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Talk to the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute about sustainable fishing and you could win a £200 Waitrose voucher NOW CLOSED

(151 Posts)
AngelieMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Jun-14 11:29:03

The team at the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute want to talk to MNers about sustainable and responsible fishing.

Here’s what the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute have to say, “We are very proud of the quality and sustainability of the fish from their oceans. Sustainability and responsible fishing has been enshrined into Alaska’s law since it became the 49th state of the US. All the fish that comes from Alaskan waters are wild and natural, giving them a huge amount of flavour and taste in addition to all the health benefits, plus you can have a clear conscious when you choose Alaskan seafood safe in the knowledge that the ocean’s stocks are preserved for generations to come.”

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important? Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you? Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you? Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?

Everyone who adds their thoughts to this thread will be entered into a prize draw to win a £200 Waitrose voucher.

Please note your comments may be used by MN/ Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute in an email MN will be sending out as well as possibly elsewhere. Please only add a comment if you're happy for your quote to be used.

Thanks,
MNHQ

WingDefence Wed 25-Jun-14 11:50:24

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important?

I suppose so, but I never really think about it, apart from to moan at the TV at the end of every Masterchef episode where it flashes up something about sustainable fishing even if no fish has been used in the episode!
I do worry about cod though - and most fish & chip shops near me only sell haddock now so I see cod as a treat.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?

Price only I'm afraid. I wouldn't even know if the fish I buy is sustainable or not.

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?

No, it has never had a bearing on the way I buy fish.

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?

I'm afraid not - but obviously I could do with some tips myself!

I don't think MN/the ASMI will want to use my comments! grin

AndHarry Wed 25-Jun-14 13:14:28

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important?
Yes. It's suprising and concerning that we take the sea so much for granted, using it as a rubbish dump and a food source.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?
Price is important to me but I find that some of the most sustainable fish are also the cheapest. If there's a choice I will pay more for a product when I feel more confident about its sustainability.

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?
Yes. I will buy Alaskan salmon over Scottish salmon (sorry Scotland!) as I dont like the idea of fish farms.

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?
Look for fish that is caught using line rather than trawlers as there is less bycatch of young fish that get tossed back dead.

Wild salmon is a deeper pink than farmed salmon, with denser flesh. Farmed salmon is more susceptible to disease and worms, which I don't particularly want to think about!

BeanyIsPregnant Wed 25-Jun-14 13:32:07

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important?

I think it is important, I'd hate to think that because we wanted all the fish for ourselves now that my great great grandchildren will never know what salmon, for example, tastes like. However, I think that the responsibility for the sustainability of the fish shouldn't be put onto those who are buying it to 'make the right choice'. If all fish sold were in the shops because they were sustainable the decision would have been made for us.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?

We as a family only eat fish maybe once a month, mainly because it is so much more expensive than other meats/ sources of protein. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that although I deem fish to be an important part of our diets, I will always aim to buy the cheapest/ most cost effective fish possible, as we just don't have the diaposible income to do otherwise. This often leads to us having salmon trimming fish cakes instead of a salon fillet for example.

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?

Not at all, I think that supporting local fisherman is important, but when your buying from a supermarket you are unlikely to find local produce when places further away can give you more for less.

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?

Not at all, I'd like some tips for myself though!!

ouryve Wed 25-Jun-14 16:00:10

I rather like fish, so of course sustainable fishing is important to me. I'd like to continue to be able to enjoy it into old age and beyond <selfish>

More to the point, and less selfishly, my boys (both fussy about their food) enjoy fish, too. I would also like them to continue to be able to enjoy it.

TheHouseatWhoCorner Wed 25-Jun-14 16:00:35

Yes, now you mention it, I do think sustainability is important.I avoid eating cod, but don't honestly know what other fish is at risk.
By I'll be honest and say that price is the overriding factor when shopping.
I don't notice which country fish originates from when I buy it, but I'm embarrassed to admit that!

quietbatperson Wed 25-Jun-14 16:06:20

Do you think that sustainability of fish is important?
Yes, if we want to keep eating fish we need to ensure stocks aren't collapsing left, right and centre.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?
I buy my fish frozen (I find it fresher), and I suspect it comes from all over the planet, so I have no idea whether it is sustainable or not to be honest sad

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?
I prefer to buy British, to support our own fishing industry, but that's not always feasible.

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?
No, I'm interested to read others' tips though. Although I buy line and pole caught tuna.

