeguard food security for today’s and future generations we need to ensure our oceans remain healthy.
At the MSC we believe that the best way to do this is to recognise and reward sustainable fishing, not to exclude fish from our diets. Fish provides us with healthy protein and sustains the livelihoods of many communities around the world.
Choosing MSC certified sustainable seafood allows you to enjoy eating fish in the knowledge that you have made a positive choice to support well-managed fisheries. These fisheries are pioneering new ways to conserve the marine environment.
By supporting sustainable fisheries through regular shopping decisions you send a clear message back, encouraging more retailers to stock sustainably-sourced seafood and more fisheries to switch to sustainable practices.