Protect our oceans by choosing sustainable seafood
You can help combat ghost gear by choosing smarter, sustainable food options
Through our Sea Change campaign, World Animal Protection has worked for years to bring about safer, cleaner oceans by combating ghost gear – abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear that remains in our oceans long after it’s been lost, entangling and killing millions of marine animals.
We work to reduce the volume of ghost gear entering our oceans, remove it from our oceans and recycle it, and rescue entangled animals.
And as a consumer, the role you play is just as crucial in protecting our oceans.
Choose sustainable seafood
Consumers can help protect the health of our oceans and the delicate ocean ecosystem by purchasing sustainable seafood. Sustainable seafood ensures fish and seafood is caught using methods that minimize bycatch and impact on habitats, as well as be mindful of fragile fish stocks to prevent overfishing. Such seafood is often indicated by a logo or label on the product.
An increasing number of certification labels are also taking into account whether seafood companies address ghost gear in their supply chain. Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), for example, has recently pledged to address ghost gear during its next standards revision process.
You can ask local supermarkets to only carry sustainable seafoods and look for labels on the seafood brands you buy.
Be an educated consumer
Your purchasing power can make a huge impact for marine life.
We urge consumers to be aware of the origins of their seafood and try to buy seafood that’s certified sustainable.
There are many tools and resources available to assist in selecting sustainable seafood including:
- The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue fish label is an international sustainability label which indicates that seafood has been sourced using methods that minimize impacts on the marine environment and fish stocks. Consumers should look for the MSC blue fish label to find products that have been certified as sustainable seafood.
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch app helps consumers select ocean-friendly seafood and search locally for restaurants and stores that offer sustainable seafood. Seafood Watch focuses on seafood commonly found in the U.S. marketplace.
- The Aquaculture Stewardship Council manages the world’s leading certification and labeling program for responsible aquaculture. Look for the ASC label to find seafood that has been farmed responsibly.
- Friend of the Sea also offers certification of sustainable seafood from fisheries and aquaculture. Consumers can look for the red, white and blue label or download the app.
Spread the word about the prevalence of ghost gear and encourage businesses and governments to address ghost gear in their supply chains.
While some seafood companies, like Thai Union and Tri Marine, are addressing ghost gear in their supply chains, many companies still need to take action.
We urge companies and governments to join the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, an alliance we founded that works collaboratively to combat ghost gear.
Ghost gear demands urgent action. At least 800,000 tons of ghost gear is abandoned or lost in our oceans every year – enough to fill 65 Eiffel towers.
Ghost gear has caused an estimated 5-30% decline in some fish stocks.
Ultimately this could mean our oceans simply stop providing for people in the many ways we now rely on them.
By choosing sustainable seafood and by drawing attention to ghost gear, we can move companies to act for our oceans.
Thank you for protecting marine animals!