Jellyfish could replace fish and chips on a new sustainable takeaway menu tohelp keep threatened species off the plate.
University of Queensland researchers found 92 endangered and 11 criticallyendangered species of seafood were caught in oceans around the world afteranalysing global industrial fishing records
UQ Centre for Biodiversity and Conversation Science PhD candidate LeslieRoberson said fishing for species that are threatened with extinction is legaland seafood does not have to be labelled according to its species.
“This means that the ‘fish’, ‘flake’ or ‘cod’ that Australians typically orderat the fish and chip shop could be critically endangered,” Ms Roberson said.
“Australian seafood is not as sustainable as consumers would like to think,and it’s definitely not in line with many of the large internationalconservation agreements that Australia has signed to protect threatenedspecies and ecosystems.
“We would never consider eating mountain gorillas or elephants, both of whichare endangered.”
Senior Research Fellow Dr Carissa Klein was recently awarded an ARC FutureFellowship to research the nation’s seafood consumption and find ways to makethe industry more sustainable.
Her research will investigate the costs and benefits of eating moresovereignly and embracing different types of seafood that can be caught moresustainably within Australian waters, like Australian-farmed abalone and wild-caught sardines.
Dr Klein said Australia was one of many wealthy countries importing andcatching threatened seafood species while maintaining its international marineconservation reputation.
“Australia imports around 75 per cent of the seafood we consume and isinternationally regarded as having effective conservation and fisheriesmanagement policies,” Dr Klein said.
“When importing seafood from other places, we are displacing any social orenvironmental problems associated with fishing to that place, which is likelyto have less capacity to sustainably manage its ocean.”
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