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Find out the top fish to try and avoid in 2024 for a healthier diet!

EnvironmentFind out the top fish to try and avoid in 2024 for a healthier diet!

**Top Fish to Try and Avoid in 2024 for a Healthier Diet**

In recent years, the threat to our oceans and marine life has been increasingly pronounced, with record-breaking temperatures and marine heatwaves putting immense pressure on fish populations. The depletion of wild fish populations has attracted widespread attention, prompting calls for more sustainable and responsible fishing practices. As we move into 2024, it’s essential to reevaluate our consumption of fish and make informed choices to support the health of our oceans. In this article, we’ll explore the top fish to avoid in 2024 and identify sustainable alternatives for a healthier diet.

**The Decline of Wild Fish Populations**

Oceana, a prominent US-based NGO, has reported that a significant proportion of Britain’s largest wild fish populations, including North Sea cod, are either overfished or in a critical state. Furthermore, the UK, Norway, and the EU have faced criticism for their failure to reach an agreement over sustainable mackerel fishing, exacerbating the pressure on fish stocks. The impact of industrial practices on fish populations has also come under scrutiny, with concerns raised over irresponsible fish farming and its detrimental effects on the welfare of farmed fish.

**The Case for Sustainable Choices**

Amidst the concerning state of wild fish populations, the need for sustainable seafood choices has become more critical than ever. Charlotte Coombes, the good fish guide manager at the Marine Conservation Society (MCS), emphasizes the importance of making informed decisions regarding the fish we consume. She advocates for a mindful approach that considers the species, the fishing location, and the methods employed. This approach is crucial in reducing the demand for a select few popular fish varieties, thereby alleviating the pressure on their populations and promoting sustainable fishing practices.

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**Swap Shop – Identifying Sustainable Alternatives**

1. **Cod**
Cod, a cold water species, has been under significant strain due to rising sea temperatures. While North Sea cod populations are showing signs of recovery, they are not yet sustainable. As a sustainable swap, Hake, certified by the Marine Stewardship Council’s blue tick, emerges as a promising alternative, thanks to effective management and favorable environmental conditions.

2. **Haddock**
A favored choice in chip shops, haddock is primarily a sustainable, wild-caught fish. To ensure sustainability, it is advisable to select haddock from specific regions or opt for MSC-certified sources. Plaice from the North Sea is also presented as a sustainable swap due to thriving populations.

3. **Salmon**
The decline of wild Atlantic salmon populations globally, along with the environmental challenges they face, necessitates a shift towards sustainable alternatives. Pacific wild salmon from Alaska, accompanied by organic or green tick-certified salmon, are advocated as the best choices. Additionally, farmed rainbow trout from UK ponds is proposed as a sustainable swap for salmon.

4. **Tuna**
With various tuna species and sustainable catching methods in play, it is essential to make informed choices in tuna consumption. Skipjack or albacore tuna caught by pole and line or trolls, along with sardines from southwest England, are recommended as the best choices and sustainable swaps, respectively.

5. **Prawns**
The sustainability of prawns depends on the species, fishing location, and methods employed. Identifying sustainable options such as wild cold-water prawns from the north-east Arctic or certified farmed prawns is crucial in promoting responsible consumption. Mussels from the UK are presented as a sustainable swap for prawns due to their ocean-friendly nature.

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In light of the challenges facing our oceans and fish populations, the need for conscientious seafood consumption has never been more apparent. By understanding the impact of our choices on fish populations and embracing sustainable alternatives, we can contribute to the preservation of marine ecosystems and the well-being of our oceans. As we navigate the complexities of seafood consumption in 2024, let’s prioritize sustainability and responsible fishing practices to ensure a healthier future for our oceans and ourselves.

This article is based on information provided by www.theguardian.com.

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