Why We Love Sustainably Sourced Fish

Experts believe that sustainable fish will protect commercial fishing in the future. truLOCAL introduces environmentally sustainable options for fish.

Our customers like options, whether it be from cuts of steaks with different levels of marbling and tenderness to what kind of food the cow eats. Both of those examples dictate how the beef tastes but customers want broader options that effect more serious issues. They want to know how their food impacts larger systems than just their taste buds. They want to know that there are responsible options for the environment. 

We couldn’t agree more. We love the local food movement for a lot of reasons. Sure, it tastes great when food comes from local farmers who raise their animals with love and kindness (back to those tastebuds again!) but shopping from local sources is better for the environment. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impact of what they choose to eat and we couldn’t be more excited about that. 

In order to both satisfy our customers' love for more options and to provide options that have a lower impact on the environment, we are very excited to launch our new line of sustainable fish. You have heard us talk about wild-caught fish for a while now so you might be wondering: why would we offer both wild-caught and sustainable (and what the heck’s the difference?). 

The terms “wild-caught” and “sustainable” simply refer to how the fish was sourced. Wild-caught is exactly how it sounds in that the fish lived its life in the wild in rivers, lakes, or oceans. They eat whatever food they can find and are accustomed to swimming a lot in their natural habitat. Sustainable fish are raised in captivity in large tanks with every aspect carefully controlled from the amount of oxygen in the water to the type of food they are given. They may not swim as much or have to scavenge for food but there are a lot of good reasons to consider sustainably sourced fish.

Why is sustainability important?

Experts believe that unless humans change our behaviour, the seafood industry could disappear as soon as 2048. We have seen signs of this all around us from trash islands contaminating the oceans to the cod fishery collapse of 1992. The oceans and the creatures living within them need us to change our ways. As individuals, we should all be working towards helping the environment wherever we can but as a meat delivery service, truLOCAL wanted to make sure that we had sustainable seafood sources. 

Benefits to sustainable seafood

There are many reasons why sustainable fish-raising practices would be attractive to truLOCAL customers, some environmental, some not.

Protect fish in the wild

As mentioned above, commercial fishing practices and environmental concerns such as pollution, destruction of natural habitat, and global warming have put many species of fish in danger. Sustainable fish-raising practices allow farmers to control populations and not overfish any natural populations or species. This allows natural populations to recover to natural levels.

Another way that sustainable fish practices save fish is by avoiding bycatch. Bycatch is when a commercial fishing vessel catches there intended target, such as tuna, and other types of fish or other creatures in their net, like dolphin. The unwanted species are called bycatch and they usually don't survive. Sustainable fish have no bycatch because they are the only fish in the tanks.

Increased Omega 3

Most of eat fish because we love the flavour but we also know that eating fish has health benefits such as being a source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Sustainable fish has been shown to contain more Omega-3s than fish caught in the wild so if you are trying to increase your brain power and/or hair or fingernail strength (among many other benefits), sustainable has you covered. I feel the need to be totally transparent by saying that wild-caught has health benefits too, we just are talking Omega-3s. 

Local is better

Have you ever tried Barramundi (aka Asian sea bass)? It is a hearty fish full of Omega 3s that is native to the Pacific Ocean from South Asia to Australia. Think about the environmental impact of getting one fish from that part of the world to Canada. Much of the pollution from transport and other environmental factors are removed (or at least greatly diminished) if you buy a sustainable fish raised right here in Canada. The same is true for species native to distant regions within Canada, such as Arctic Char, which are found in the northern parts of Labrador, Québec, and throughout the Canadian Arctic. Even a species is native to our vast country has an environmental cost to ship it to the far reaches of Canada. Sustainable fish allows a variety of species to be raised locally that would not be able to survive within the local habitat. And there are other benefits to raising a fish closer to its consumers such as freshness and availability.

We want you to decide

Honestly, there are benefits to both wild-caught and sustainably raised fish and that is why we offer both. We want to provide our consumers with the choice so that they can decide based on what is important to them. We still love wild-caught fish because it supports local communities and some think that flavour of wild-caught is better. We can all agree that eating fish is a great way eat a lighter meal and break up the routine of beef, chicken, and pork. Consumers shouldn’t have to carry large environmental costs of including fish in their meal plans so we are excited to bring sustainable fish to our customers.

Article by: Steven Tippin

Posted on September 28th, 2022