Image: Good Life Vancouver
One of the main bodies that issues certifications for sustainable seafood, the Marine Stewardship Council, is potentially doing more harm than good, according to Greenpeace. Mat's written about the skepticism of MSC before—he called it the sustainable seafood smackdown. But Greenpeace is joining in, saying customers are being "duped."The Guardian reports that the Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish fishery is one of the most controversial fish to receive the sustainable stamp of approval because the fishery is still considered exploratory and so little is known about the fish.
Others include krill in the Antarctic, , tuna and swordfish off the US coast, pollock in the Eastern Bering Sea where stock levels fell 64% between 2004 and 2009, and Pacific hake which suffered an 89% fall in biomass since 1989.
Chris Pincetich, a marine biologist with the Turtle Island Restoration Network, said: "The MSC has rushed to accept applications from hundreds of fisheries around the globe in order to grow their business and network. Many of those are actually viewed by scientists as unsustainable. They should really take a closer look before they even engage with those fisheries."
Page said of the toothfish decision: "It should never have been up for certification in the first place. There just isn't sufficient information to say whether it's sustainable or not."
Whether any seafood is sustainable is really the question we all need to be asking—but in the meantime, the certifications given for sustainably sourced seafood should at least be a credible way of making informed, environmentally-friendly food purchases.
More on sustainable seafood
Best and Worst Sustainable Seafood Restaurants Revealed
Yum! iPhone App Pairs Sustainable Seafood with Recipes and Wines
Trader Joe's Flunks Sustainable Seafoods 101 (Again)
Global Fisheries Hit by Climate Change and Overfishing