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SEAFOOD

© C. Amico / WWF Mediterranean

Seafood is part of the Mediterranean way of life. We want people to be able to enjoy seafood that comes from a sustainable source and doesn’t damage marine ecosystems in the Mediterranean or beyond.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Eating freshly caught seafood by the Mediterranean Sea: for many, it’s the definition of the good life. But the reality doesn’t always match the dream. Around 60% of seafood eaten in European Mediterranean nations is actually imported, often from fisheries in the developing world where the price is low but so are environmental and social standards. Where seafood is local, it’s likely to come from an unsustainable source, since around 85% of fisheries in the Mediterranean are overfished.  

Unfortunately, many people in the Mediterranean don’t pay much attention to where their seafood comes from. While consumption continues to grow, there’s relatively little demand for sustainable seafood. Retailers and other seafood industry companies in the Mediterranean are also well behind their counterparts in other regions when it comes to sourcing and selling sustainable seafood.

If future generations are to enjoy seafood in the Mediterranean, then the way it’s produced and consumed needs to change.
 

Did you know?

The average EU Mediterranean eats 33.4kg of seafood every year. The global average is 19.2kg.

© Gernant Magnin / WWF-Netherlands

WHAT WE’RE DOING

We work with governments, businesses and consumers to accelerate the transition to a sustainable seafood sector.

We’re working with companies to show the risks and impacts of unsustainable seafood, and the opportunities and business benefits of sourcing sustainably. A number of corporate partners have started to make commitments to offering sustainable seafood products.

Consumers need to use their purchasing power to influence the seafood industry, so we’re working to raise awareness of sustainability issues and guide consumers toward sustainable choices. Where possible, we urge people to choose products certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC), or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) for farmed fish.

We’re also engaging policy-makers to strengthen and implement regulations on transparency and traceability to ensure that seafood sold in the Mediterranean comes from legal, responsible sources. And we’re supporting fisheries in the Mediterranean to become more sustainable.

Choosing sustainable seafood

Our multilingual online guides provide easy-to-access information on seafood sustainability. Shoppers and diners can use the mobile-friendly guides to check the sustainability of a wide range of species, based on a traffic light system which runs from blue for ‘certified’ through green for ‘give it a try’ to orange (‘caution’) and red (‘avoid’).

While simple to use, the guides are based on regularly updated data, and also take account of the gear and fishing practices used in specific fisheries. They also feature recipes from well-known chefs.

ACT NOW

If we change the way we consume seafood in the Mediterranean today, we’ll be able to continue to enjoy it tomorrow.

© WWF Spain