Wednesday, 13 July 2011
whichfish.org is a website I've just launched that helps you easily tell which fish are sustainable to eat. Why? Well...
This picture terrifies me. In 1900, we can see huge tracts of ocean where there are massive numbers of fish. In 2000, the map is empty apart from a small leftover smudge clinging to the American coast.
There are no longer plenty more fish in the sea.
Where there once were swarms of fish so abundant we could catch them with simple nets, we are using ever more sophisticated equipment to locate and catch what little is left of them. Once innumerable fish like cod have been reduced to a few isolated stocks and majestic creatures like bluefin tuna are nearly extinct.
At the same time, a lot of the fish we pull out of the sea is thrown straight back in or ground into fishmeal, simply because there is no demand for them. They don't taste bad, they're just not the fish we're used to eating.
The thing to do, of course, is to eat more sustainable kinds of fish. We know this. But that knowledge alone doesn't help much when you're standing in the fish aisle in the supermarket and need to buy dinner now.
There are some very good sources on what fish to eat, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Marine Conservation Society. Both have done a huge amount of work collecting and assessing data on sustainability.
I have combined their data, and data from other sources, and turned it into an intentionally simple web page that just tells you which fish are OK to eat. You can view it on your mobile and download it for offline viewing as well. It can help you make a quick decision on what's for dinner.
Give it a spin. It should display well on most mobile phones, and if you have an iPhone or similar, you can also download the site for offline use, so you don't need a signal to be able to use it.