Happy Heart, Happy Ocean: Five reasons to choose sustainable seafood

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Seafood that’s good for you and the ocean, too. (image: Supplied)
Seafood that’s good for you and the ocean, too. (image: Supplied)

Annually in September, South Africans observed Heart Awareness Month, followed by the celebration of our oceans as National Marine Month in October. With new campaign ‘Happy Heart, Happy Ocean’, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) encourages South Africans to choose seafood that’s ‘good for you and the ocean too’.

Up to 80% of heart disease and stroke can be prevented by simply living a healthy lifestyle that includes healthy eating. Fish is a high-protein option and naturally oily fish are high in omega-3 fats which are good for your heart. 

But according to GlobeScan, 1 in 2 seafood consumers are concerned that their favourite fish won’t be available in 20 years’ time. Overfishing, climate change and pollution are putting marine ecosystems under pressure. That’s why buying seafood from sustainable sources is vital.

Fortunately, the MSC blue fish label indicates seafood that can be traced to a sustainable source from ocean to plate, helping you make smarter buying decisions. 

Why choose sustainable seafood?

1. Better for our oceans

MSC certified seafood is wild, traceable seafood. The MSC blue fish label indicates seafood that can be traced to a sustainable fishing source. This guards our oceans against overfishing and protects marine biodiversity. It also helps ensure a steady supply of an important natural resource.

2. Good for your heart

Seafood is protein-packed, with good nutrients, vitamins and essential omega-3 fatty acids. At least 450g of fish servings per week is recommended, says Professor Pamela Naidoo, Chief Executive at the Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA). “A good rule of thumb is to eat fish 2-3 times a week and try to include fatty fish in those servings.” Fish such as sardines, tuna, mackerel and salmon have high amounts of omega-3s – beneficial for the heart, brain, and general health and wellness. The HSFSA’s Heart Mark guides buyers in their choices.

3. Drive change with your shopping habits

By buying seafood independently verified as sustainable, you’re supporting fishermen committed to operating in an environmentally-friendly manner and supporting their efforts to keep our oceans thriving. Buying an MSC-labelled product encourages retailers to stock sustainably-sourced seafood.

4. Available at every price point

The MSC blue fish label can be found on nearly 40 000 products around the globe and it is featured on everything from fresh, frozen, canned and preserved seafood to supplements and even pet food! This gives consumers a variety of choices for their budget.

5. Ensure seafood for generations to come

Along with fisheries, retailers and restaurants around the globe, we all have a part in protecting the oceans. By seeking out certified sustainable seafood, consumers have a way of ensuring generations to come will continue to enjoy seafood, too.

Start celebrating: Seafood that’s good for you and the ocean, too

The Marine Stewardship Council, in partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, have launched a new campaign ‘Happy Heart, Happy Ocean’. Heart-healthy, sustainable seafood is easily identifiable with the MSC blue fish label and the Heart Mark logo. 

Endorsed by both the MSC and HSFSA, Irvin & Johnson Limited (I&J), have partnered to raise consumer awareness of their certified sustainable hake products. Giving the campaign feet in-store with its roll out to over 600 supermarkets nationwide, seafood shoppers are encouraged to look for the I&J Cape hake products at their local Pick n Pay, Spar or Checkers stores.

Multi-award winning celebrity chef of Food Network fame, Siba Mtongana, is joining forces with the MSC and campaign partner, the HSFSA, to inspire South Africans to cook with certified sustainable and healthy seafood. Learn more: www.msc.org

This post and content is sponsored, written and provided by MSC.

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