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Sustainable Seafood

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Sustainable seafood is becoming increasingly important as more and more people recognize the impact of overfishing and the depletion of our ocean's resources. Sustainable seafood is a way to ensure that our oceans are healthy and thriving and that future generations can enjoy the same delicious seafood that we do today.

Sustainable seafood is defined as seafood that is caught or farmed in ways that consider the long-term viability of fish populations and the well-being of the ocean environment. This includes using fishing methods that minimize bycatch (the unintentional capture of non-target species), avoiding overfished species, and minimizing damage to marine habitats.

One way to ensure that seafood is sustainable is to look for certifications from organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). These organizations certify fisheries and farms that meet their sustainability standards, so you can be confident that the seafood you are consuming is responsibly sourced.

Another way to support sustainable seafood is to choose species that are known to be abundant and well-managed. For example, some species of wild-caught salmon, such as Alaskan salmon, are sustainably managed and have healthy populations. On the other hand, some species, such as bluefin tuna, are overfished and should be avoided.

In addition to choosing sustainable seafood, there are other ways to reduce the impact of seafood consumption on the environment. For example, choosing seafood that is locally caught or farmed can reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation. Eating lower on the food chain, such as consuming more shellfish and less predatory fish, can also reduce the impact on marine ecosystems.

Sustainable seafood is not just important for the health of our oceans and the well-being of future generations, it is also important for our own health. Fish and shellfish are excellent sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for heart and brain health. By choosing sustainable seafood, we can enjoy the health benefits of seafood while also protecting the environment.

In conclusion, sustainable seafood is an important way to ensure that our oceans are healthy and that future generations can enjoy delicious seafood. By choosing seafood that is responsibly sourced, we can support sustainable fishing and farming practices and reduce the impact of seafood consumption on the environment. So, the next time you're in the market for seafood, make sure to look for sustainable options and do your part to protect our oceans.

Aaron Bernstein, MD, MPH

Aaron Bernstein is the Interim Director of The Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics.

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