We’d be outraged if the Chinese started eating Panda burgers but every day over Summer Australians will inadvertently consume endangered fish species in the guise of fish and chips, according to the State’s peak environment group.
“Fish and chips are a popular choice for holiday meals outside of the home. But it might come as a surprise to learn that some species sold in fish and chips are overfished and struggling for survival,” Cate Faehrmann, executive director of the Nature Conservation Council said today.
“Overfishing is a major challenge for the world’s oceans and we can all help ease the pressure on marine environments by making better choices when ordering at a takeaway
outlet or restaurant.“The Nature Conservation Council urges consumers to make an informed choice by asking their vendor what species they’re using in their fish and chips. As a guide, avoid purchasing
Shark, Orange Roughy, Redfish and Eastern Gemfish.
“Sharks, also known as Flake, are among one of the most threatened groups of marine species. Shark numbers are in decline all around the world and several species of Australian shark are in danger of extinction.
“The catch numbers of Orange Roughy, sometimes sold as Perch, are so high that some scientists suggest they may not recover from fishing impacts and should no longer be fished. This deep-sea species is caught using seafloor trawling, a high impact activity that disrupts seabed habitats, and indiscriminately catches other marine species as a by-product.
“Eastern Gemfish (aka Hake) and Redfish (aka Red Snapper) are also species classified by the Bureau of Rural Sciences as officially overfished.
“The seafood choices you make can have a significant impact on the fishing industry and the wellbeing of marine environments.
“The Nature Conservation Council has worked with the fishing industry and other experts on the Nice Choice! project that identifies sustainable seafood species the community can comfortably consume with minimum impact on numbers. Current suggestions include: Australian Sardines, Eastern School Whiting, Luderick, Sea Mullet and Spanner Crab.
“Let’s make sure our sustainable seafood choices today allow future generations to continue enjoying fresh, seasonal fish in the future,” Ms Faehrmann said.