I was recently introduced to an Australian family owned business called ‘This Fish’ who provide clean, organic environmentally friendly farmed seafood. I wanted to understand more about aquaculture, sustainable and organically farmed seafood, so I recently interviewed Katharina Kons from THIS FISH to find out more…
Q – What is organic fish farming and why is it important?
A – In the good old days there was no need for classification for organic or sustainable fish. While the world community has only recently viewed aquaculture as a potential solution to the dilemma of depleted oceans, it is in no way a new practice. In fact, the beginning of aquaculture dates back millennia.*
Historically, it grew out of necessity – foraging and hunting were not sufficient to provide a stable source of food to local communities. While there are many parallels to agriculture, the development of aquaculture has progressed more slowly than terrestrial farming because of the unfamiliar nature of the ocean terrain and characteristics of aquatic organisms.
Wild fish populations worldwide are down and with an increased human population in the future, it’s unlikely and unfeasible that wild fish populations will be sustained as a food source. Unless one advocates for not eating fish at all, fish farms are a necessary reality and all of the outrages in the world is not going to change those facts and trends. After all, we are looking at feeding over 9 billion people within the next 50 years…
Aquaculture offers one way to supplement the production of wild caught fish and it will continue to increase in importance as demand increases in the future.
Organic Fish Farming is one way of addressing the pressing issues of modern life just as much as ‘The Marine Stewardship Council’ is doing its part for greater sustainability for the catching of wild fish. The aim in Organic Fish Farming is to manage natural resources in such a way that harmful effects on the environment are minimised or avoided altogether.
Sustainability also goes beyond eco-friendly rearing and animal husbandry practices – it also means protecting the workers who support the organic seafood industry and make organic seafood products possible. Many of our fish farmers also work through social awareness agreements (comparable to Fair Trade) that protect the workers who grow organic fish, ensuring safety and fair work practices that help their families and communities.
Organic seafood means that it is:
- Hormone free
- Antibiotic free
- High in natural and untainted omega 3 & 6
- and from sustainable aquaculture
Organic aquaculturists carefully select areas with the right temperature, salinity and fertility where organisms can flourish. Organic or Natural, Non-organic or commercial, whatever word one chooses to use, as long as people try to do the right thing in the restraints that are inevitable in an already heavily polluted and degraded world, we should welcome all approaches that are in balance with nature, for its protection and restoration.
Q – I understand you’re a local company, but why have you chosen offshore locations to farm your product?
A – THIS FISH works with organic fish farms around the world and is proud to be accredited with the NASAA label and other respective international certification bodies. As Australia is not offering any ‘organic certified seafood’ locally, except mussels from the Eyre Peninsula, we source from places that do offer sustainable, ethical and organic seafood. Costs involved in the organic rearing and certification, as well as high labour costs, might be some of the biggest deterrents for local fisheries.
*(Thought to have started in the Mediterranean region even backdating to ancient Egyptian civilisation. In the Etruscan culture (Italy) the earliest extensive marine farms date back to the 6th century BC. Growing of molluscan shellfish was practised in the 5th century BC by the Greeks. In the ancient Roman civilization seabass, seabream, mullets and oysters were cultivated or simply kept alive off the Italian coast in enclosed facilities.)
This is NOT a sponsored post – I was interested in knowing more about organic seafood farming and thought it may be of interest to you too. If you’d like to know more about THIS FISH and where to buy it, click here.
Most sustainable choices in canned tuna
After rigorous campaigning for change, thankfully many brands of canned tuna have committed to responsible, lower-impact fishing methods (over using destructive Fish Aggregation devices or FADs). Which are the most sustainable brands of tuna are something I’m asked on a weekly basis, so I thought I’d include it with this post.
Greenpeace has a fantastic resource on their website ranking the brands available in Australian supermarkets. At the moment, the top 5 brands in order are Fish for Ever, Safcol, Coles, Aldi and John West. For the full list and to see how your preferred brand stacks up, click here.