Consumer Center Fisherman: Herring, Herring or Salmon? What kind of fish can still be eaten with a clear conscience

Fish advice from the Consumer Center
Zander, herring or salmon? What kind of fish can still be eaten with a clear conscience

Is it still possible to eat salmon with a clear conscience?

Is it still possible to eat salmon with a clear conscience?

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The world’s seas are being fished from scratch in many places. Can the fish still get on the plate? The Consumer Advice Center provides answers on how sustainable consumption can work.

Fish is an important part of a healthy diet: it provides valuable proteins, fatty acids and minerals. But the oceans are overfished. There is less and less wild fish and seafood. The answer is mostly fish from aquaculture. Which in turn is fed with fishmeal caught in the wild.

Binding catch quotas and environmentally friendly fishing methods are needed to keep fish on the menu for future generations. This would preserve species diversity. But which fish is actually sustainable? Consumer advice centers in Hamburg and Berlin have updated their fishing guides and are providing answers.

These fish are endangered

Endangered species include eel, sturgeon, shark, herring, salmon, mussels, mackerel, redfish and bluefin tuna. However, the same species may be overfished in one fishery and not in another. For example, the stock of herring in FAO 21 in the US is in good condition, while FAO 21 in Newfoundland is in relatively poor condition. In addition, fishing methods have different impacts on fish stocks and the ecosystem, which is why they were included in the assessment. You can see which fish the table finds in the overview. Therefore, consumers should always pay attention to the origin of the catch. If in doubt: ask the seller.

In fact, fishing is not possible without affecting the marine environment. However, certain fishing methods can significantly reduce by-catches (juveniles, other species, dolphins, seabirds and turtles) and protect the seabed if they are not dragged over. In this way, whole ecosystems can be protected.

These fish are allowed on the table

The Consumer Center recommends consuming fish that is caught sustainably, ideally with hooks. Good choices include Alaska Pollock, Pacific Salmon, Yellowfin Tuna and Walleye (all from the specific fisheries listed). There is also no problem with fish from aquaculture, provided that the fish are in so-called recirculation systems and, at best, carry an organic seal. For example, trout, salmon or pangasius. For a complete list, see the Consumer Advice Center’s current Fish Guide, which you can view here.

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