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New Internationalist

Action On Fish

Issue 325

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Serving suggestions - five things to remember when buying seafood


Shrimp and prawns are too expensive. Not for you, but the environment. Wild prawns are caught using destructive trawlers and farmed prawns are brought to you at the cost of coastal habitats (see article).


Farmed fish are unhealthy. A lot of salmon, trout and other commercial fishes are grown on farms which are not only an environmental menace, they also are more likely to be diseased, contain chemical traces and possibly be genetically-modified. Farmed fish raised in enclosed tanks with proper waste disposal have the least impact on the environment, but are rare.


Ask how this fish was caught. Thanks to consumer queries and pressure, some companies and restaurants are making commitments to avoid the most ecologically damaging fishing technology.


Boycott fish caught with cyanide or explosives. Live-fish restaurants and sellers of tropical aquarium fish often accept species caught by poisoning or blowing up reefs (see article). Make sure your new pet or live lobster is not part of this deadly trade.


Don't be fashionable. Culinary fashion is fickle and chances are that the trendy fish will soon be scarce - when New Orleans chef Paul Prudhomme made blackened redfish a popular recipe, redfish in the Gulf of Mexico were almost wiped out. Base your choice of fish on sustainability.

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Five great sources of information:
1 Mangrove Action Project:
2 Greenpeace’s Ocean Campaign:
3 Earth Island:
4 Traffic:
5 WorldWatch Institute:


Campaign for a global whale sanctuary
Private Bag 92507,
Wellesley Street, Auckland.
Tel: +64 9 630 6317.
Fax: +64 9 630 7121.

Stop prawn trawling in the Great Barrier Reef

North Queensland Conservation Council
PO Box 364, Townsville,
Queensland 4810.
Tel: +61 7 4771 6226.
Fax: +61 7 4721 1713.
E-mail: [email protected]

Stop pirate fishing in the Southern Ocean
Level 4, 35-39 Liverpool St,
Sydney, New South Wales 2000.
Tel: +61 2 9261 4666.
Fax: +61 2 9261 4588.
E-mail: [email protected]

Stop European fishing subsidies
and overfishing

WWF United Kingdom
Panda House, Weyside Park,
Godalming, Surrey GU7 1XR.
Tel: +44 1483 426 444.
Fax: +44 1483 426 409.

Canonbury Villas, London N12PN.
Tel: +44 207 865 8100.
Fax: +44 207 865 8200.
E-mail: [email protected]

Fish for Life Foundation
3872 Point Grey Rd, Vancouver,
British Columbia V6R 1B4.
Tel: +1 604 221 7577.
Fax: +1 604 221 7544.
E-mail: [email protected]

Suite 605, 250 Dundas St West,
Toronto, Ontario M5T 225.
Tel: +1 416 597 8408.
Fax: +1 416 597 8422.
E-mail: greenpeace.toronto

Keep the ‘dolphin safe’ tuna label honest
Earth Island Institute
Suite 28, 300 Broadway,
San Francisco CA 94133.
Tel: +1 415 788 3666.
E-mail: [email protected]

1436 U St NW, Washington DC 20009.
Tel: +1 202 462 1177.
Fax: +1 202 462 4507.
E-mail: [email protected]

National Audubon Society
700 Broadway, New York NY 10003.
Tel: +1 212 979 3000.
E-mail: [email protected]
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This article was originally published in issue 325

New Internationalist Magazine issue 325
Issue 325

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New Internationalist Magazine Issue 436

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