rom fisherman to supplier, chef to diner — we all have a role to play ensuring that sustainable seafood lands on our plate. In Alaska, sustainable seafood is so critical that it is written into the state Constitution mandating that “fish…be utilized, developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle.”In this way, Alaska promises to provide wild-caught seafood for generations to come.
But did you know that wild capture fisheries have a huge environmental advantage over land-based proteins because they require almost no natural resources to produce? Because fish live wild in the natural environment as they have since the beginning of time, there is no need for fertilizers, pesticides or antibiotics.
Environmentalists and scientists alike recognize how little impact seafood has on the environment:
- For 40g of wild capture seafood produced there is no use of fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics, nor is there any soil loss, and virtually no use of water.1
- In his book, The Perfect Protein, Andy Sharpless, the CEO of the environmental non-profit, OCEANA points out that wild capture fish are caught without fertilizer, pesticides, antibiotics or freshwater. Combine that with the generally low carbon footprint of most fisheries compared to the protein alternatives, and you have “The Perfect Protein.”2
- Peter Tyedmers, a professor at Dalhousie University’s School for Resource and Environmental Studies (SRES) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who has been studying the world’s food systems for 15 years has found “when it comes to nitrogen and phosphorous, greenhouse gases, and other global-scale phenomena, absolutely most seafood is much better than most terrestrial animal production.”3