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Make smart choices about sustainable seafood

Those who are environmentally aware would of course prefer to eat sustainable seafood. However, it can be difficult to know if the seafood you are buying in Singapore comes from sustainable sources. In October this year, WWF-Singapore launched the Singapore Seafood Guide 2016 to help consumers make informed choices about the seafood they consume.

The guide includes 41 seafood species commonly found in shops in Singapore of which a mind-blowing, 75 percent (or 31 species) are listed as ‘avoid’ and ‘think twice’. New entrants include the silver pomfret, yellowbanded scad and Indian threadfin. These species join rays and bluefin tuna on the list of seafood to pass up.

Sustainable seafood
Fisherman in South Sulawesi, Indonesia.


Sharks remain firmly on the ‘avoid’ list; the WWF indicates this is because “Most shark fisheries are unregulated and many species are overfished. Avoid shark products as individual species are difficult to distinguish.” Shark fin soup is still regarded as a delicacy to some, and unfortunately Singapore is one of the most prominent shark fin trading nations.

This practice can be brutal, and is a key cause of many shark species being pushed to the brink of extinction. Shark meat can also be sold under other names, such as ‘flake’ in Australia; this makes it very difficult to ascertain if the meat is coming from sustainable seafood sources. It’s best to enquire with your fishmonger about the type of fish they are selling and where the meat is coming from, especially if you don’t recognise the names. You could also download the Fishial seafood app to help you easily identify fish species that are sustainable when you are out at the shops.

The Seafood Guide is really easy to use, with a colour-coded key to follow that helps to inform you if the type of fish you are about to buy is on the ‘recommended’ list. Thankfully, the Sri Lankan mud crab is featured as a ‘recommended’ item, so you can safely continue eating Singapore Chilli Crab at your favourite seafood centre! The Seafood Guide and the companion Fishial app empower everyone to make conscious choices that prevent the further exploitation of fish stocks.

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