CorusKate Wed 25-Jun-14 16:10:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpottyTits Wed 25-Jun-14 16:23:38

We never eat cod anymore even resorting to haddock fishmongers. I do find though that the more sustainable fish is cheaper and just as tasty as cod.

sanfairyanne Wed 25-Jun-14 16:53:39

it is vitally important, and should not just be a 'consumer choice'
all the marine biologists i know dont eat fish at all as it is unsustainable
farmed eg salmon is bad too though
my top tip is lidl

PastaandCheese Wed 25-Jun-14 17:26:03

I don't eat fish but I have encouraged DCs to eat it.

I feel quite clueless about sustainability because I'm new to buying fish. I know cod = bad but other than that I'm in the dark. I would like to know more.

I try to buy British as far as possible.

I buy my fish at the local fishmongers. The owner is great at advising me on what to buy and how to cook it but he never mentions sustainability. I guess he feels he has it hard enough competing with the supermarkets.

missorinoco Wed 25-Jun-14 17:28:17

Yes, I think the sustainability of fish is important. I stopped buying cod for a while, and still avoid it, but have the sneaking suspicion I am acting on old information now. Cost is relevant, but more that i would choose not to buy fish or opt for a cheaper type of fish that is sustainable rather than buy the non sustainable product. A little like free range eggs. Some things are just a must for me.

Country of origin- only important if relevant. As in, if a country has been fishing illegally I would avoid their product. In reality this isn't often an issue.

What would I suggest - keep more up to date than I am. i would preferentially choose a company that used sustainable fishing, although I am cynical, as definitions of sustainable seem to be fluid.

mumsbe Wed 25-Jun-14 17:36:23

do you think that sustainability of fish is important?

Yes I do think its important but I dont have enough information to do anything about it

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?

Price has a big impact on what I buy as like most families I am on a constant bubget and looking for ways to save money. So I wouldnt say that it was more important just I dont really have a choice

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?

It probably should but again with a tight budget I have to buy whats on special offer

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?

Only advice is to do some research which is what I will be doing from now on. Hopefully the prices wont be too high

Skina Wed 25-Jun-14 17:55:34

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important?

Yes, of course. I do fear though, that this is in danger of being too little, too late. So much gets wasted from less than responsible fishing, to the shocking waste that we as consumers think is acceptable.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?

Absolutely. If I know and can easily find out, I will buy sustainable all the time. I obviously look for value for money, but not at the expense of future resources if I can possibly help it. If something is from sustainable resources but is expensive I consider it a rare treat rather than disregard over cost.

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?

Hmm, yes it does, but taste and the way it is farmed (or not) are also factors for me.

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?

I prefer to buy my fish from a fishmonger, their knowledge is second to none and they are far more willing to advise and help with choice. I try to ensure that the fish we eat is line caught wherever possible.

Engage with your local fishmonger - they are so knowledgeable and come up with some excellent, sustainable alternatives.

EffinIneffable Wed 25-Jun-14 18:10:59

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important?
Yes - I always (embarrassingly) ask in restaurants where their fish is from and how sustainable it is. I think it's horrific that overfishing has been allowed to go unchecked for so long.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?
I pretty much only buy fish that is certified with MSC logo. If it's too expensive I just don't buy the fish.
The main problem is there is lots of packaging saying 'responsibly sourced' or some such, but no information on what that really means or whether it's been independently regulated.

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?
Not if its frozen when caught and I buy it frozen. I don't want to pay extra and contribute to carbon footprint to have fish from far away flown here. I also have a preference to buy from fish sourced from local day boats where possible, as this is usually a more sustainable means of fishing.

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?
The MSC have a good iPhone app and a slightly less useful Android app so you can check whether something is sustainable when shopping or in a restaurant.

Fillybuster Wed 25-Jun-14 18:18:44

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important? Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?

Very much so. We don't eat much meator chicken in our household during the week, and we don't eat shellfish at all, so fish features quite regularly on our weekday menu. I'm very aware of the importance of trying to stick to sustainably sourced fish, but at the same time I need to balance that with the fact that, for example, my dcs really prefer salmon to pollack. Luckily, they're fairly adventurous, so when I have time to cook 'different' things, such as sardines, they're open to trying them.

Although with sardines (and herrings and so on) the deciding factor isn't so much price as smell....so the weather will also play a part in the buying process, as I'm not really happy to cook those inside the house!

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you? Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?

Generally, I'm less worried about country of origin than sustainability, although for obvious reasons I prefer my fish not to have travelled too far, unless frozen or in a tin. I'm happy to buy line caught wild alaskan salmon frozen (and oddly, it is frequently cheaper than fresh farmed salmon hmm) for example. I do wonder if I'm falling for a marketing ploy when I select 'line caught' cod, but I'm so alarmed at the impact of dragnet fishing that I can't bear the idea of supporting that.

