What does that actually mean?
Sustainable fishing means fishing methods that do not reduce the reproductive capacity of the fish and thus guarantee conservation. Furthermore, they do not damage the seabed and cause significantly less unwanted by-catch. Fish products from sustainable fisheries can come from a variety of economic sources: sea fishing, inland fishing, angling and aquaculture.
Why is it important to look for sustainable fish products?
Unsustainable fishing methods have led to dramatic overfishing of the world's oceans in recent decades. In addition, illegal fishing and high bycatch rates are causing major problems, so that numerous fish species in the world's oceans are already endangered or on the verge of extinction.
Some fish species, such as the popular tuna, can only reproduce very slowly and are therefore particularly vulnerable to extinction. Cod is also one of the world's most overfished food fish.
How can I recognise a sustainable fish product?
Products from sustainable fisheries bear the seal of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), currently the largest independent and non-profit certification organisation. This organisation awards a certificate to products that meet the following criteria:
1. There is enough fish for sustainable fishing.
2. There is no negative impact of fishing on the marine environment.
3. Fisheries management systems ensure sustainable fishing and minimal impact on the marine environment.
What does our university catering do in this area?
We source MSC certified fish for our fish dishes where possible. However, we do not label them at the serving counters, as this requires costly licence fees. In addition, MSC is not free of criticism: Greenpeace and other environmental protection organisations criticise that MSC-certified products also come from overfished stocks or that some non-sustainable fisheries receive the seal.
Nonetheless, we want to protect existing stocks and not support questionable catching and breeding methods with our targeted (non-)demand types of edible fish. That is why we strictly avoid tuna, shrimp and hoki in our cafeteria offerings. Picture I would swap with: