Celebrating Earth Day 2023
With 1 billion people in over 190 countries celebrating Earth Day, this is the most widely observed nonreligious holiday in history.
Just like Thanksgiving reminds us to express gratitude and Valentine’s Day reminds us to spread love, Earth Day promotes awareness and action toward environmental issues and encourages us to take steps to protect the earth.
Some people celebrate by choosing to clean local parks, planting trees, opting for reusable grocery bags, or choosing a more environmentally-friendly mode of transportation. At Premier Catch, we celebrate Earth Day (and every day) with sustainable, wild Seafood!
The Role of Sustainably on Earth Day:
Earth Day is a reminder for us to protect the planet that we call home and ensure its abundance for future generations to come. Sustainability is defined as the ability to maintain or support a process continuously over time. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sustainable seafood is the most environmentally efficient source of protein on the planet and plays a major role in protecting the Earth and its resources.
At Premier Catch “sustainability” is not just a buzzword. We consider ourselves stewards of our ocean’s wild seafood resource in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. We are committed to supporting and ensuring that the fisheries, communities and businesses catch and produce our seafood in a way that promotes the long term well-being of wildlife, our environment, as well as the health of the people working within the industry, so that we can feed millions of people for years to come.
Wild Seafood is one of Alaska’s most precious resources and the state has been diligently working to protect it since they were founded in 1959, with sustainability written into Alaska’ state constitution. From fishermen to processors and scientists, sustainability is not just law but a deeply-ingrained tradition in Alaska’s culture. Alaska fisheries are carefully managed with world-class science-based methods that ensure fish stocks, communities, and entire ecosystems thrive.
What Makes Seafood the Most Sustainable Protein Source?
Seafood is one of, and often argued the most, sustainable protein source because it doesn't require any land and is much more resource-efficient than alternatives, such as chicken and beef.
Unlike land-based agriculture, which requires large amounts of land, water, and other resources, wild seafood is harvested directly from the ocean, creating a much smaller environmental footprint than many other forms of food production. Land-based agriculture, on the other hand, requires large amounts of land for crops and pasture, which can lead to deforestation, soil degradation, and habitat loss. This can have a negative impact on wildlife populations and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to being land-efficient, wild seafood can also be better for the environment when it is managed properly. Sustainable seafood management practices, like those used in Alaska, help to ensure that fish populations are able to replenish themselves naturally. This helps to maintain healthy ecosystems and biodiversity in the ocean.
When we talk about the environmental footprint of different foods, we often consider factors like land use, water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and pollution. Compared to land-based protein sources, like beef, pork, and poultry, wild seafood has a much smaller environmental impact in many of these areas.
Wild seafood is also much more efficient in terms of resource use. Fish are cold-blooded, which means they require less energy to maintain their body temperature than warm-blooded animals like cows and pigs. This means that wild seafood requires less feed, water, and other resources to produce the same amount of protein as land-based protein sources!
Of course, it's worth noting that not all wild seafood is created equal when it comes to sustainability. Some fisheries use practices that can be damaging to the environment, such as bottom trawling or overfishing. That's why it's important to look for seafood that has been certified as sustainable by a third-party organization like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC).
What is Overfishing?
Despite Alaska’s efforts to protect our oceans and ecosystems, there are still numerous hurdles hindering the seafood industry’s sustainability efforts, including overfishing, bycatch, habitat destruction, fish fraud, and even slavery.
Since 1990, global fish consumption has increased by 122%, leading to increased stress on the fishing communities to meet the increasingly high demand. In order to meet the demand, unsustainable fishing practices are becoming the norm around the world.
Overfishing is one of the most prevalent issues related to unsustainable fishing practices. Overfishing happens when fish are harvested at a rate that is greater than the species can replenish themselves, causing many of these species to become underpopulated and endangered.
In addition to overfishing, a large percentage of seafood harvests are wasted. In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 47% (2.3 billion pounds) of harvested seafood is discarded. Without leaders such as Alaska fighting against these problems, the combination of overfishing and waste could cause the fishing industry to collapse and cause irreparable damage to these underwater ecosystems.
How and Why to Choose Sustainable Seafood?
If you are a Premier Catch customer, you are already making a positive impact by eating sustainable, wild seafood and supporting Alaskan fishing communities!
Sustainable seafood refers to fish and shellfish that is harvested in ways that do not harm the environment or deplete fish populations. In Alaska, there are strict regulations in place by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game that ensure only a certain amount of fish can be caught each year, and that the fishing methods used are safe for the fish and the environment.
Alaskan Seafood is certified by both the Alaska Responsible Fisheries Management (RFM) and the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC). These organizations verify that the fisheries are harvesting their seafood sustainably and responsibly. If you are buying seafood at the grocery store or from a restaurant, you can check to see if it has been certified by these organizations.
Celebrating Earth Day
This Earth Day, join us in committing to taking steps to protect the environment and support sustainable fishing practices and celebrate by enjoying wild, sustainable seafood!
Here are some ideas of ways to celebrate Earth Day this year.
Make a new seafood recipe!
Try a new seafood species.
Plant a tree.
Clean up your neighborhood or a local park.
Swap out your cooking and cleaning products for sustainable brands.
Focus on conserving water.
Attend a local Earth Day event!
If you have any questions or comments about Earth Day or sustainable seafood, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message on social media @premiercatch.