- Feb 27, 2023
- Responsible Seafood
Do you enjoy having seafood? We love seafood too, and it is a very important part of the experience at our hotels and the local traditions in our destinations. Overfishing is one of the major challenges that are our oceans are facing today. With 70% of the world’s fish stocks fully exploited, consuming responsibly sourced seafood is more important than ever.
Not only will this enable us to continue enjoying these products for many years to come, but it will also ensure the livelihoods of millions of people. It is estimated that there are over 51 million fishers in the world and hundreds of millions of rural people that depend on fisheries for their livelihoods, with many of them employed by small-scale fisheries.
At Iberostar, we currently source over 70% of our seafood responsibly and have a commitment to reach 100% by 2025. There are many ways in which you can join us in supporting responsible seafood at home too. Here are five of them to get you started:
1. Look out for sustainable seafood labels
Many supermarkets now offer certified seafood products, which you can recognize by the label on the packaging. These products meet very rigorous standards to ensure that the practices to obtain them are sustainable from the boat to the plate, helping fisheries recover and protecting the livelihoods of fishing communities. That’s why certified products are an important part of our responsible seafood sourcing at our hotels.
By choosing products with these eco-certification labels, you can encourage stores to source more and more sustainable seafood and truly contribute to global change. Some of the most common eco-certification labels you can find at your store are MSC, ASC, Fair Trade (United States), Best Aquaculture Practices, Global GAP, Alaska RFM.
2. Choose responsible seafood species in your area
There are seafood guides with recommendations of responsible seafood species you can enjoy in your area when shopping and dining. Even if these products are not necessarily certified, they are great choices to maintain fish stocks and help the oceans recover. WWF has seafood guides for over 25 countries and, if you live in the United States, Seafood Watch has guides for different areas in the country.
3. Avoid endangered seafood species
Unfortunately, there are endangered seafood species that still make its way into many stores and restaurants. These include bluefin tuna, sharks, rays, eels and sturgeons. By choosing alternatives to these products, you can directly support their conservation. There are many guides about endangered species, like the WWF guide, the IUCN red list, and the CITES guide. These are the main guidelines that we also use at Iberostar to ensure we are not sourcing any endangered species.
4. Choose small fish and farmed shellfish
When there are no labels and you are in a rush, try to go for smaller fish, as they reproduce faster and are less prone to overfishing than large ones. Anchovies, squid and mackerel are just some examples of smaller fish that can be a more responsible choice when in doubt.
Following this option, you can also go for farmed shellfish, like oysters, clams and mussels, which are very low on the food chain and often both a quality and sustainable choice.
5. Ask questions
You’d be surprised by how much you can contribute to a global change just by asking where your seafood comes from, whether it is at a store or at a restaurant. If enough people ask this question, more companies will start to see the added value of sourcing responsible seafood and take steps to do so.