"Every fish has its story" is the main message of the new WWF's seafood guide that helps consumers select and prepare sustainable fish dishes and become part of the solution to save our seas.
Do you like to prepare fish and other seafood products? Do you know how to choose the best fish, possibly from sustainable fisheries? Why does it matter to buy such fish? The answers to these and other questions, interesting recipes and a lot of additional information can be found in a new guide for sustainable seafood products"Stories beneath your plate"produced by WWF, which was presented last week in Slovenia by WWF Adria and Uroš Štefelin, the main chef of Villa Podvin.
Industrial fishing is now at its peak with as much as 93 percent of fish stocksbeing overfished. If we continue with the same practices in the future, soon there will be more fish in our seas and no income for millions of people in developing countries, whose livelihoods depend on these natural resources. The goal of WWF's seafood guide is to educate seafood lovers to be able to prepare their favourite dishes and choose sustainable fish products that do not harm our seas and oceans and the people who are directly connected with this branch of the economy, particularly in developing countries.
"At the end of the 19th century it seemed that the sea is an inexhaustible source of fish and natural resources that people will never exhaust. Only one hundred years later, the majority of fish stocks are before the collapse, including in the the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea. In this guide, we wanted to highlight examples of good choices and to raise awareness among consumers about this problem. At the same time we want to increase the interest of retail chains to introduce a wider choice of products from sustainable fisheries. The more consumers will opt for sustainable products, more products there will be on the store shelves," said Martin Šolar, director of WWF Adria.
Illegal and unregulated fishing could soon reach 26 million tonnes, or about 30 percent of global annual catch. Considering the trends of shrinking fish stocks by the 2018 our seas and oceans could be completely out of fish. It is therefore extremely important to raise awareness and encourage consumers to change their shopping habits, which is the main goal of theWWF'sFish Forward project, which involves 11 EU countries. EU countries are the largest importer of fishery products in the world, and nearly 50 percent of these imports come from developing countries.
"Overfishing is besides the climate change the second biggest threat to our seas and oceans. If possible, do not eat young fish,check the origin of fishery products and enjoy more diversified fishery products. In Europe, for certification of products from sustainable fisheries, we have a long used MSC certificate (Marine Stewardship Council). WWF wants to encourage the certification process also in the Mediterranean, including the Adriatic Sea, where fish stocks are in very bad condition," said Danijel Kanski, project manager for WWF Adria.
Even countries that have the largest fishing fleets in the Mediterranean, like Italy and Spain, are dependent on the imports of fishery products. Only with our buying decisions and choosing the appropriate fish we can contribute to the replenishment of fish stocks and support fishermen and their families around the world. To help you doing so, WWF's seafood guide is also available online at www.kateroribokupiti.si and contains useful tips, facts and anecdotes and delicious recipes of famous chefs that will inspire you to diversify your diet. Pangasisus from Vietnam, mullet in the French manner, sardines wrapped in vine leaves, cod, sea bream and mackerel are just some of the fish you will find in the recipes.
"By choosing sustainable ingredients for our menu we aim to raise awareness among our guests, but also impact the suppliers. In cooperation with WWF we started adapting supply of fish in our restaurant, with an emphasis on those that come from sustainable sources," explained Uroš Štefelin, the chef of Villa Podvin.
WWF is implementing the project Fish Forward to encourage people to be more careful in choosing their seafood products. WWF's guide "Stories beneath your plate" is just the beginning. WWF Adria is currently working on the start of the certification process of various types of fishing in the Mediterranean and Adriatic, thereby facilitating an increase in supply of fish from sustainable sources.