It is now clear that we urgently need to take better care of our planet. Sustainable fishing and responsible fish farming are fundamental to our sector for that reason. From 26 September to 2 October, Think Fish Week provides an ideal opportunity to put sustainable fishing measures and their associated certifications in the spotlight. And because sustainability is very important to Pittman Seafoods, we are doing all we can to support this initiative.
It is no coincidence that the Think Fish Week initiative originated with two leading quality marks: ASC and MSC. Choosing fish that bears one of these quality marks means you are supporting responsible fishing and fish farming. This initiative is the response of these two quality marks to the fourteenth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 14), which aims to protect maritime ecosystems and reduce pollution.
Just to be clear: fish without a quality mark can also be sustainable. In fact, some species are naturally more sustainable than others. Scottish and Norwegian salmon, whiting and haddock are just a few examples. But with a quality mark, you are also getting guarantees in black and white.
Complementary quality marks
We can safely say that the quality marks that drive the Think Fish Week are complementary. For example, ASC – which stands for Aquaculture Stewardship Council – is an independent quality mark for responsibly farmed fish. This means that the fish comes from farms that limit their impact on water and the environment.
Moreover, ASC-certified companies are expected to take care of their employees and show consideration for people living in the region. The independent quality mark MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) was established 25 years ago. Fish, shellfish and crustaceans carrying this label have been caught in a sustainable way. MSC-certified fishermen work responsibly to prevent overfishing and to keep the sea healthy. Around 20% of the worldwide fish catch is now in the MSC programme.
Variety is king!
The main theme of this year’s Think Fish Week is variation. And this is rightly so, because one of the best ways we can protect life in our oceans and waterways and prevent overfishing is to consume a wider variety of fish. Putting more variety and by-catch onto our plates contributes to greater sustainability and helps us to discover new flavours. Think Fish Week is an ideal occasion to introduce fish lovers to less well-known alternatives for the classic fish varieties. For instance, a piece of turbot, sea bass or ling makes a tasty change from salmon or cod.
Together towards more sustainability
This is the eighth time that the Think Fish Week is being organised in Belgium. The ACS and MSC will be joined by numerous partners: supermarkets, fish suppliers, restaurants and food chains with a shared desire to positively contribute to sustainable transition. Together, they will create a sea breeze of sustainability that will blow through the country. It goes without saying that Pittman Seafoods belongs on this list. Sustainability is ingrained in our ethos. That is why we carefully screen our global suppliers. And it’s why more than 80% of the volume currently produced by Pittman carries a sustainability label. For us, Think Fish Week is the ideal time to highlight the importance of sustainably farmed and caught fish within our sector.