For Europeans, Sustainable Seafood May Be A Tough Sell

Sustainable seafood is the way of the future, but not everybody is entirely onboard just yet.

People will need to be persuaded to eat new types of seafood if we are to extract more food from the oceans and feed growing human populations, according to fishing industry experts.

They were speaking in response to the Food from the Oceans report, which was produced by independent scientific experts as part of the European Commission’s Scientific Advice Mechanism (SAM) and published on 30 November.

The report, which recommends ways of sustainably increasing the amount of food we get from the oceans, suggests exploiting more filter-feeders and sea plants in the future.

It says species like mussels, algae, and even tiny zooplankton like krill could provide a far larger portion of protein to global diets than they currently do.

But convincing consumers, particularly in richer countries, to choose these species over popular carnivorous fish like salmon, cod and haddock will be a major challenge, experts state.

Even relatively common fish like herring, sprat and anchovies—all of which are small filter-feeders—have become unpopular among European consumers in recent years.

Photo: Edward Wexler/Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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