I prefer to buy fish from my local independent fishmonger, but it is definitely more expensive, and I'm not convinced that their fish is sourced much more ethically than the fish in Tesco or Waitrose. Having said that, they're far more likely to stock seasonal fish from Brixham Harbour, and have a much wider range than the supermarket, so I generally leave feeling happy that I've supported my local high street and bought something that hasn't contributed to damaging the environment.

Theincidental Wed 25-Jun-14 18:31:06

I do think sustainable fishing is extremely important, as it minimising wasted fish (thrown back from nets) and minimising our impact on the oceans. There is horrific slick of plastic affecting our oceans and sea life.

It's not just about wild, free stock, but packaging and impact on other species.

I'm vegetarian and will not eat fish at all. The whole industry concerns me deeply.

nemno Wed 25-Jun-14 18:37:40

Sustainability is massively important to me. Price is too so as a family we now eat much less fish than say 10 years ago. I see farming fish as very damaging to the environment and I don't want fish and seafood to travel miles by air for the carbon footprint reasons. So we eat less and less of it.

StillNoFuckingEyeDeer Wed 25-Jun-14 20:30:51

I think sustainability is very important, but I find it confusing. Unless I'm faced with packaging stating that one fish is sustainable, I wouldn't know what to chose in the shop. I'd like it if fish was clearly labelled so I could make the right choice. I need guidance at the time of purchasing!
Price is important, as is the taste of the fish, but I'd chose an alternative if it was sustainable.
The country of origin doesn't matter to me much, but I tend to buy locally if possible.

Scousadelic Wed 25-Jun-14 20:36:35

Do you think that sustainability of fish is important?
Yes and it should be more important to all of us. It is vital to the future

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?
I don't think much fish is labelled clearly enough. I tend to pick on price as I really don't know which are which whereas things like eggs are very clearly labelled "free range". Food manufacturers are very sneaky with labelling (look at the M&S Lochmuir which sounds like a little man in a rowing boat caught it in a Scottish loch but is actually farmed)

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you? No

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?
I'm afraid I don't as I don't know enough but I will look a bit closer now this had made me think about it

CheeseEMouse Wed 25-Jun-14 20:42:54

I agree with many posters above about the importance of sustainability of fish, but I think I would really struggle to say which fish were and weren't sustainable. I agree with scouseadelic about the labelling point. That would really help.

I don't worry about the country of origin of fish. I also don't really understand whether it is better or worse to buy farmed fish. Clearly more research is necessary...

Keepcalmanddrinkwine Wed 25-Jun-14 21:01:39

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important? Yes, sustainable fishing is very important but I don't think it is publicised well enough.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you? Price is important but I would pay more for sustainability.

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you? I feel that it should but again, I don't know enough about it. I try to buy local as much as I can (farm shops, small independents etc.)

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly? No, but I'd love to know more about it myself.

In conclusion, I do care about sustainability but feel it very not publicised enough. Clear labels on packaging and more information would be very useful.

ChaffinchOfDoom Wed 25-Jun-14 21:10:24

do you think that sustainability of fish is important?

yes, as types will run out ... unbalance the ecosystem

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?

unfortunately I don't actively look for sustainability, I kind of trust the shop is doing that already; low price is too important as we are on a tight budget

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?

Nope, but I generally buy frozen as fresh fish round here ain't really fresh enough

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?
I suppose you could check the box to know that the fish is ok, and I know to avoid cod generally? aside from that am unsure.

sharond101 Wed 25-Jun-14 22:09:19

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important? Yes I do although in honesty since we don't eat much fish I don't really think much about it.
Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you? I don't consciously look no but I believe I should.
Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?No
Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly? unsure sorry.

telsa Wed 25-Jun-14 22:43:10

So, do you think that sustainability of fish is important?

Yes, I think about it every time I eat cod and imagine no more cod in the sea. It am very happy to learn of sustainable practices.

Do you consciously choose sustainable fish when you do your shop or are other factors such as price more important to you?
I have become much more aware of late, not just about sustainability but also mode of capture and so on. I I only buy pole and line tuna. I will not buy prawns any more because of what I have heard about their rearing. I am currently very worried about chemical processing of salmon and only buying organic.

Does the country of origin of your fish matter to you?
I like knowing stuff comes fro Alaska or Norway, as I think of these as fresh fishy places!

Do you have any top tips for Mumsnetters when buying seafood responsibly?
Buy it as high quality as you can afford, even if that means eating less.

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