“Ocean Wise” Fish Are “Sustainably Sourced,” But Not Necessarily Healthy

For our anniversary, my husband and I decided to have a nice, romantic dinner at a popular restaurant in town. I was craving fish and was hoping to find wild salmon or halibut on the menu.

However, instead of wild fish, the restaurant now “proudly offers Ocean Wise fish.” I was confused. What does “Ocean Wise” mean? Is it another term for farmed fish?

The server informed me that the fish on the menu was farmed, but caught in a way that sustains the health and functioning of the fish and its habitat.

Upon my return home, I googled “Ocean Wise” and found that it is:

A Vancouver Aquarium conservation program, created to help businesses and their customers make environmentally friendly choices. The Ocean Wise symbol next to a seafood item assures you that option is the best choice for the health of the oceans.

“An Ocean Wise recommended species is:

  1. Abundant and resilient to fishing pressures.
  2. Well managed with a comprehensive management plan based on current research.
  3. Harvested in a method that ensures limited bycatch on non-target and endangered species.
  4. Harvested in ways that limit damage to marine or aquatic habitats and negative interactions with other species.”

Notably, it also, “makes sustainability recommendations, not health recommendations.”

What bothered me about this new label is not its philosophy of conservation. Preserving the precious life that we are entrusted with on this earth is no small task and should be taken seriously and by sustainable means.

However, what concerned me is that many restaurants are now focusing solely on sustainability, despite its cost to consumer health. By removing wild fish from their menus and replacing them with Ocean Wise, they can no longer guarantee that they are wild, and therefore, beneficial to your health.

But why avoid farmed fish at all, some might ask? On his website, mercola.com, Dr. Mercola, lists 9 Things Everyone Should Know About Farmed Fish.

The conservation of our waterways and oceans is extremely important, that much is true. However, we also need to focus on ensuring that fish not only sustains us but also boosts our health. Farmed fish, as it is raised today, does not sustain us: in fact, is it is very harmful to us.

Also, it is not enough to ensure that certain environmental needs or fishing practices are met when preserving fish and their habitats. We must also focus on what we are feeding them. How can we be supporting their health when we are feeding them GMO corn and, in some cases, worse?

We as consumers, need to demand that further aquacultural research and development is done to ensure that farming, fishing and feeding methods support both the health of fish and the people who consume them.

Ocean Wise Source:

Mercola Source

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Author Pam Bartha

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